Christmas is just around the corner and when people are busy preparing for Christmas, I am busy preparing for New Year’s Feast “ Osechi” and cannot go without Datemaki, which is my favourite. Datemaki is readily available from any supermarkets in Japan.
Datemaki is a popular and traditional New Year’s food in Japan. It’s delicious, easy to make, and adds a nice pop of colour to a New Year’s feast or even an everyday lunch! It’s very similar to regular Tamagoyaki (sweet rolled egg) but it has an extra little ingredient, Hanpen, which is a fish cake made from white fish and other ingredients, and gives the Datemaki a different and fluffier texture than Tamagoyaki. It also adds an extra dose of protein, which is a plus!
Here’s a few little fun facts of the history of Datemaki. Back in the Edo period of Japan, Datemaki was called Castella Kamaboko (fish cake) and it looked like the kimono’s that fashionable people wore. These fashionable people were called “Datemono” so Castella Kamaboko became to be known as “Datemaki” (maki meaning rolled).
Also, in the past, important documents and pictures were always rolled into a scroll so Datemaki (and other New Year’s food) are rolled too. Datemaki is usually rolled with a special rolling mat so that the edges are crinkled. When I first published the Datemaki recipe last year, I did not have special rolling mat, which is called “Onisudare” but I do have it now.
So since this is my favourite New year’s dish, I decided to upgrade my Japanese kitchen gadgets and update the recipe using my new rolling mat. An ordinary sushi mat will still do the job great but it just does not give the remarkable indents in the Datemaki. But if you don’t have the special rolling mat, you can just use an ordinary sushi mat or baking paper, which will still do the job and still taste just as good.
Datemaki is made from a type of fish cake called Hanpen, which you can find at Japanese/Asian specialty grocery stores. I’m so glad Japanese ingredients have become so widespread because it means I can make all my favourite Japanese foods and celebrate New Year’s with all the classic Japanese New Year dishes that I love.
I found that the “Kibun” brand hanpen is the best in my opinion and luckily I can get it from a local Japanese grocery store. Kibun brand hanpen is airy and fluffy so when you make Datemaki, it makes your datemaki airy, light, and fluffy as well.
use my oven to make Datemaki. It can be cooked in a frying pan too but since the egg mixture has sugar in it, it is easier to get burnt if you are not careful with the heating temperature. I think it is easier to control the cooking temperature if you use an oven to cook Datemaki.
I like thick Datemaki so to have thick datemaki, I use a 30 x 30 cm (11.8″ x 11.8″)roll cake tin and I made a baking paper form by folding baking paper because 30 x 30 is a tad too big. 16cm x See the instructions if you are going to make it this same way too.
Here are the instructions:
This Datemaki is definitely one of my favourite parts of the New Year’s feast! I especially love it when it’s wrapped around sushi, it is sooo yummy! I hope you like the Datemaki too and enjoy making it! And don’t forget to check out the other New Year specialty food recipes like the Kouhaku Namasu (Carrot & Daikon Vinegared Salad), the Sekihan (Azuki Bean Rice), and the Tsukune Dango (Chicken Meatball Skewers)!
If you liked my recipe for Datemaki Japanese rolled omelette, please rate it and leave a comment below. Also, don’t forget to follow me on Youtube, Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date with all the latest happenings on Chopstick Chronicles. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #ChopstickChronicles so I see your wonderful creations!
Nagi’s photography book helped me to improve photos without upgrading to expensive equipments 😀
Delicious one of Japanese new year's feast, Japanese rolled omelette Datemaki recipe
- 5 large eggs
- 120 g Hanpen fish cake
- 2 tbsp sugar I used muscovado sugar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp mirin
- 1 tbsp Dashi
- 1 tsp sake
- 1 tsp usukuchi soy sauce
Preheat your oven to 180celsius and fold the baking paper to 15 x 26 x 3.5(5.9"x10.2"x1.3") shaped form*1
Cut the hanpen into little cubes and add it to the mixer.
Put all the ingredients, except the hanpen, into a blender or a food processor.
Mix all the ingredients together for about 1 minute.
Leave the mixture to settle until the bubbles go down.
Place the folded baking paper on a baking tray and pour the mixture in.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
Turn the oven off and take out the omelette. While it is still hot, place the rolling mat (flat side face up) over the omelette and quickly and carefully flip it over one hand on the omelette and one hand on the mat.*2
Remove the baking paper and score the omelette from the edge about 1 -1.5cm (0.4"-0.6")apart in order to roll it nicely without breaking.
Roll it into a cylinder shape with the rolling mat and secure it with a rubber band on each end to hold the shape.
Look from the side and place the egg roll closed side down, or leave it standing vertically. Let it cool slightly then wrap it with cling wrap and refrigerate the rolled omelette overnight, then remove from the sushi mat and slice into 1.5-2cm(0.6"-0.78") thick and serve!
*1 If you have a 15x26cm baking pan, just use it but if you don’t, see the post on how to fold the baking paper to make a form.
*2 Rolling into the shape needs to be done while the omelette is still hot otherwise it will break when it is rolled. Just be careful not to burn yourself.
*3 If you don't have Usukuchi soy sauce, you can replace it with ordinary soy sauce.
*4 Dashi - look here