This blog post is also available in Japanese.
Well, here I go again writing a blog post, I am sorry for the absence. I have started a new project in Japan and that makes me put more time and effort to update my Japanese blog every single day, but I have never forgotten you. I may be gone again but I am just trying to integrate myself a little bit more in the community of bento bloggers in Japan to tell them what you all bento makers outside Japan are doing. 🙂 I hope you are all doing well and enjoying making bento just like I am wherever you are on this planet, thank you for your faithful following and support, I really appreciate it every day 🙂 Yesterday the new bento video which I made together with Bento&co was released. If you have not viewed it yet, please visit here. We are planning to make more clear and tutorial videos, so I hope they will be helpful !
In this post I am going to talk about these yellow threads on top of the rice above. They are called “Kinshi Tamago” in Japanese. “Kinshi” means beautiful tinsel and “Tamago” means eggs. When you hear “tinsel” and think of bright garland you put around Christmas trees, I think “Kinshi” is much thinner than that. It is more like a thread and I think this term comes from weaving with silk threads. I love these Japanese food names which are very classically Japanese and are associated with beautiful things.
As the term is self explanatory, Kinshi Tamago is very Japanese. It is a type of garnish food item but it is an effective one, it will make the main food look decorative and VERY Japanese.
When I make bento for my friends in Norway and when it has some of these finely shredded eggs on their rice, they always ask me what they are. I ask them back, “Can you guess?” They say something that is very different from eggs and call it a mystery. When I reveal the answer to them, they are surprised. Then they continue to ask, “You must have to use many eggs, don’t you Rie?” and I say “No, only one egg can make enough of these for your bento.” and they say “Amazing!”
1 egg, a tiny pinch of salt, a half tea spoon of sake and mirin, another tiny pinch of sugar. That is the ingredients. Somehow these very thin Japanese omelet sheets which will be rolled up and shredded into very fine threads by a knife impress my friends. They say it is very unique way of processing an egg and Japanese Kinshi Tamago is very beautiful.
I did a little research today to find out “the official size of Kinshi Tamago” in Japan and it looks like the standard size is about 2mm wide. Wow! That is very thin. And of course you have to make them evenly thin. But the work is worth it, the food definitely will look very pretty. But how can you cut them so thin? It is another mystery.
Well, maybe not so much of mystery.
A sharp knife, that is a must.
A concentrated mind, that is a bonus.
Although it is just one sheet of thin omelet, I prefer to use a medium sized sharp knife. Because the sheet is rolled up and there are air layers in between them and also the most important thing is that you slice the roll vertically straight down, I think the knife has to have some good weight so that the blade drops down straight. It is of course much easier if there are not so much air layers in the roll but I do not recommend to roll it up so tightly. When you cut it the weight of the knife will press the thin thin omelet. Then you really need the air layer around them to let them bounce back to the soft texture. I can’t explain it well in words but if you like to have soft egg threads, please remember it.
It takes me about 30 seconds to finish shredding 1 sheet. I do not pause from the beginning through the end, I cut it at the same tempo and with the high concentration!
If you are interested in Japanese cooking and like to add something little Japanese in your daily cooking, why not this Kinshi Tamago?
Have a good day!