dashi-maki tamago with nori (rolled omelette, 出し巻き卵 )

making dashi-maki tamago is quite a bit like constructing crepe cakes.  you work slowly with each paper thin layer. and with patience and a little bit of practice, you can end up with a plate of rolled up eggs that are quite dramatic to look at and fun to eat.

for thanksgiving, i made a great big plate of tamago rolls. i needed something that could be made in advance, served cold and easily stored until plating.  you do need some special equipment — a rectangular frying pan with a curved lip on one end and a sushi mat.  i bought one in my local sunrise mart for about US$12.  i tried making tamago in a round frying pan, but it really doesn’t work as well.

i got my recipe for dashi-maki tamago from the venerable shizuo tsuji’s japanese cooking: a simple art. i found the resulting omelet to be a bit lacking in flavour (either that or my taste buds have become de-sensitized) and have adjusted the recipe by the addition of sugar.

Dashi-Maki Tamago
(makes 2 rolls about 8 inches in length and 1.5 inches in diameter)

Eggs 8 large ones
Dashi or chicken stock 2/3 to ¾ cup
Salt ½ tsp
Mirin 1 tbsp
Sugar 1.5 tbsp
Soy Sauce 1 tbsp
Nori 6 sheets cut in half to approximately fit the rectangular tamago pan
Vegetable Oil A few tbsps
  1. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, dashi, salt, mirin, sugar, and soy sauce until just combined.  The mixture should not be frothy. (Depending on the type of sugar used, you may want to dissolve the sugar in a little bit of warm broth/dashi).
  2. Divide mixture in half.  One half will be used to make one rolled omelette.
  3. Heat the tamago pan over medium heat.  Lightly wipe the pan with cloth moistened with oil.  Test to see if pan is hot enough by putting a dab of egg mixture into the pan.  It should sizzle.
  4. When the pan is ready, pour 1/3 of egg mixture (from the half portion that had been set aside) in the pan.  Shift the pan around so that the egg mixture is spread evenly.  Add a piece of nori on top of the uncooked egg.  When the egg is about 70% cooked, use chopsticks or a spatula to roll the egg towards one end of the pan. Leave the egg in the pan.
  5. Pour in another 1/3 of the egg mixture.  Briefly lift the 1st egg roll up to allow the new egg mixture underneath the cooked portion of the roll.  Then add a piece of nori on top of the uncooked egg again.  Repeat with final 1/3 of egg mixture.
  6. When the omelette roll is completed, remove it from the pan and wrap it in a bamboo sushi mat.  Press the egg gently to shape it.  A small amount of broth-like liquid should be secreted from the roll.  If there’s no liquid, the omelette has been overcooked.
  7. Slice the roll into 2-3 inchs long cylinders to serve.
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