Korea's Super Satisfying 'Tornado' Omelet Technique

If you are at all interested in the Asian food scene, you have probably heard of omurice, Japan's viral "exploding" omelet. According to Saveur, the dish is created by piling ketchup-infused rice onto a plate and delicately placing a thin-skinned omelet on top. When the skin is sliced open, the still-runny inside satisfyingly oozes out across the plate. This dish has become a staple of Japan's famous Yōshoku cuisine, which incorporates western cooking techniques and ingredients. The cuisine is uniquely Japanese, but this cross-cultural exchange is notable for a country (and region) that has held strong to its deep culinary traditions. 

However, while omurice's roots are Japanese, clever egg presentations have since become popular in neighboring countries, including South Korea. The Korean variety often uses different ingredients and a unique cooking technique that has given the dish its name: the tornado omelet. And it's a favorite in the country's street food scene and definitely worth attempting at home. 

The Korean version of omurice

According to My Korean Kitchen, omurice was introduced to Korea in the early 1900s, when Japan occupied the nation. It became popular among Koreans, but has changed slightly in the ensuing years. 

The fried rice bed beneath the eggs, according to the site, is made by stir-frying thinly chopped vegetables and meat, often pork, with rice. But cooks should feel free to experiment with flavors; ginger and green onions are the veggie of choice for The Subversive Table's recipe, for example. What shouldn't be tampered with lightly is the addition of soy or Worcestershire sauce and a drizzle of ketchup.

On top of the pile of rice sits the swirly, silky torqued egg that is covered with a tasty, rich demi-glace sauce or another squirt of ketchup. The end result is a tangy, salty treat that can be found on the streets of Seoul. But if you plan to whip it at home, what's the best way to twist up the egg?

The tornado technique

Well, suffice it to say that you shouldn't be disappointed if you don't get it right on the first attempt as the tornado technique takes a lot of practice to perfect, according to Fine Dining Lovers

The first step is to whisk the eggs thoroughly and season them with salt and pepper to taste. Then, as Kitchn instructs, take a small, oiled non-stick pan, and pour in the eggs to create a thin omelet layer on the bottom. While the top is still viscous, use chopsticks to swirl the eggs into the signature tornado shape. Hold the sticks on opposite sides of the omelet, then drag them to the center, pulling the cooking egg with it. When they're about an inch apart, simultaneously rotate the chopsticks with one hand and with the other, rotate the skillet in the opposite direction, as Piggyboy's video demonstrates.

Once the eggs are completely swirled, let them slide out of the pan and onto the pile of rice. It is advisable to remove the eggs prior to them being completely cooked through, as they will continue to cook out of the pan, as Kitchn notes. It may take many tries to get your tornado technique down, but we assure you the tasty and impressive-looking eggs are worth the attempts.