Make Your Next Omelet With Chopsticks And Thank Us Later

You may have come across TikToks featuring food influencers cooking entire meals with the aid of only one kitchen tool: a pair of chopsticks.

Need to whisk eggs? Use chopsticks. Need to stir noodles in a pot of soup? Use chopsticks. Need to flip over pieces of meat or vegetable in a pan? You guessed it — use chopsticks. Chopsticks have a higher level of precision than bulkier kitchen utensils like tongs — and can be useful both in cooking and for precisely plating dishes.

But there's one dish in particular that really lets chopsticks shine: the omelet. The Japanese omelet, known as omurice, is traditionally made using chopsticks, though you could make any kind of omelet this way. Omurice is a Western-influenced dish that combines a French-style omelet with Japanese fried rice, and its name is a portmanteau of "omelet" and "rice." And the entire omelet can be cooked without using any cooking utensils aside from chopsticks.

Cooking with chopsticks

Did you know that chopsticks were actually originally designed as cooking utensils? It's true — they've been used in China since 12000 B.C. much in the way we use tongs, to safely handle ingredients in a hot pot or pan. The Chinese philosopher Confucius later encouraged the use of chopsticks for eating over sharp utensils like knives (which reminded him of butchered animals and violence). His advocacy spurred the popularity of eating with chopsticks across East Asia, including China, Japan, Vietnam, Korea, Malaysia, and more.

You can use any kind of chopstick to cook, but proper cooking chopsticks are worth hunting down. Cooking chopsticks are almost twice as long as chopsticks made for eating, around 16 inches long — compared to an average of nine inches for eating chopsticks. The extra length makes them safer to use and prevents burns from hot oil spatters or steam as you flip meat (or omelets!), and classic wooden chopsticks won't scratch your pans like metal spatulas or tongs will.

How to make omelets with chopsticks

Omurice, largely considered a nostalgic childhood dish for many Japanese, has become more popular in the U.S. over the last few years. This omelet served over rice is flavored with ketchup, making it a fascinating culinary mishmash of Eastern and Western flavors.

To make omurice, whisk your eggs in a bowl until they are thoroughly blended. Then pour your egg mixture into a hot pan and begin rapidly swirling the eggs with your chopsticks in a circular motion. When it starts to solidify, scrape the edges of your omelet back away from the pan with your chopsticks. They can then be used to tuck and gently flip your omelet over so it finishes cooking. The finishing touch is to layer your omelet over a mound of fried rice and slice your soft omelet down the middle, so it melts and pools gently around the rice. 

Of course, you can also make a Western-style omelet with cooking-style chopsticks using the same method. Top with cheese and fresh herbs for a fast and easy, but decadent, breakfast — or lunch!