Tamagoyaki is the Japanese rolled omelet that is popularly served for breakfast, put in a bento (Japanese lunch box) as a side dish or used as a filling in sushi. Tamagoyaki, literally meaning 'grilled/fried egg', is made by rolling together thin layers of seasoned egg in a frying pan.
Flavors of tamagoyaki vary and different types of fillings can be added. Preferably, it's good to use a square tamagoyaki pan to make tamagoyaki, but it can be cooked in a regular frying pan. When sugar is added in tamagoyaki, it gets burned easily, so please watch the heat carefully.
Tamagoyaki is often seasoned with soy sauce and sugars, but nothing can beat the flavor of dashi. Dashi is very simple to make, but umami-rich kombu and katsuobushi give this stock wonderful rich flavors without overpowering the other ingredients. By adding dashi to the egg mixture, the egg gets a nice umami boost and the dashimaki tamago has deeper, more complex flavors than regular Tamagoyaki.
Technically, when dashi is added to the egg mixture, the dish is actually called Dashimaki Tamago. Dashi is the Japanese stock made of kombu (edible kelp) and Katsuobushi (smoked bonito flakes). When dashi is added to the egg mixture, the liquid gets thinner. Hence, the resulting texture is finer than Tamagoyaki. It’s also juicier due to the higher liquid content in the egg mixture.
If you’ve never made this before, I highly recommend to start with tamagoyaki first, then add dashi to the egg mixture and slowly increase the amount of dashi. In general, 1 tablespoon of dashi per egg is a good place to start, but you can definitely add more when you become an expert.
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 3 tablespoons dashi soup stock
- 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons sugar (adjust the sweetness to your taste but watch for burning).
- Beat eggs in a bowl.
- Add dashi soup and sugar in the egg and mix well.
- Heat a tamagoyaki pan on medium heat. Oil the pan.
- Pour a scoop of egg mixture in the pan and spread over the surface.
- Cook it until half done and roll the egg toward the bottom side.
- Move the rolled egg to the top side.
- Oil the empty part of the pan and pour another scoop of egg mixture in the space and under the rolled egg.
- Cook it until half done and roll the egg again so that the omelet becomes thicker.
- Cook the omelet until done.
- If you are using a regular frying pan, shape tamagoyaki on bamboo mat.
- Cut tamagoyaki into 1-inch thick pieces.