Have you ever had tamagoyaki in a Japanese izakaya or sushi restaurant? The square tamagoyaki omelettes have a simple but beautiful and almost a zen look. You can make these professional grade tamagoyaki too, with a special tamagoyaki frying pan!
- What is Tamagoyaki?
- Tamagoyaki Frying Pan
- How to Make Tamagoyaki
- Best Tamagoyaki Frying Pans and Tools
What is Tamagoyaki?
Tamagoyaki literally means fried egg in Japanese, but it is not the fried egg you imagine. Japanese Tamagoyaki is a sweet omelette rolled into a cylinder with bamboo mat and served in bite-sized pieces. Think of a cinnamon roll except it’s an egg. Tamagoyaki is a popular side dish for a Japanese breakfasts or in a bento lunch. Tamagoyaki is also eaten as a sushi topping. The egg mix of tamagoyaki is seasoned with soy sauce, sugar and mirin (Japanese cooking sake). Although tamagoyaki is made daily at home in Japan, to make the perfect tamagoyaki takes time and skills to master, even for professional chefs.
There is an art of making tamagoyaki, and does not just involved pouring beaten eggs into a pan as you would with scrambles eggs. Instead, you pour the egg mixture little by little so that layers of egg cook over one another. In traditional sushi or authentic Japanese restaurants the chefs-in-training have to make tamagoyaki for three years before they moved on to making sushi or other dishes. That is how important tamagoyaki is in the Japanese culinary scene.
There is another type of tamagoyaki called dashimaki tamago. Dashimaki literally means a “dashi broth egg roll” in Japanese. As it’s name implies, dashimaki tamago is an omelette made with dashi broth and sugar then formed into a block. The dashi broth is made of kombu kelp, tuna flakes or shiitake mushrooms. The dashi broth makes the egg more fluffy and airy in texture and adds a delicate umami flavor to it.
For making this dish at home there is a square tamagoyaki pan used specifically for cooking thin layers of eggs and rolling them together.You can make a beautiful tamagoyaki at home using these special tamagoyaki frying pans.
Tamagoyaki Frying PanIn Japan there is a square or rectangle frying pan specifically for making tamagoyaki. If you want to make Japanese food then getting a tamagoyaki frying pan is a good investment. There are three shapes of frying pans and each originated from different regions of Japan. The most common one is the rectangular tamagoyaki frying pan that is used in the Kansai region, where Osaka is. In the Kansai region they like to put dashi broth in the egg mix just like dashimaki tamago. The rectangular shape pan makes it easier to roll and flip the runny egg mix. In the Kanto region, which includes Tokyo and the surrounding prefectures, the square tamagoyaki frying pans are typically used. It is said that the square tamagoyaki frying pan is used in the Kanto region because it was easier to fold the eggs in half to be used in making the popular Edomae sushi. This tamagoyaki from this pan matched the nori seaweed they used for sushi rolls perfectly.
Lastly, the Nagoya prefecture has their own style of rectangular pan. People in Nagoya love to do everything grand: weddings, parties, or really any kind gathering. In order to host a big crowd, home cooks wanted to create a tamagoyaki that is delicious even when it’s cold. To do this, Nagoya style tamagoyaki adds more dashi broth in the egg mixture and thus needs a wider rectangular frying pan than the Kansai style. Back in the day, this wider shape allowed you to use to wooden board to roll the eggs inward from the sides.
Tamagoyaki frying pans comes in cast iron, stainless steel, copper and non-stick aluminum. To make a delicious and beautiful tamagoyaki it is important to use a frying pan that transfers heat quickly and equally. Professional chefs uses the copper tamagoyaki frying pan for this reason. If you use a copper pan make sure your heat setting is at medium-low since copper transfers heat really fast and your eggs can burn. The cast iron tamagoyaki frying pan is also a nice choice because it disperses heat, and also this can go in an oven if you want to use it when cooking a different dish. For beginners, it’s easier to use and maintain a stainless steel or a non-stick aluminum, so you might want to start with one of these.
A tamagoyaki frying pan is smaller than a regular frying pan so that you can hold it up or tilt it in order to roll the the thin layer of cooked egg from one side of the pan to the other. You may need a little practice in the beginning, but once you master the technique, Japanese tamagoyaki will be your signature side dish that will wow your family and guests.
