Tag Archives: book fair

Omu Raisu (Japanese Rice Omelet)

close up omu raisu

I don’t know about you all, but I am so not ready for Christmas and the end of the year! I find myself juggling so many things to begin with, but then there’s presents to procure, work to finish, cookies to bake… Before we left for our travels to the midwest for Thanksgiving, we three enjoyed the Annual Children’s Book Festival at the Brooklyn Museum.  If you are in the area, it is a wonderful opportunity to meet Brooklyn authors.  It’s usually the Saturday before Thanksgiving, and it’s free!

It was packed like this all day.  That's me and Jamie on the bottom right.

It was packed like this all day. That’s me and Jamie on the bottom right.

My friend, Claude, took this of us.

My friend, Claude, took this of us.

I also did a book reading, craft, and signing this past weekend at Grace Church School in Brooklyn, where Jamie went to pre-school.  I can’t believe it’s been SEVEN years since we first entered that beautiful building!

Me reading Soup Day

Me reading Soup Day — Jamie doing a great job not looking bored!

It is always very nostalgic going there.  My very first post on this blog was the Rocking Horse Cookies  I made for a Bake Sale there.  Time flies…

As for the Omu Raisu…  This is one of those common dishes that you could find everywhere in Japan — I haven’t been in ages, so I don’t know what it is like now.  It’s a Japanese version of a Western dish.  And as I saw when I lived there, way back in the 90s, “Western” often included ketchup.  I taught a cooking class there with my friend, Elaine, to some of my (adult) English language students.

We decided to do Crunchy Tacos– American style– as in, the kind you get at Taco Bell.  At the time it was pretty impossible to get authentic Mexican ingredients where we were living.  It was really fun, and the students loved the tacos, but the one thing I remember is them saying that it would be good with ketchup. lol

Anyway, one of my favorite scenes in the movie, Tampopo, directed by Juzo Itami, is when this hobo makes Omu Raisu in a deserted ship kitchen for Tampopo’s son.  View here.  It’s so cute!  The hobo’s version is not stuffed– he cooks a perfect omelet and puts it atop a bed of ketchup rice.

Here is a video on how to make a Miffy Lion Omu Raisu!!  I found this while searching for the scene in Tampopo.  OMG.  The Japanese are so good at cute.

Omu Raisu is one of Jamie’s favorite dishes — he’s a ketchup fiend.  I hadn’t made it in awhile, but while visiting my brother, he introduced us to this awesome YouTube channel, “Cooking with Dog”. We  watched numerous episodes on Apple TV while there.  I love that the dog just sits on a stool in the background as the chef cooks.  Here is the Cooking with Dog Omu Raisu episode.

My Omu Raisu is a simplified version.  I don’t use tomato sauce, just ketchup.  You can fill it with whatever meat and vegetables you like, but I like to use the traditional chicken.  I love white rice, but only had brown rice on hand.  As you can see, I have picky eaters to please, so I made different fillings for everyone.  I made a big batch of chicken and onions and rice first; doled out a portion for Denis in a bowl; then added the ketchup, peas, and corn (all things Denis hates); doled out a portion for Jamie; and then added cooked broccoli to the remaining filling for myself.  It was like a logic problem. filling diagramThen I made omelets and filled with with each person’s filling! omu raisu on fork

Before I share the recipe, I just wanted to thank Chef Mimi for giving  me the I Am Part of the WordPress Family Award.

Thank you, Chef!  I usually don’t post about awards because I am extremely busy, and I always have a slight bout of anxiety thinking of gathering other links, notifying the recipients of the awards, and wondering what  they will do.   But I was so touched by Chef Mimi’s no pressure attitude.  Plus, she’s a self taught cook like me and learned along the way while raising and feeding her family.  She has a wonderful collection of recipes in her recipe guide on her blog, so check it out!

omu raisu above
Omu Raisu (Japanese Omelet Rice) For three servings

4 teaspoons oil

Some onion — about 1/2 cup, diced, depending on your taste

about 1/4 cup cooked rice for each serving 1 chicken breast, chopped into small pieces about 1 cup of cooked vegetables

2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup ketchup, depending on how much you like ketchup 6 eggs (1-2 per person)

1)  Saute onions and chicken in 1 teaspoon oil in a non stick pan.  When it’s cooked, added cooked rice and cooked vegetables and ketchup.  Stir to incorporate.  Remove to a dish.

