9 November 2012

Omelette: Japanese Rolled 'Tamagoyaki'

Last year on a visit to Kyoto we spent a day in the kitchen with Mariko, who teaches Japanese cooking from her home. For me, food tells you so much about a country's culture, its historical influences and its modern traditions so whenever I travel I try and find a local cooking class. Mariko was a wonderful teacher, explaining all the different ingredients, cooking utensils and the specific uses for a mutitude of soy sauce varieties! One of my favourite things we cooked, and something I make regularly at home, is Tamagoyaki a Japanese rolled omelette with "Kyoto" green spring onions.

I bought a rectangular omelette pan in Japan but a quick search online came up with wide availability through ebay, amazon and muji
Ingredients (for 2 omelettes):

  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons dashi**
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon usukuchi (light) soy sauce
  • 2 pinches salt
  • scallions (spring onions), thinly sliced (kujo-negi Kyoto green onion)
  • vegetable oil, for brushing in the pan (I use light olive oil or white sesame oil for special occasions)
** Dashi is a soup and cooking stock used in Japanese cooking, see recipe below.
Add egg mix, roll, repeat
  1. beat eggs in bowl, add all other ingredients
  2. heat omelette pan, use a square of paper towel dipped in oil (held with chopsticks) and wipe pan to coat
  3. pour small amount of egg mix into pan to cover the bottom of the pan (only enough to cover, you don't want it too thick)
  4. using chopticks/ spatula (or a combination including fingers) carefully roll the omelette towards the handle of the pan - the first roll will be difficult but will get easier as it increases in size
  5. push rolled omelette to the far end of the pan, and pour in another small amount of egg mix to cover the pan, when cooked roll towards the handle again
  6. repeat until you have the desired thickness
  7. remove from pan and cut 'across the grain' into finger width slices
Tamago Yaki is usually served with grated daikon radish and drizzled with usukuchi (light) soy sauce (I usually combine 1 tablespoon of soy sauce with 1 tablespoon of dashi)
Dashi has a flavour described as umami, one of the five "basic" tastes along with sweet, salty, sour and bitter, and is essentially described as a 'savoury delicious taste'. You can buy bottles of concentrated dashi from Asian food stores, read the label carefully as they often have MSG added. MSG also adds umami to dishes, which is why they have so much flavour, but you don't need MSG to have umami, it occurs naturally in lots of foods.
Ingredients for Dashi:
freeze any left over and use as stock for soups
  • 4 - 5 cups water
  • 10 cm long piece of sea kelp (kombu)
  • 1 large handful bonito flakes** (katsuobushi)

  1. place kombu with cold water in wide saucepan
  2. heat, when water is just boiled, take kombu out of pan
  3. add katsuobushi & turn off flame
  4. sit for 5 minutes, then strain through cheese-cloth or sieve into a bowl
Bonito flakes are also loved by cats, they are melt in the mouth smokey fish flakes, what's not to love?

No comments:

Post a Comment