Okazu Marathon 1 – Inseparable Tamagoyaki


Hello bento friends!  🙂  I am going to run another cooking and food marathon for one week (July 22 – 26, 2013) and this time it is about okazu for bento. Okazu is all the other food in our bento box than the rice and the dessert. It is completely up to you how you want to compose your bento, but when we talk about okazu for Japanese bento there is one thing inseparable, that is Tamagoyaki.

Tamagoyaki is a thin egg omelet that is rolled and it is definately the most common okazu in the Japanese bento. It is yellow, sweet, full of protein, rather cheap, easy access to the ingredients, not so difficult to make and it goes very well with rice. Tamagoyaki is loved nation wide but we say the sweeter version (Tamagoyaki) is more prevalent in the East part of Japan and the more juicy version seasoned with Dashi broth (Dashimaki Tamago) is more so in the West part of Japan. According to the national survey done by the Japanese newspaper Asahi the most favorite egg dish for Japanese is Omuraice and the more juicy version of omelet Dashimaki Tamago is No.3 and the sweeter version Tamagoyaki is No.6. (No.2 is Tamagokake Gohan, a raw egg on rice!)  When I was thinking what to write about as the first item of the Okazu Marathon Tamagoyaki came to my mind fairly easily. Tamagoyaki has many variations and I hope this post will be enjoyable for both you beginners, the intermediate and the veteran. The more juicy version (Dashimaki Tamago) is more difficult to make and so I wrote it to the intermediae and veteran bento makers but everyone is welcome to try.  All recipes require 3 eggs, serves 2-3 bentos.

1)  For bento beginners with a frypan – Tamagoyaki (the sweeter version)

– 3 eggs

– 3 tea spoons of sugar
– just a little bit of salt
– you can add 2-3 drops of soy sauce but then the color darkens

And watch this video and make your Tamagoyaki on your frypan.

2)  For the intermediate with a Tamagoyaki pan – Dashimaki Tamago (the more juicy version)

The difference between Tamagoyaki and Dashimaki Tamago is the broth. We call the broth Dashi in Japanese and that is why it is called Dashi maki(roll) Tamago(egg).  Dashi is made of fish and some people find it too fishy (My husband does not like Dashimaki Tamago for the same reason) but I like it and I think the soft texture and the Japanese flavor is very good in bento box. There are many different recipes for Dashimaki Tamago in Japan, some people add more broth and some people add more sugar and sake in the broth. The ratio of the dashi to the egg is also different, some people use 1:1 which is very watery and very difficult to flip over and roll in the pan. (Please refer to my PS at the end of this post)  For you who are at the intermediate level of bento making, I changed the ratio as 1:3 (1 dashi 3 egg) but as you get practice you can increase it to 1:2.

– 3 eggs (50cc each egg, 150cc)
– 50cc dashi (50cc lurk warm water + 1/2 tea spoon dashi powder)
– 2 tea spoons sugar
– 1 tea spoon soy sauce
– 1 tea spoon sake

1. Mix all the ingredients well.
2. Heat your Tamagoyaki pan and add salad oil. Swipe with a kitchen paper and grease the pan well with the oil.  (keep the kitchen paper on a plate as we will use it later again)
3. When your Tamagomaki pan is hot, you pour about 50cc of the egg mixture and spread it over the pan evenly. When it is half cooked, roll it (fold it) over 4 or 5 folds. This roll will be the center core part.  Bring it on to one side of the pan.

4.  Using the same kitchen paper grease the pan with oil. Add about 70cc egg mixture. Lift the rolled egg (center core) so that the new batch can come underneath of it and heat there well as you have to roll from there and it should be toughened. Continue this procedure 1-2 more times.
5.  As it is soft it may be difficult to roll. When you start to roll before it is toughened, it usually crack and ends as a disaster. Be patient and adjust the heat to make a perfect Dashimaki Tamago.

3)  For the veteran who have mastered Dashimaki Tamago

– 3 eggs
– 2 large brown mushrooms, thinly sliced
– 20g shredded carrot

Mixture A – 100cc dashi, 1 table spoon sugar, 2 tea spoon soy sauce, 1 tea spoon sake

1.  Heat Mixture A in a pan. When it is about to boil, add carrot and mushrooms. Cook for 2 minutes.
Leave it in the broth to cool for 5 minutes.  After it is cooled, drain.

2.  Crack the eggs in a bowl and add the broth. I added about 50cc of it but you can increase/decrease to your taste. Sometimes the broth is thinned by the water from the vegetables and you may not want to put so much of the broth to the egg. So please see to your taste.

3.  Make the center core roll first with only the egg mixture. From the second batch you can mix the vegetables in the egg mixture. The reason for this is that it will be easier to make a tight roll without the vegetables.  And continue to roll as you always do.

About 2 years ago (August 29, 2011) I wrote this on my Facebook page. There are some good information site about Japanese Tamagoyaki and the links are still good, I checked them today. So if you like to learn about Japanese Tamagoyaki, I recommend these site. Good luck! xxxx Rie

PS…  Hey! I was glad that someone is reading my comment on Bento&Co. The difference between Tamagoyaki in Tokyo and Kyoto are very obvious. Take a look at this site, it is in Japanese but it will help you understand the clear difference of the two tamagoyaki.

Tamagoyaki in Tokyo are made in a wider pan and they are much thicker. They put more salt and sugar. More sugar will mean it gets burnt easier, so tamagoyaki in Tokyo (Eastern Japan) is like this : http://tamagoyaki.biz/

Tamagoyaki from Kyoto is different. They use more dashi, less sugar and a slim pan. Why slim? Because eggs are mixed with lot of dashi and it is so soft. It is more difficult to roll the egg and it will crack in the middle if the pan is too wide. Here is a typical photo of tamagoyaki from Kyoto. The color is pale and it is not burnt as they use much less sugar.


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