Honestly a bit afraid of what my parents were now urging me to try, I grabbed the safest looking plate. It didn't look like raw fish, more like a piece of tofu or egg on a "fun size" morsel of rice.
Well, it was, and let me tell you, tamagoyaki (tah-mah-go-yah-kee, or just tamago) still has a warm place in my heart.
Tamagoyaki is basically an omelette, it can be eaten by itself or placed on rice as nigiri sushi (nigiri - knee-gee-ree).
Step 1: Collect Your Tools!
You'll also need either chopsticks or a whisk to scramble the eggs, I prefer chopsticks because a whisk might make the eggs too bubbly.
A bowl to mix the ingredients
I also use a wide spatula and sometimes a small silicone spatula to help roll the omelette.
A sharp knife.
Step 2: Collect Your Ingredients!
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon mirin (rice wine for cooking - pick up at any asian market)
1/2 teaspoon shoyu (Soy sauce - try and find a true shoyu or Japanese soy sauce, as Chinese soy sauces will be much saltier)
salt (your preference, I usually add just a dash)
There are many recipes on the internet, many incorporating dashi (Japanese fish stock), but I stayed away from the fish stock in order to keep it cleaner tasting as well as vegetarian. Use the dashi to be more traditional if you wish.
Fun fact: A sushi bar that serves a good tamagoyaki can be an indicator of how devoted they are to sushi - tamagoyaki is not a dish that makes a lot of money, and if they do it well, then they care a lot about their sushi)
Step 3: Cooking
Crack your eggs into your bowl and add your mirin, soy sauce, and sugar while blending. You don't exactly want bubbly eggs, only frothy, to keep the omelette light and airy but still solid enough to stand on its own.
Step 4: Cooking Technique 1
Pour your mixture on evenly, you don't want it cooking immediately as it hits the pan, so you're not looking for a loud (if satisfying) fry sound as it hits, but a softer sizzle. If you're bubbling up, it's probably too hot, but don't worry, just turn down your heat, the first part of the egg that hits the pan will be in the middle of the roll, so it won't be too obvious.
Step 5: Cooking Technique 2
Step 6: Cooking Technique 3
I use a wide flat spatula for this: You'll be coming in and trying to fold over the omelette, about an inch or more depending on how you want your tamago to look or how you'll be presenting it. Flip it in and give the pan a tap on the handle to loosen up the egg (you may have seen many anime characters doing this as they cook). Give the pan a little shimmy to help move the omelette away from the back edge of the pan.
Step 7: Done? Already?
And you're done!
That was predictably fast and easy wasn't it! A rectangular tamago pan helps a lot near the end of the roll, as it keeps the edge clean and straight. Now how to serve it?
Step 8: Serving
Thanks for reading!