How to Make Tamagoyaki
Dashimaki Tamago Recipe
Authentic Japanese dish for breakfasts
Ingredients (Serves 4)
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tsp. light soy sauce (usukuchi shoyu)
- 1 tsp. mirin or white sugar
- Tamagoyaki frying pan
- Bamboo mat
- Oil brush or paper towel
- Gently mix eggs, soy sauce and miring or sugar together.
- Heat pan over medium low heat.
- Grease all sides of the pan using an oil brush.
- Pour in a small amount of the egg mixture in the pan and burst the bubbles with a chopstick.
- Roll the half cooked egg from one side to the other using a chopstick or spatula.
- Grease the pan again, pour in a small amount of egg mixture in the pan under the first rolled egg.
- Slightly cook the egg and roll up the second sheet of egg to the other side by tilting the pan and using the chopsticks.
- Repeat procedure 6 and 7 until all the egg mixture is used.
- Put the tamagoyaki on the edge of the bamboo mat and roll it up tightly.
- Use a rubber band to hold the bamboo mat together. Leave it to cool for 5min.
- Slice the tamagoyaki into bite-size slices.
- If you use regular soy sauce or brown sugar for the seasoning, the tamagoyaki will come out brown. To keep the beautiful yellow color, use light soy sauce (usukuchi shoyu) and mirin or white sugar instead.
- When mixing the egg mixture, you don’t want air in the mixture so mix it gently instead of beating it.
- If you take too much time rolling the egg it will burn, so hold up the pan away from the the heat while rolling the eggs until you get the hang of it.
- You will need to oil the pan each time you add a new layer of egg.
Best Tamagoyaki Frying Pans and Tools
Do you want to make an authentic Japanese tamagoyaki at home? If you master the tamagoyaki, you can have a beautiful tamagoyaki in your bento lunch box or even have a tamago sushi at home. Here are some tamagoykai frying pans and tools we recommend. From copper to non-stick tamagoyaki frying pans, whether you want professional grade or not, these tools will make it a lot easier for you to make a nice thick delicious tamagoyaki! Now, let’s take a look.
Copper Tamagoyaki Frying Pan by Asahi
If you are a serious cook, this beautiful professional grade copper tamagoyaki frying pan is the one for you. It’s made in Japan and comes with a wooden lid. This is a nickel lined copper pan that perfectly distributes the heat. Remember to preseason the pan with oil before using it. It may take couple of use before it becomes non stick. Also make sure you dry the pan real well after washing.
>> “Copper Tamagoyaki Frying Pan by Asahi” on Amazon.com
Cast Iron Tamagoyaki Frying Pan by Iwachu
Iwachu’s cast iron tamagoyaki frying pan is very sturdy and has a wooden handle. Iwahchu is one of the manufactures known for their iron ware in Japan. This is a great option for people who want to have a quality tamagoyaki frying pan. Once you get the right heat setting, you won’t have to worry about the eggs sticking to it. Just like the copper one, dry it well after each use and season it wth oil.
>> “Cast Iron Tamagoyaki Frying Pan by Iwachu” on Amazon.com
Non-stick Teflon Tamagoyaki Frying Pan by TeChef
For beginner chefs, we recommend this non-stick teflon tamagoyaki frying pan. It’s easy to cook and clean. It also has an unique slope on the side of the pan to make it easier to flip or roll the eggs.
>> “Non-stick Teflon Tamagoyaki Frying Pan by TeChef” on Amazon.com
You can use a paper towel for oiling your pan but this oil brush is great if you use your pan more frequently. You can also use it for other pans such as your takoyaki grill. Just a note, this brush is not intended to be washed, so just apply the oil and when done let it sit.
>> “Oil Brush” on Amazon.com
Bamboo Cooking Chopsticks
In Japan, cooking chopsticks are used for pretty much cooking everything. To make tamagoyaki, this bamboo cooking chopstick is helpful when rolling the eggs.
>> “Bamboo Cooking Chopsticks” on Amazon.com
For those who are not so sure about using cooking chopsticks to flip and roll the tamagoyaki, use this non-stick spatula. It’s narrow so it fits in the tamagoyaki frying pan better than the regular spatula.
>> “Narrow Spatula” on Amazon.com