By Kiera Wright-Ruiz, The New York Times
You could make this rolled omelet in a classic Japanese tamagoyaki pan, a square dream of a kitchen appliance, but this recipe from Kiera Wright-Ruiz works just as well in a nonstick skillet. When made right, tamagoyaki is a feat of patience and wonder: First, a thin coating of egg is rolled onto itself to the edge of the pan like a sleeping bag, a second coating creates more layers around the first, and this process is repeated until you’re left with a tender, multilayered omelet that is at once mesmerizing to look at and satisfying to eat.
Tamagoyaki, a Japanese staple, is made by carefully rolling several thin layers of cooked egg into a rectangular omelet, which creates a soft and delicate texture. Traditionally, it’s made in a special tamagoyaki pan, but this version also works with an 8-inch nonstick skillet. There are sweet and savory variations, and this recipe falls somewhere in between the two: The soy sauce, mirin and dashi pack it with umami, while the sugar adds a subtle sweetness. The technique can be challenging at first, but do your best to keep each layer consistent in color and each fold parallel to the last. Don’t worry about little tears; they’ll be covered up with the next layer.
Yield: 2 servings
Total time: 15 minutes
- 4 eggs
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 1 tablespoon white soy sauce or 1/2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon dashi stock, optional (see Tip below)
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon neutral oil, plus more as needed
1. In a small bowl, combine eggs, mirin, soy sauce, dashi (if using) and sugar. Whisk until well combined.
2. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a tamagoyaki pan or a nonstick 8-inch skillet over medium. Using a small piece of folded paper towel, carefully wipe the excess oil from the pan and set aside paper towel (you will need it to grease the pan for each egg layer).
3. Pour about 3 tablespoons of the egg mixture into the pan and quickly tilt the pan, swirling the egg mixture around to create an even layer. If there are thicker areas, gently poke a small hole at the thickest point with chopsticks and tilt and swirl the pan to cover exposed areas with more raw egg to form an even layer.
4. After the layer is cooked, about 1 minute, using chopsticks or a rubber spatula, gently lift the egg edges on the farthest side to loosen the layer’s grip. While tilting the pan, carefully fold the egg about 1/4 of the way toward yourself. Continue to fold the egg equally on itself until you have a narrow, rectangular omelet at the edge of the pan nearest you. Reduce the heat to medium-low if the egg is browning.
5. Using the paper towel, lightly grease the exposed area of the pan. Pour another 3 tablespoons of the remaining egg mixture into the exposed area of the pan and quickly swirl it around to create another layer. Use chopsticks or a soft spatula to gently lift up the folded omelet and tilt the pan toward you so the raw egg mixture runs under the omelet.
6. Once the layer is cooked, gently roll the omelet away from you in three to four flips. Repeat Steps 3 to 5 with remaining three layers, greasing the pan before each additional layer. The number of flips will decrease as the omelet grows in size with each additional layer.
7. Transfer omelet to a cutting board or a plate when done. Cut crosswise into four pieces and rotate, cut side up, to show egg layers. (If using a nonstick 8-inch skillet, you can trim both ends of the omelet to make them even.) Serve immediately or chill for later.
Tip: Because of the time it takes to create homemade dashi, it is only worth using if you already have some prepared.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.