…or healthy, for that matter. (There are plenty of other examples, but I’ll spare you a diatribe.) So let’s get rid of those preconceptions and get on with the cooking!
Sometimes, I really fear for the day that I ever possibly decide to have children. I already get the strangest cravings. I would feel so sorry for my spouse– they’d probably be trekking all over tarnation to get the most obscure ingredients. And then, to even think what that child would grow up loving as a result…eep!
This Saturday morning things went as such:
- 7:30 am Cat jumps on bed and says it’s time to get up
- 7:45 am Neighbors decide it’s a good time to have an extremely loud conversation
- 7:55 am I give up on sleep, start thinking about breakfast
- 7:56 am Eggs? No…too savory. Hm. Something sweet and savory at the same time. What do I have? Sausages…eggs…potatoes…none of this sounds good.
- 7:57 am OMURICE?!?! But that’s a lunch thing…screw it, I’m not Japanese. Doesn’t matter to me. Tonkatsu sauce should work ok, right? Yeah. Woooh let’s do this!
- 7:59 am Get out of bed, check rice. It’s old. Inedible. Crap. :(
- 8:00 am Omu….omuuuuuu….omusoba?? But I have no appropriate soba. What do I have? Instant ramen!
- 8:02 am prep veggies– peel & cut carrot into thin strips, onion into thin strips, and some thin strips of green cabbage, then chop some green onions thinly & set those aside.
- 8:04 am crack 2 1/2 eggs into a bowl, beat them thoroughly taking out any anger from my dreams.
- 8:05 am boil instant ramen noodles, sans seasoning packet, in water for 2 minutes until soft but not fully cooked. Drain & leave in strainer.
- 8:08 am put oil in a pan (in my case, a wok), turn up the heat to high and add veggies. Move em around. Add ramen noodles. Add tonkatsu sauce (I didn’t have yakisoba sauce, but honestly I find it hard to taste the difference…). Keep it all moving around. Woooh we’re cooking. Man, I need some coffee.
- 8:10 am put oil in a smaller frying pan. Warm it up. Dump in eggs. Wait until bottom is solid, flip. Ooh that looks goldeny, but not as Japanese golden since I used 2 whole eggs + 1 egg white…but whatever. Turn off heat and let it rest a minute.
- 8:14 am Flop omelet on a plate. Dump yakisoba in the middle. Fold omelet around noodles. Squirt some more sauce on top, sprinkle with green onions.
- 8:16 am Take a picture for viewers like you. Maybe a few so at least one will come out ok. Get mad at camera for overenthusiastic flash. Wish lighting was better.
- 8:18 am Give up caring about picture. Resume caring about food. Stuff face. Research omusoba while stuffing face. Be satisfied with self. Wonder where my coffee is.
Japan has two “omu-” dishes that I know of: omurice and omusoba. The “omu” stands for omelet, in case you hadn’t guessed by now. Yakisoba is generally a little more fancy than what I threw together here (and distinctly less vegetarian), but this was good enough for me. Either way, though, I’d say omusoba is not exactly a health food.
There are a fair amount of instant yakisoba along the lines of instant ramen, but honestly I wouldn’t use that for this. Instead, take those instant ramen noodles and fry them up with carrots, onions, cabbage, and whatever else along with some yakisoba sauce (or in my case, tonkatsu sauce…). If you didn’t have yakisoba/tonkatsu sauce, you could probably make an ok substitute by putting worchestershire sauce, a little ketchup or some kind of tangy but not too intense jelly, and maybe a little sugar in a pot and thickening that up together.
There are actually some ‘kits’ you can buy at Japanese markets that are pretty good, though, which have soft fresh noodles and a packet of tonkatsu sauce. Those would work even better than my cheapo method.
What I like about my cheapo method though is that it’s A) instant gratification and B) cheap. A bottle of tonkatsu sauce probably cost me $4 and lasts forever in the fridge. Eggs are $3 a dozen. Instant ramen is like $0.15 a pack. Cabbage is cheap.A bag of 12 carrots costs like $2, and an onion about $0.50.
With 1 packet of instant ramen noodles, 1/4c of tonkatsu sauce, 1/16 of a green cabbage, 1/4 of a yellow onion, 1 green onion, 1 carrot, 2 eggs, and a tablespoon or two of oil…I’d estimate the cost of this meal to be about $2, maybe $3 max. And if you buy the ingredients, you’ll have enough to make so much omusoba that you’ll never want to eat it again!
Related links for you:
- A nice fancier recipe for omusoba by Lovely Lanvin
- Wikipedia on omurice & omusoba
- A recipe for people who don’t have yakisoba or tonkatsu sauce
Sorry for the underwhelming lack of photos in this post…but it’s 9 am on a Saturday, so I hope you’ll forgive me!