Introduction: Easy Tamagoyaki (egg Sushi)

Picture of Easy Tamagoyaki (egg Sushi)

When I was very young I was treated to sushi for the first time in Little Tokyo in Los Angeles. I remember it fondly because I was amazed at the sushi bar's method of serving, small, multicolored plates of sushi on a conveyor belt continuously rolled by my toddler level eyes.

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!

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Good nonstick tamago or crepe pan (I'm using a great square pan bought from a local store called Marukai - which is luckily not too bad a drive away from me).

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

Measuring spoons.

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!

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The recipe I'm using is quite simple:

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

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Before we start cooking, remember that sushi is a lot about balance. You want a good balance of the sweet and savory, egg to rice ratio. Modify the recipe as you see fit.

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

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Turn on medium heat and oil your pan, make sure you get the sides of the pan oiled because this is where you'll be leaning the egg and sliding your spatula around. I usually use a piece of paper towel to spread the cooking oil around.

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

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Tilt your pan around to spread the mixture, you want to spread the egg evenly around the pan, without it being too thin. This shouldn't take more than a few seconds. Wait for it to cook a little, it should be opaque and start bubbling up from underneath as the bottom cooks. Now comes the fun part.

Step 6: Cooking Technique 3

Picture of 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?

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Keep folding your egg up, don't worry too much about the omelette being runny or raw on the inside, it should cook up from any residual heat. If not, simply leave it on medium heat for a little while longer, just be careful not to burn the omelette.

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

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Here's a picture of a few ways to serve tamagoyaki, I didn't have any meal associated with creating this instructable, so I just sliced it up. I browned my tamago a little more than I would have liked, but this is purely aesthetic, I like the outside of my tamago to be yellow and bright, the interior browning does look pretty though.

Thanks for reading!


CastonA (author)2015-07-22

You don't use fish sauce to keep it vegetarian...but you're using eggs?????

TheresaLColes (author)CastonA2015-09-06

eggs are considered vegetarian, you might be confusing vegetarian for vegan (eggs are not vegan)

jwork1 (author)2011-07-24

Good recipe, however your heat was FAR too high. Either that, or you simply cooked it too long before rolling it. Your tamago should not come out browned, but rather a pale, uniform sunny yellow color...

AndrewM15 (author)jwork12015-03-11


AndrewM15 (author)2015-03-11

Yum... :3

Uthman (author)2010-02-09

 i've never used mirin in cooking (until recently) because i cant consume alcohol for religious reasons. i've finally figured out how to make a decent non-alcoholic substitute so i cant wait to try this!

AlKaswa (author)Uthman2010-08-03

Oh, my. Please do share; I'm in exactly the same boat as you (more or less) and I love to hear more about this substitute.

Uthman (author)AlKaswa2013-05-27

@AlKaswa - I didn't even notice that someone had replied to by comment back in 2010 until Instructables emailed me when Creamaster below commented XD.

Mirin is a very sweet rice wine. The alcohol content is around 8% and while it is true that most of this 8% will burn off, at least Islamicly we still shouldn't consume foods where alcohol is intentionally added to it. I say intentionally added because there would be a difference if you were preparing something that 'started' to ferment but was not fermented yet (to a point where it could cause the effects of intoxication), vs you preparing something and then adding small amounts of known alcohol into it. The later is not permissible.

Anyhow, back on topic, I've seen a few non-alcoholic substitutions for mirin. Usually when added to asian cooking, mirin isn't just for the sweet flavor but also to add that shiny luster and to deglaze pots, etc. While these substitutions are of course Not Mirin, and since I've never actually had mirin myself I can't say for self it does the same thing or even taste the same, this is what I have been doing:

Original Recipe when I posted Feb 9th 2010:
1/3 rice vinegar, 1/3 water, 1/3 corn syrup and some brown sugar for coloring

Other Potential Suggestions found online
Apple Juice

Light (colored), low sodium chicken broth, mixed with sugar

Apple cider vinegar, sugar and honey

Best of luck in your asian cooking endeavors !

Creamaster (author)AlKaswa2013-05-27

FYI: I'm not sure if this will satisfy your Priest/Rabbi/Mullah or self, but if alcohol is your concern, it is possible to remove it while keeping the flavour of the bottle as the cooking process evaporates the alcohol.

