Roti John (Baguette Omelette Sandwich from Singapore)

Roti John is a baguette omelette and onion sandwich from Singapore, a popular street food, traditionally served with tomato ketchup.
Roti John, baguette filled with eggs and sausages
Roti John

Roti John is a baguette omelette and onion sandwich from Singapore, traditionally served with tomato ketchup.

Originally published on LinsFood.com.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

What is Roti John?

It’s a much loved baguette sandwich that can be filled with all manner of things – whatever your heart desires. But the original roti john was filled with eggs and onions.

A popular street food, it can also be filled with minced meat and cheese. Serve with a side of salad, and it’s a complete meal under 30 minutes!

Roti John, to many older Singaporeans, is synonymous with the Singapore Botanical Gardens. This is because for years, the best Roti John was found at the (now closed) Taman Serasi Food Garden just outside said Gardens.

Roti John History

Roti, as you may well know, is the generic name for bread in many cultures, whether it’s flatbread or any other kind of bread.

Legend has it that at sometime during the mid 20th century, a food stall owner was approached by an Englishman and asked if he could do him a hamburger.

Not quite knowing what he meant, despite the Englishman’s attempt at describing the hamburger, the stall owner beat together some eggs and onions and proceeded to make an omelette baguette sandwich but cooking the omelette within the bread. He then served this up with tomato ketchup on the side and said,

Sila makan roti, John.

Sila = please do, please help yourself

Makan = eat

John = all Caucasians were John!

And so, Roti John was born, much in the same way we got Ayam Kapitan, the aromatic Nyonya chicken curry.

Roti John
fill it with whatever you like!

Roti John Recipe

So the basic roti john recipe was, and still is, made with eggs and onions and served with tomato ketchup.

Not much later, minced mutton or minced beef was added to the mix and these days, you have cheese, sardines (local favourites in a lot of snacks!), pepperoni, the list is as long as the imagination! And it is served with a side of cucumbers, tomatoes, chilli sauce, tomato ketchup and more recently, mayonnaise.

Handy Hints

You can make the Roti John as mild or as spicy as you like. Add some chopped chillies (green or red) along with the onions if you like, or some chilli powder, chilli flakes or even this homemade Chipotle Paste on LinsFood.com.

I like to cook the meat before adding it to the beaten egg mix, that way, you don’t have to overcook the omelette later.

Season the meat and the egg mix very well to get the most flavour out of your sandwich, bearing in mind that the baguette is going to be as plain as can be!

Time to get cooking!

More Singaporean Recipes

Images by LinsFoodies

♥ If you like the recipe, I would love to hear from you. And don’t forget that 5-star rating below! ? Thank you! 

If you make the recipe, share it on any platform and tag me @azlinbloor, and hashtag it #linsfood.

Lin xx

Roti John

Azlin Bloor
Roti John is a baguette omelette and onion sandwich from Singapore, a popular street food, traditionally served with tomato ketchup.
5 from 35 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course lunch, Snack
Cuisine Singaporean

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 medium baguette halved
  • 200 g minced beef
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes or 1 sliced fresh red chilli
  • 4 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • cooking oil as needed

To serve

  • cucumber slices
  • tomatoes
  • red onion slices
  • green salad
  • sauces – ketchup mayo, chilli sauce

Variations on the filling

  • Cheese – cheddar gruyere, mozarella
  • Pepperoni
  • Sausages

Instructions
 

Prep Work

  • Lightly beat the eggs up in a large bowl and set aside.
  • Chop up the onion fairly finely and add to the eggs.
  • Season the beef with the chilli and half tsp salt and some pepper.
  • Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a pan on medium high heat and cook the beef for about 7-10 minutes until done and all the liquid has dried up. Tip into the bowl of eggs.
  • Season the eggs mix with the salt and some pepper.

Time to make the Roti John

  • Slice each baguette half in half again, lengthwise, leaving it attached a little (not a clean cut).
  • Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a large frying pan or flat griddle on medium high heat.
  • Pour half the egg mixture in and swirl the egg to spread slightly.
  • Place one baguette half (2 attached quarters) cut side down, onto the egg mix in the pan.
  • With your spatula, press down on the baguette, to cook the egg as well as to “attach” the baguette to the omelette. Cook for two minutes, pressing down regularly.
  • Using the edge of the spatula, tuck any excess omelette in and under the baguette slice.
  • Turn the whole lot over onto its “back” and just lightly brown the top of the baguettes.
  • Fold the baguette over, transfer to a cutting board and cut into slices.
  • Place your large knife or spatula under the baguette and transfer the whole lot onto a plate and serve with the vegetables and sauces as above for a complete meal.
  • To add cheese, place cheese of your choice in between the slices immediately after cooking.

Nutrition

Calories: 370kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 20gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 199mgSodium: 1062mgPotassium: 305mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 238IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 89mgIron: 4mg
Keyword easy recipes, singapore recipes, snack
Tried this recipe?Mention @azlinbloor or tag #linsfood!
Made this recipe?Mention @azlinbloor or tag #linsfood!

8 thoughts on “Roti John (Baguette Omelette Sandwich from Singapore)”

  1. 5 stars
    This brings back a wonderful memory that is stuck in my head for the rest of my life of getting a Roti John at the botanical garden entrance when on a business trip to Singapore. The one I got was just bread, egg, a little green onion and sweet chile sauce. So simple but so good and I was enthralled. It is funny that I asked a Singapore friend who has lived there all her life about this and she either never went to the botanical garden or had forgotten and didn’t know. Of course, she knew about Roti John but not the one at the garden entrance. Thank-you!

    1. I’m so pleased to hear that Michael. Now you know you didn’t dream it up! It used to be one of my favourite places to go to, and one always had to have Roti John.

  2. 5 stars
    I just love the story behind this yummy and handy meal/sandwich! It reminds me of Pakistani style bun-plaster and shami burger. Maybe they have similar fun beginnings too. I’m loving this new blog, Lin! It has made your Southeast Asian recipes more accessible.

  3. Patricia Abdul-Rifin

    5 stars
    I remember my sister in law making this for me and my late husband in Singapore.
    I will make this for my children

  4. Geraldine Tan

    5 stars
    Made this for lunch today, it was just so amazing. Followed your recipe exactly plus some cheese, really, really good. Will defo make again!

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