Roti John: A Malaysian Twist on a Classic Sandwich

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Roti John is a popular street food dish in Malaysia, combining the flavours of an omelette with a sandwich. This unique creation has become a staple in Malaysian cuisine and has gained popularity worldwide. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what makes Roti John so special, its history and origins, and how to make it at home.

What is Roti John?

Roti John is essentially a type of sandwich that consists of an omelette filling, enclosed in a baguette-style bread that has been toasted or grilled. The omelette is made with eggs, onions, and spices such as chilli powder and turmeric. The bread is typically sliced in half lengthwise, and the omelette is placed inside, along with a variety of fillings such as cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and chilli sauce.

Roti John Chicken filled with chicken and other delicious filling.

History and Origins of Roti John

The exact origins of Roti John are unclear, but it is believed to have been invented in Singapore or Malaysia during the 1970s. It is said to have been named after a man named John, who was a Western expatriate living in Malaysia. John used to sell bread and omelettes on the streets of Kuala Lumpur, and he began to experiment with combining the two to create a new dish. The resulting sandwich was an instant hit with locals and tourists alike and soon became a popular street food item in Malaysia and Singapore.

Making Roti John at Home

Making Roti John at home is relatively simple, and it can be customised to suit your tastes. Here is a basic recipe to get you started:


1 baguette or French bread
4 eggs
1 onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and chilli sauce (optional)


Cut the baguette or French bread in half lengthwise and set aside.
In a bowl, beat the eggs, onion, chilli powder, turmeric, salt, and pepper until well combined.
Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and add the egg mixture. Cook until the eggs are set, flipping once.
Place the cooked omelette inside the bread and add any desired fillings.
Toast or grill the bread until the cheese is melted and the bread is crispy.
Cut into pieces and serve hot.

Variations on Roti John

While the basic recipe for Roti John is delicious on its own, there are many variations and additions that can be made to suit your tastes. For example, you can add sliced onions, cucumbers, or pickles to the sandwich, or swap out the cheese for a different type such as feta or mozzarella. You can also experiment with different sauces, such as sriracha or sweet chilli sauce, to add extra flavour and heat.

Roti John Chicken drizzled in mayo, chilli sauce and cheese sauce.


Roti John is a unique and delicious sandwich that combines the flavours of an omelette with a toasted baguette-style bread. Its origins are steeped in mystery and legend, but its popularity continues to grow around the world. With a few simple ingredients and some creativity, you can create your own version of this classic Malaysian dish at home. So why not give it a try and see what all the fuss is about?

Article curated by Lavanyah Magenthiran