2)  Using a clean pan, heat 1 teaspoon oil and swirl around.

3) Beat 1-2 eggs in a bowl.  Add to pan.  Move around so that the egg covers bottom of pan.  When it’s almost done, lay filling on one half of egg circle.  Flip other half on top.  Put a plate on pan and flip omelet out onto the plate.  (The cooking with dog chef puts the filling in the middle and folds each side over — you can do this too, but my way is easier!)
4)  Serve immediately, garnished with more ketchup!


Filed under Art Related, Books, chicken, Dinner, Eggs, Uncategorized

Brooklyn Museum Children’s Book Fair and Roasted Tomato Soup

It’s steadily getting chillier these days.  This means it’s great soup weather.  What’s more comforting than coming home to a toasty kitchen and a hot bowl of goodness?

I’m doing more book events this season to promote my book, Soup Day, which takes place during the cold winter months.  This coming Saturday (November 19) I, along with more than 30 local Brooklyn authors, including Peter Brown (Children Make Terrible Pets), Tad Hills (How Rocket Learned to Read), my friend Kate Hosford (Big Bouffant), will be at the 5th Annual Children’s Book Fair at the Brooklyn Museum from 12-4.  Please come join us if you are in the area!

Last year when Soup Day was released, I mentioned that I had written a sequel that hopefully will be published once I sell a certain number of copies of the book (this provision is an indication of how difficult it is to sell a picture book manuscript these days!  About five years ago this wouldn’t be an issue).  Well, I’ve heard from my editor that I’m only a couple thousand copies away so I’m asking you all to help me reach my goal!  Please support my cause by buying a copy of the book for a budding chef in your life!  it is a great way to introduce young kids to the joy of cooking.

“Back at home we wash the vegetables. Then Mommy chops everything into different shapes. The celery and onions become tiny squares. The carrots become circles. The potatoes become cubes. The parsley becomes confetti.”

The book was designed so well by Patrick Collins at Henry Holt.  The pages are slightly thicker than regular paper and the cover and pages have rounded corners which are perfect for young children — such a thoughtful touch by Patrick!  It also has a lower price point ($12.99 v.s $16.99) than a traditional picture book.

I leave you with a new soup recipe I developed — Sweet Roasted Tomato Soup.  Roasting the vegetables brings out their natural sweetness.  I added carrots for flavor and texture — they are  a great natural thickener packed full of vitamins and fiber.  A dash of sugar at the end and optional heavy cream stirred in rounds out the flavors.  I also made Parmesan Croutons with an old baguette.  Enjoy!

Sweet Roasted Tomato Soup

6 Roma tomatoes, halved

2 medium carrots, sliced into ½ -inch slices

kosher salt and pepper to taste

5 teaspoons olive oil, divided

1 large onion chopped, about 2 cups

3 cloves of garlic mashed and minced

½ teaspoon dried basil

½ teaspoon dried oregano

14 oz. can of diced tomatoes

3 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1-2 teaspoons sugar

¼ cup heavy cream (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss tomatoes and carrots in 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Spread in a single layer on baking sheet lined with foil.  Roast tomato halves cut side up.
  3. Roast in oven for 30 minutes, stirring carrot pieces halfway through.
  4. Remove from oven and set aside.  Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in large soup pot on stove over medium heat.  Add onions and garlic and season with a bit of kosher salt, basil, and oregano.  Saute until onions are transparent, stirring often.
  5. Add roasted vegetables to pot along with canned tomatoes and broth.  Bring to boil, turn down heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Alternatively, blend soup in batches in a blender (never fill blender more than half full), while covering lid (remove plastic center first) with dish towel.  Hold lid down while blending on low speed. Blend until soup is completely pureed and lump free. Return to pot after blending to reheat.
  7. Add sugar and salt and pepper to taste.  Add heavy cream if desired and stir to incorporate.

Makes 4-6 servings.


Filed under Art Related, Children, Soup, Soup, Vegetables, Vegetarian