Riz à l’Orientale


(Vegetarian Rice Bowl)

Riz à l'Orientale


Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child

This is a very simple meal. What takes the longest I think is actually just cooking the rice. It reminded me of an Asian-style rice that is quite common in Spain: arroz a las tres delicias. I love the combination of vegetables, rice and omelette. It also has a nice presentation, I think.

Yield: 4 servings


  • 4 cups hot cooked rice
  • 1 cup minced onions cooked in butter and mixed herbs
  • 1 cup diced eggplant, sautéed in oil
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 2-3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp butter


  1. With the rice in a saucepan, fluff in the onions, eggplant and cherry tomatoes. Season to taste. Keep warm while you prepare the omelette
  2. To prepare the omelette, beat the eggs, a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper in a mixing bowl until the whites and yolks are just blended.
  3. Place the butter in a 7-inch omelette pan and set over very high heat. As the butter melts, tilt the pan in all directions to film the sides. When the foam has almost subsided in the pan and butter is about to color, it is hot enough to pour in the eggs.
  4. Hold the panhandle with your left hand, thumb on top, and immediately start sliding the pan back and forth rapidly over the heat. At the same time, a table fork in the right hand, its flat side against the bottom of the pan, stir the eggs quickly to spread them continuously all over the bottom of the pan as they thicken. In 3 or 4 seconds, they will become a light, broken custard.
  5. Lift the handle of the pan to tilt it at a 45-degree angle over the heat and rapidly gather the eggs at the far lip of the pan with the back of your fork. Still holding the pan tilted over the heat, run your fork around the lip of the pan under the far edge of the omelette to be sure it has not adhered to the pan.
  6. Give 4 or 5 short, sharp blows on the panhandle with your right fist to loosen the omelette and make the far edge curl over onto itself. If it doesn’t, use the fork or a spatula to help you.
  7. Hold the pan tilted over the heat for a few more seconds to brown the bottom of the omelette very lightly.
  8. Transfer the omelette to a warm plate and cut into strips.
  9. Spoon the rice into 4 warm bowls. Decorate with the omelette strips.
  10. Serve with chopsticks and, if desired, soy sauce.


Comments: This is honestly a very easy and fast meal. It might look a bit intimidating with so many steps involved in making the omelette, but don’t worry. I do recommend that you study the steps for making the omelette before hand because you cannot stop to read the directions while you are making it.


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