Two Tamago (Japanese Omelette) Recipes

Two Tamago (Japanese Omelette) Recipes

There are two ways to make tamago. The easy way and the hard way. If you want perfect little rectangles of single-hued, custard-like egg exactly like you see on the sushi boats, get a tamago pan. But if you are satisfied with something yummy and infinitely easier to make, I have a recipe for you too.

A sort of all-purpose, savory/sweet dish, you can serve tamago for breakfast, with rice and miso soup, in a bento box for lunch, or as part of a dinner spread of japanese small plates. Both types start with the same ingredients, only the cooking method differs. If you need some more kick to your egg, you can add leafy greens like spinach, mushrooms, or crab sticks.

Serves: 4-6
Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Adapted from NibbleDish and RecipeZaar

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • dashi stock*
  • mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine used for cooking)
  • soy sauce
  • sugar
  • salt
  • cooking oil

Note*: If you do not have dashi on hand, don’t fret! Just crumble off a corner of a vegetable or chicken broth cube and dissolve it in 1/3 cup of hot water. For instructions on how to make dashi stock, see the tofu dengaku recipe.

Easy Homemade Japanese Egg Omelette

For those who do not possess a regulation tamago pan and want to make tamago without the steep learning curve. I usually use this method, since it requires less dedicated attention.

Method

  • Heat a frying pan over medium low heat.
  • In a small mixing bowl, beat the eggs until smooth.
  • Add 4 tablespoons of stock, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 teaspoon of mirin, and a large dash of salt and mix well.
  • Oil the pan thoroughly (with spray oil if you have it).
  • Pour one third of the egg mixture into the pan and twirl the pan so the mixture evenly coats the bottom.
  • Let the omelette cook for about two minutes, until the egg mixture is set well.
  • Using one or two spatulas (depending on your confidence in flipping), quickly lift and flip the omelette.
  • Cook on the flipped side for 30 seconds to a minute and remove the omelette from the pan.
  • Re-oil the pan and repeat with the remaining egg mixture.
  • Slice the tamago rounds into long thin strips. You can serve them as is, in strips, or for elegant appetizers, fold them in thirds, bringing the outer edge to meet in the middle and securing the edges with a toothpick.

Fancy Iron Chef Tamagoyaki

A Lone Tamago Nigiri by su-lin from Flickr

A Lone Tamago Nigiri by su-lin from Flickr

For serious Japanese home cooks, this is the way to go. Though it is slightly faster than making simple omelettes, this type of tamago requires much more and more constant attention than the omelettes described above. The more you practice this method, the easier it becomes. Make sure you have a tamago pan on hand – don’t try to fudge this with a normal round saute pan.

Method

  • Heat a tamago pan over medium heat.
  • In a small mixing bowl, beat the eggs until very, very smooth.
  • Add 4 tablespoons of stock, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 teaspoon of mirin, and a large dash of salt and mix well.
  • Oil the pan thoroughly (with spray oil if you have it).
  • Pour one fourth of the egg mixture into the tamago pan and quickly spread it to evenly coat the pan.
  • After about a minute, the mixture should be bubbling on top and set on the bottom. Use your spatula to pick up about an inch worth of omelette on the outer edge. Flip the edge back on the rest of the omelette so that you have a fold. Then flip this fold back on the rest of the omelette and continue doing so until you have a roll on one side of the pan.
  • Re-oil the pan and pour in another portion of the mixture, lifting your existing roll to make sure the new, uncooked egg gets underneath it.
  • When the new batch of egg begins to bubble and set, roll your roll across the pan and then back. On the way back, roll the new batch of egg into your existing roll.
  • Repeat with the rest of your egg mixture and then remove your roll from the pan.
  • Using a cheese cloth or sushi mat, roll the egg into a round or rectangle and squeeze out the excess liquid.
  • When the tamago has cooled a bit, cut it into strips and serve as is or with rice and a strip of nori, nigiri-style, as shown above.

Enjoy!

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