Eggs are the ultimate pandemic pantry essential. They are very versatile and a cheap source of protein. (But, if you’re looking to maintain your blood cholesterol to a minimum like I am, it is, of course, best to eat yolks in moderation.)
But eating fried eggs every day, even if it goes well with everything, is a recipe for “umay.” Luckily there are many recipes to transform the humble yolk and white, including a Japanese dish called tamagoyaki.
Tamagoyaki, simply put, is rolled fried thin layers of egg cooked ever so slowly so the resulting roll is fluffy and not tough to chew.
Writer Toni Potenciano has spent a better part of quarantine trying to recreate this beloved Japanese fare partly because of the comfort it brings. “Besides enjoying egg dishes in general, I think a lot of what makes this dish comforting for me is the fact that I enjoy the pursuit of the perfect rolls. It’s nice to have a sense of progress.” To up her tamagoyaki game, she even had to buy a specialized tamagoyaki pan and spatula to shape the roll right.
Toni, who shares her near-perfect recipe for tamagoyaki on Comfort Kitchen, however, says the pan and spatula is not necessary. A round pan will do but, of course, the edges wouldn’t be as clean. Then again, who really cares about small things like that in quarantine? Instagram food influencers, that’s who!
Anyway, here’s what you need to make Japanese restaurant-grade tamagoyaki at home:
Makes 1 roll
4 large eggs
2 tsp sugar (but you can adjust this)
½ tsp soy sauce
⅛ tsp salt
1 tsp mirin, optional
3 tbsp dashi broth, optional
- Mix the sugar, soy sauce, salt, (mirin, dashi) in a bowl until sugar granules are more or less dissolved
- Crack four eggs in a separate container, cut eggs, do not overbeat
- Combine sauce mixture and eggs, pour into Pyrex or similar container for pouring
- Set pan on a low to medium heat
- Lightly coat pan with oil. Use an oiled kitchen towel to thinly spread oil
- Pour a thin layer of egg mixture
- It’s ready for rolling once the top is cooked through, but not too totally cooked
- Roll the cooked first layer to the top of your pan with your spatula or chopsticks
- Coat pan with oil again and pour another thin layer of egg mixture
- Repeat until egg mixture is finished. Stir your egg mixture every now and then to keep the flavors even
- Once done, take egg off the heat, let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing
Header photo by Yanna Potenciano
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