If you'd like to be extra sure, you can also pour the cooking wine into a shallow bowl and light the liquid on fire. The slow blue flame will burn off most of the alcohol before you cook and the cooking itself with remove the remainder, leaving only the taste.

diy_kat (author)2013-01-24

Thank you. I really enjoyed the instructable and will try it tomorrow :)

ggainaru (author)2011-05-10

this was delicious,thx for the recipe...i just made it and had a yumy meal:)))

Ikkalebob (author)2010-10-25

absoloutely delicious! I had to improvise due to lack of equipment so I used a frying pan, and it worked brilliantly. You should try putting some sweet chilli sauce in with the mixture it makes it very tasty. Thanks for a great instructable!

scoochmaroo (author)2010-01-04

I've added a link to this in my sushi instructable.  Yours looks much prettier than mine :)

dizzytired (author)scoochmaroo2010-01-04

Cool!  I liked yours as well!  Particularly because you put the wasabi on, authentic sushi chef style!  Thanks!

scoochmaroo (author)dizzytired2010-01-05

Ha, thanks!  It was ugly, but it was delicious.
Even my boyfriend who normally eschews tamago loved it.

Mr. Brownie (author)2009-08-05

A while back, I went to this little restaurant called Taiko Japanese, and they had the best unagi I have ever tasted. So, I'm wondering if there is a place in the Midwest that I could buy unagi meat from?

shabaki (author)2009-06-29

dude it looks awesome now all i want is to try it out

sideways (author)2008-06-04

Yum. Here's mine, based on what I had available. I used white cooking wine for rice wine, cut back on the sugar, and baby greens and radishes from my garden.

dizzytired (author)sideways2009-06-17

Very nice!

halume (author)sideways2009-06-17

waaa~ such a cute layout!!

walkerpedia (author)2008-11-27

wait, you said that you didnt add fish stock because you wanted to keep it vegetarian? never mind those embryos you consumed........jk lol

dizzytired (author)walkerpedia2008-11-28

Yeah, I know it's contradictory, but the friend that inspired this dish (who is strict vegan now), was a vegetarian before, and eggs were okay (as long as they were from her own chickens). Even now I believe she is willing to eat her own chickens eggs, but I'm not exactly sure.

kitsuken (author)dizzytired2009-04-17

Some vegetarians don't mind dairy products as the eggs were never fertilized, so no animals were harmed in producing them (assuming they are free range, not battery)

walkerpedia (author)dizzytired2008-11-28

it is good stuff though........especially with home-grown eggs.........i wonder how it would taste with quail eggs

dizzytired (author)dizzytired2008-11-28

Err, not inspired as I created it, but inspired as in "dude, make me something that tastes good"

Umeko (author)2008-11-14

I love this stuff but i make it a bit different, i make a thin layer to begin with, roll it up, push it to the back then add more mix, cook, roll push back and repeat... you then get a long spiral inside which looks pretty :D

Miss World (author)2008-09-22

I've got to try this when I get home! thank you for sharing your recipe :D

josefu0 (author)2008-08-21

did you go to a place called OOmasa

seifip (author)2008-07-24

OK, It's not perfect visually (I only had a small round pan) but the taste was really, really gorgeous!!

container_gardener (author)2008-06-13

Thank you. I've always wanted to know how to make this.

olivier94austin (author)2008-05-25

omg i just made this stuff and it is so good. Its the best thing i have had in awhile. Idin't even know about this until i saw this tutorial. OH ya and i took a picture like 3 seconds ago here it is

awesome, I'm glad to know someone made it!

julianull (author)2008-05-12

pretty much the only time i eat this is in my wonton min at zippys here in hawaii...they make it so it has super thin layers...nice lil garnish

westfw (author)julianull2008-05-13

So is it supposed to have discernible layers, or is supposed to look like a big thick uniform piece of egg? I think I've seen it both ways in restaurants, and I can even imagine both styles having associated skill requirements and followers...

julianull (author)westfw2008-05-13

they have huge griddles and sushi trained chefs on hand so i am sure that has something to do with the intricacy

Chefboy6382 (author)2008-05-12

nice job, though the japanese frown on the color brown in their tamago.

dizzytired (author)Chefboy63822008-05-12

Yeah, this was a quickie cook at lunch, cheap way out if you burn it is to simply slice off the outer layer

Chefboy6382 (author)dizzytired2008-05-12

but if you burn something the burnt flavor will stay with it...

theRIAA (author)2008-05-12

it's just an omelet without the good stuff /: i guess it would go good with sushi...

bigwhitebear18 (author)theRIAA2008-05-12

correction, its a sweet omelette made with rice wine. :) and yah I like mine a little less brown too. wonder if you can put stuff in the egg like an omelette?

Maybe I'll post another instructable about "okonomiyaki" which is a delicious pan fried batter cake with egg in it, kinda like an omelette. My first try wasn't the best though.

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