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This is Not My Final Project

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Colleen and I are collaborating on a top secret final project, so I’ve been pretty quiet about what’s going on with that. I do, however, want to blog about things, but lately everyone’s been blogging about their final projects. I feel left out, so I’m blogging about things that are not my final project from now on.

Every week I scrape together a Features page and every week there is a recipe in the “Cooking Corner” and, while I enjoy my food columnists’ recipes, I occasionally wish I was the one writing recipes and they were the ones doing all of my work. Or something. So today I’m sharing a recipe that’s been passed through my group of friends. It’s easy, it’s delicious and, most importantly, it’s cheap, as there are only two essential ingredients. The rest is just what you happen to have on hand. There are a number of variations on this magical meal, but, at their core, they’re all Omelet Rice.

Some say Omelet Rice is an over-complicated version of fried rice. Some say it’s disgusting. I prefer to call it breakfast, lunch or dinner.

The first known serving of Omelet Rice was prepared one morning in October when my friend Matthew had exactly three ingredients in his sparse kitchen: eggs, an onion and rice. Initially he was going to make fried rice, but then something amazing happened…

As a rule, I don’t really follow recipes when I’m cooking, especially when cooking Omelet Rice, but I’m going to provide you with basic guidelines for creating Omelet Rice.

There are no measurements and you can do whatever you want to it, but I took some photos while I was making it this morning (which proved to be a challenge, as the most important part requires you to work fast. I paused to take a picture and, thus, may have consumed raw egg for breakfast, but more on that later), so this is a fairly comprehensive step-by-step guide on making one of the most over-complicated simple dishes in existence.

The first thing you need for any recipe is an ingredients list. Beyond the previously listed ingredients, I generally use a splash of olive oil, soy sauce and a ton of Sriracha to cook the onions in. I follow the instructions on the rice bag to cook the rice, though I halfed the portion because I was only making this for myself and the instructions tell you to make it for, like, four people. You’ll only need one egg for my version of Omelet Rice, though if you’re making a lot, then use more than one egg. Common sense. I also added some ground ginger in with my onions while they cooked and at the end topped the whole thing off with some shredded cheese, but those were last minute additions. There are no precise measurements in any of this because, unless you’re completely unfamiliar with feeding yourselves, you’ve probably been in a kitchen before and are not an idiot. If I am wrong about this, I apologize and maybe Omelet Rice/life isn’t for you.

Some variations on the ingredients list that I’ve been considering are adding more vegetables and straying away from the soy sauce for something a little less salty/lighter or making Mexican Omelet Rice with beans and tomatoes and chilis and no soy sauce. Omelet Rice was created, however, out of necessity and lack of resources, so I’m not sure if making gourmet Omelet Rice would be staying true to the Omelet Rice mission statement.

So, first step: start cooking the rice, per whatever instructions are on the rice/cooking rice is really simple and if you can’t do that, there’s no helping you. Some rice packages suggest adding butter or salt. I bet this is lovely if you’re eating rice by itself, but, don’t do it for this. Your rice will get enough flavor from all of the stuff you’re going to add to it .

This is what onions cooking in soy sauce and Sriracha look like. They should cook for around 10 minutes.

My rice says to cook for 20ish minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Once it looks to be about halfway cooked, so 8-10minutes in, start sauteing the onions. Throw some olive oil in the pan on medium heat, let it get hot, then toss the onions in. Let the onions cook in the olive oil for a minute or so, until they start to turn brown, then dump some soy sauce and Sriracha on them. I used too much soy sauce this time. It didn’t taste bad, but it made my Omelet Rice a little too liquidy for me. If you don’t like spicy things, don’t use Sriracha. Mix all that up and make sure the onions are coated in your soy-Sriracha mixture, then, if you want, throw some spices in there. I only used ginger, but if you want more spice, you could add cayenne pepper or something. That might be good. I don’t know. This is Omelet Rice, go crazy.

Okay, this is where things get a little complicated. It requires slight focus and moderately fast-paced movement. I was a bit hungover this morning and attempting to photograph each step and I haven’t died yet, so I think if I could do it in that state, you can probably do it. Alright, so, turn the heat on the onions down to low, give them one more good stir around the pan so they don’t stick and leave them alone for a sec. Now, scoop your desired portion of rice into a bowl and, as soon as you do that, crack an egg on it. Stir it up, add the still cooking onions, stir it all some more, toss some cheese on there if you want, stir some more so the cheese melts and there you have it: OMELET RICE.

You probably have some questions, including: “Don’t you need to cook the egg?” and “Did you eat a raw egg for breakfast this morning?” and “How are you and all of your friends not dead from this?” To answer your first question, the rice cooks the egg. It’s still hot from the stove because you did this at a rapid pace, so the rice cooks the egg. Please, no one disagree with me. Even if it’s not true, just let me believe that the rice cooks the egg. Matthew has been making Omelet Rice like this for far longer than I have and he’s fine, so, the rice cooks the egg, okay? Okay. And, even if the rice doesn’t quite cook it, you’re throwing the

Breakfast of champions

onions on top of that, which should still be sizzling when you toss those in, so between the rice and the sizzling onions, the egg is cooked. Trust me. I also learned last semester that raw eggs aren’t what give you Salmonella or whatever, it’s the unclean shells that contaminate your egg. So…that could be comforting, unless your eggshells are dirty or that girl in my travel writing class was lying. In response to that third question, if my friends and I were going to be dead, it would probably be from those Rappahannock River clams we caught and cooked on a whim in August, or all of the booze or, for me anyway, the ridiculous reliance on stimulants to get through the day.

So, in conclusion, Omelet Rice. It looks really disgusting, especially because it’s so liquidy. That is in part due to how much soy sauce I used and in part due to how little rice I put in there. I put in approximately a serving (3/4 cup cooked) of rice, but using more would help with the excess liquid problem because it would absorb it all up or something. Anyway, I don’t blame you if you don’t ever try this possibly dangerous recipe from an Internet stranger, but I guarantee that the next time you’re hungry with limited ingredients, you will be tempted to make it. Just give into temptation.

Give into the Omelet Rice.

I take no responsibility for any harm Omelet Rice may or may not cause to your health and general well-being, though I still think you should try it. According to Wikipedia, Salmonella is rarely deadly.

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