Omurice

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When I lived in Okinawa there was a restaurant directly next door.  One of my favourite treats was omurice or fried rice omelette. I discovered as I went to other eateries around the island, that the recipe varied, as did the topping.  Some had elaborate ketchup designs, while other just squirted the tomato sauce in the centre.  One place near Chibana served theirs with gravy rather than ketchup.  All were tasty, and varied from mixed vegetable rice, to chicken fried rice.  This recipe is for a pescetarian friendly prawn omurice.

 

Ingredients:

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  • Onion 1
  • Prawns (Shrimp) 200 g
  • Sunflower Oil 2 Tbs
  • Sesame Oil 1 tsp
  • Peas 1/2 cup
  • Garlic 1 clove
  • Carrot 1/2
  • Salt dash
  • Chinese Five Spice 1/2 tsp
  • Black Pepper dash
  • Cooked white or Japanese Rice cups
  • Soy Sauce 1 tsp
For omelette:
  • Eggs 4 large 
  • Milk 2 Tbsp
  • Sunflower Oil splash

Topping:

2 Tbs Tomato Ketchup or 1/4 cup Onion Gravy

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Method:

Finely dice the garlic, and dice the red pepper and onion relatively small. Grate the carrot.  In a wok or frying pans add the oils and bring to a high heat.  Add garlic and onion into oils and begin to move it about, after 30 seconds or so add the carrot and pepper.  Continue to stir fry and after about 5 minutes when veg is becoming tender add the salt, pepper, and five spice.  Finally after another 30 seconds to a minute add the peas and prawns, once warmed and well mixed with the veg and oil, stir in the cooked rice.  Mix well, and splash in the soya.  Remove from heat and place in a bowl.

In a separate bowl mix the eggs and milk and whisk until uniformly coloured.  In a frying or omelette pan add a splash of oil and bring to a medium high heat. Pour in half of the egg mixture and tilt pan from side to side so that maximum surface area is covered.  When egg thickens and almost no liquid egg is left flip the egg with a spatula.  Spoon in half of the rice and fold over to make an enclosed omelette. Place on plate, and repeat the omelette making process.

Garnish the omelettes with your chosen topping, and enjoy.  This makes two servings.

By omitting the prawns this dish becomes both vegetarian and kosher.

Padre

 

 

Nakagusuku Castle: A Tale of Loyalty and Betrayal

 

When I was in Okinawa several years ago, I paid a visit to Nakagusuku Castle.  This is an interesting ruin, with still impressive walls and fortifications.  While it may well have changed some from when I made the visit decades ago, more recent photographs seem to indicate that the site is still virtually unchanged.

Apart from the views and impressive stonework, the story behind the castle is enthralling.  Here is one variation of the tale as it was told to me.

King Sho Taikyu of the Ryukyus ruled over a kingdom divided by ambitious nobles. Chief of these was Amawari who had power in the north.  The loyal Lord Gosamaru, built the impressive Nakagusuku Castle as a buffer between the king and Amawari.

In 1458 CE, Amawari went to the king and told him that Gosamaru had built the fortress, not to defend, but to overthrow the king.  As a result Sho Taikyu  commissioned Amawari to lead the royal army against Nakagusuku to preempt any rebellion.

The king’s army arrived as Gosamaru was observing a moon viewing celebration, and seeing the approaching army flying royal banners, the loyal baron, rather than defying the king, committed suicide.

This was not the victory over his rival that Amawari had hoped.  For when Gosamaru’s head was taken to the king, a note was found in his mouth explaining Gosamaru’s treachery.  The king soon turned his armies against the Amawari’s stronghold, Katsuren Castle, and the baron was defeated and executed.

This again is a great story, and the ruins themselves a great site to visit if in Okinawa.

Padre