Tamagoyaki is a Japanese dish similar to an omelet. It’s scrambled eggs a little thicker than crepes rolled into layers. It’s those little egg rolls in the photo above. It can be a bit tricky to make but if you have a flat rubber spatula (for baking) and patience then you can easily master it. It took me a couple of fails to get a hang of it. The secret is in pouring the egg in batches, rolling it slowly so it doesn’t rip and making sure the new batch you pour in cooks into the last.
1. oil the pan, use a tissue, brush or spray bottle to coat it lightly.
- Many of the calories from fat that we consume if from fried food. In essence, a lot of food is not fat or fattening but if the only way you cook is frying… Then you are eating a lot more fat than you need.
2. crack eggs, add salt, pepper, mix gently DO NOT BEAT. beating it will make it foam, and the foam doesn’t translate into tamagoyaki well.
3. Pour a third of the egg mixture into the pan. wait until bubbles form on surface or eggs set a bit. Better to keep it a bit runny so the eggs aren’t dry later on, it will continue to cook after you roll it.
- If using a tamagoyaki pan, roll as usual. The first little bit is the most important part. Japanese women use long cooking chopsticks, I don’t have the dexterity for that so I use a silicone baking spatula (from saizen at 85PHP, 200yen, or 1.50 USD).
- If using a regular pan, try to keep the egg as rectangular as you can. It doesn’t have to be perfect, you can always cut the excess off the sides though. Make a small fold about 1/4 inch, then continue to roll it slowly.
- If adding a filling (for flavor or color) add it after about 3 folds, make the filling thin at first.
4. Add another third of the egg, add filling and roll. Repeat.
5. Let cool, best if placed in a bamboo mat to cool evenly.
6. Cut the scrap ends off. Cut 1/2 – 1 inch wide, or to your preference.
For the last roll sprinkle pan with sesame seeds, (either black or white is fine) and gently pour the egg on top of it. You can also garnish with Japanese mayo. This also helps if your egg is a little dry. Sometimes I cut them 3 inches wide then diagonally down the center leaving 1/4-1/2 an inch at the base.
Authentic recipes add mirin and soy sauce and exclude pepper. This is some medium between how mr catfish likes it (w/o mirin) and how I like it (w/ pepper).
If you want the traditional sweet tamagoyaki have a look at Maki’s just bento site, being Japanese she would know the authentic recipes better than me.
[Organic and Healthy]
- Use Himalayan pink salt
- Organic pepper
- Organic or native egg
- Organic soy sauce – as about 80% of soy is now GMO
[ Other Options ]
- Soy sauce – makes eggs a bit brown but adds flavor. Its good to invest in better quality soy. In the Philippines Kikkoman is the best we can get, but in japan there are finer brands.
- Mirin – is likened to cooking sherry, but is different in flavor of course. It makes the eggs sweet.
- Seaweed – gives a grayish blacks color to the inside of the roll. Tastes okay too.
- Red cabbage – Chop coarsely for a “chocolate chip” look, or finely for a light addition of color.
- Carrots, basil, tomatoes, olives, or capers can also be added.
- Sesame seeds – gives a nice well-prepared look to the dish
- In fact you can add whatever you want – this is basically a protein dish, you can add anything to the eggs as long as you will enjoy it. Keep colors and flavors in mind.
- Market Fresh: Eggs (thecooksnextdoor.com)
- Weekend Cooking: Soy Sauce Eggs (leeswammes.wordpress.com)
- Hot weather, fresh flavors- edamame and seaweed salad (ovenhappy.wordpress.com)
- The Basics of Soy Sauce (friendseat.com)