Tamagoyaki is a Japanese dish similar to an omelet, unique for the way that the egg is rolled over itself and seasoned with soy sauce, mirin and sugar. While tamagoyaki will sometimes use fillings such as seaweed, green onions, salmon, or tuna, it is just as often served plain.
Despite being known as a Japanese omelet, it is most commonly served for lunch or dinner.
Due to its narrow and rolled shape, Tamagoyaki is included in Japanese bento and eaten alongside rice, pickles, and meat. They can also be found inside rolled sushi or on top of sashimi. At some sushi restaurants, extra sugar will be added to serve Tamagoyaki as a dessert.
While it is possible to make it in a regular frying pan, many Japanese households and worldwide tamagoyaki enthusiasts will have specific shallow, rectangular pans made for creating the perfect rolled Tamagoyaki. There are also variations of Tamagoyaki such as Dashimaki Tamagoyaki, which is essentially just Tamagoyaki with dashi added.
Origin & Cultural Significance
The word tamagoyaki means ‘grilled egg’ in Japanese, although do not mistake Tamagoyaki for any cooked egg. It is its rolled style which makes it Tamagoyaki, a style with a contested origin.
While some evidence of a Tamagoyaki pan was found in 17th-century writings, implying that the dish is centuries old, others think that it originated post-World War II when the Japanese government promoted egg consumption among Japanese families.
This was done to promote protein intake during a time of famine. The rolled shape might have come from the need to make a compact dish that would be easy for children to take and eat at school.
Regardless of how the rolling of the egg came about, it is now a common household food made by Japanese people young and old. Rolling the perfect tamagoyaki is a coveted skill among lovers of Japanese cuisine, and it is seen as a point of pride to make a beautiful and delicious Tamagoyaki.
Japanese Tamagoyaki Recipe
Tamagoyaki is a Japanese dish similar to an omelet, unique for the way that the egg is rolled over itself and seasoned with soy sauce, mirin and sugar.
- Eggs - 4
- Soy sauce - 1 tbsp
- Mirin - 1 tbsp
- Sugar - 1 tsp
- Pinch of salt
- Cooking oil as needed
- Prepare your egg mixture. Beat 4 eggs in a small bowl.
- Add your mirin, soy sauce, sugar, and a pinch of salt.
- Put your small skillet or tamagoyaki pan onto medium heat and add a teaspoon of cooking oil. Use a paper towel to spread the cooking oil evenly around the pan.
- Add a quarter of the egg mixture to the pan.
- Once the eggs have started to cook and become solid, peel the egg up from one side and flip the very end over on itself, about ½ inches worth, or a little over. Using your spatula or chopsticks, roll the egg over onto itself until it is pushed to one side of the pan.
- If needed, dab more oil onto the empty parts of the pan.
- Add another small portion of your egg mixture. Once it begins to solidify and cook, roll the previously cooked egg onto the new egg, rolling over itself again. Your egg omelet should be getting larger and gaining more layers.
- Repeat this until you have used all of your egg mixture.
- Remove your tamagoyaki from the pan and let cool for five minutes. Slice into thin pieces and serve.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 235Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 372mgSodium: 648mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 13g