It was no surprise to see a big queue of tourists for Tamagoyaki on skewers called “Kushidama” at Tsukiji market in Tokyo. Tamagoyaki is fluffy and bouncy Japanese rolled egg which ranked in the list of the top 30 Japanese foods tourists come to Japan for. But you don’t have to go all the way to Japan to try it, it’s so quick and simple to make at home and only requires 3-4 ingredients.
What is Tamagoyaki?
Tamago means egg and yaki means fry in Japanese; but it is not just a fried egg. When Japanese people say tamagoyaki, it refers to thick rolled egg. Tamagoyaki is one of the staple Obento dish, and is also used in sushi as either nigiri or a filling for sushi hand rolls. I was surprised to find out that it is on skewers and it is one of the Japanese foods that tourist want to taste in Japan. There are about 4-5 shops in Tsukiji fish markets specialising in tamagoyaki and tourists were queueing to buy one. They call the rolled egg on a skewer “Kushi Dama”!
Atsuyaki tamago and Dashimaki Tamagao
There are two types of tamagoyaki rolled egg in Japanese cuisine. What’s the difference? Atsu-yaki-tamago is thick fried egg and Dashi-maki-tamago is rolled egg with dashi. Both Atsuyaki and Dashimaki tamago can be sweet or savoury. I prefer Atsuyaki tamago to be sweet and Dashimaki tamago to be savoury. Dashimaki tamago can take time and is more difficult than making atsuyaki tamago because it has dashi (Japanese stock) in it. It is also a little more difficult to roll than Atsuyaki tamago because it contains more liquid.
Sweet or savoury?
You can tailor the tamagoyaki to your taste palet. It is totally up to you. My children and I love sweet tamagoyaki but my father likes savoury flavoured tamagoyaki so we usually make two rolls to cater to everyones taste. We usually make atsuyaki tamago because it is easier to make by just adding sugar or savoury condiments such as salt or soy sauce.
Frying pan for making Tamagoyaki
There is special square or rectangle shaped frying pan for only rolling eggs, called “Tamagoyakiki”. Kanto region use a square one with a wooden lid and Kansai region (where I am from) use a rectangle shaped pan. A copper pan is recommended because of it’s great heat conduction. The cooking temperature is important to make fluffy and bouncy rolled eggs. A copper pan is great to heat up quickly and even after pouring the egg mixture in, it does not drop the temperature dramatically.
I upgraded my frying pan when I visited Kappabashi in Tokyo. I bought Nakamura Coppers Manufactory Copper made egg cooker 13 length (13 cm × 18 cm). Before you use it, first of all, you need to condition it with oil which creates oil film on the pan surface. Place the frying pan over low heat and fill 70% of the capacity with vegetable oil. When the small bubbles start to form, leave it for 5 minutes then turn the heat off. Leave it over night then drain the oil and wipe excess oil off with a kitchen paper. Now it is ready to use.
3 Tips to make fluffy and bouncy Japanese rolled egg Tamagoyaki
“But I don’t have copper and square or rectangle shaped frying pan for making Japanese rolled egg tamagoyaki!” No problem. Three tips from me to make your tamagoyaki fluffy and bouncy.
- Strain the egg mixture through a sieve a few times – this one extra step makes the egg mixture smooth and fine to make the rolled egg fluffy and bouncy.
- Make sure frying pan is preheated well and cook tamagoyaki over medium to high heat. Cooking tamagoyaki over low heat to avoid burn the tamagoyaki makes the egg deflate.
- Prepare oil soaked kitchen paper and wipe the pan with it every time the egg layer rolled. Egg mixture should be poured into the pan in 3-4 times.
Here is my recipe for Tamagoyaki and If you liked it, please rate it and leave a comment below. Also, don’t forget to follow me on Youtube, Pinterest, Facebook , Twitter 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 can see your wonderful creations!
How to make popular Tokyo street food "Kushidama" aka fluffy and bouncy Tamagoyaki
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp Shiro dashi">Shiro dashi *1
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp olive oil
Crack the eggs into a medium size mixing bowl.
Add seasoning (add shirodashi and water for dashimaki or add sugar, salt and water for atsumaki) and mix them all together gently to avoid too much bubble forming.
Strain the egg mixture through a sieve a few times.
Pour about 2tbsp oil (*not listed in the ingredients) in a small bowl and soak kitchen paper and set aside.
Heat 2 tsp olive oil in the frying pan over medium heat till you can feel the heat when you hover your hand over the pan.
Pour 1/3 of egg mixture into the pan (you should hear a sizzling sound).
Break any bubbles that have formed with the edge of the chopsticks and scramble gently and slightly .
When the surface is solidified a little, fold and push the egg to one end of the pan with chopsticks *2
Wipe the empty side of the pan with oil-soaked kitchen paper and pour another 1/3 of the egg mixture into the empty space of the pan.
Lift the folded egg up to let the egg mixture run under it.
Fold and roll the egg from one side of the pan and wipe the empty space of the pan with the oil-soaked kitchen paper.
Pour the last 1/3 of egg mixture and repeat fold and roll.
Turn the heat off and wrap the rolled egg with thin kitchen towel.
Roll the wrapped egg roll with a sushi mat to shape and rest to cool down.*3
Once it is cool down slice it 2cm (7.9inch) thick and serve.
*1 If you can not access to Shiro dashi, add 1tsp mirin, 1tsp usukuchi soy sauce and a pinch of salt instead.
*2 Don't worry if the egg is half cooked, it will be cooked through with residual heat when the rolled egg resting in the sushi mat.
*3 place the sushi rolling mat on two chopsticks. It will make air flow underneath to avoid the egg become soggy with steam.
*4 Cooking process are basically same for both Atsuyaki and Dashimaki tamago. Only difference is adding different seasoning in step 2.
*5 The nutritional value is for per serve of Atsuyaki Tamago.
*6 Make Dashi from scratch here