Recipe Challenge Judge
This recipe is derived from Tamagoyaki (Japanese Rolled Omelette) 玉子焼き, and I have taken the liberty of adding chopped scallops to this (as the author says it is often done to add seafood and a few other ingredients as desired).
A while back I ordered a tomagoyaki skillet, but never got around to using it, at least not as intended... so... now that I am in a cooking challenge on CookingBites, I figure it is time to break this implement out and USE it. (These skillets are small, and don't take up much kitchen space...)
There seem to be two major types of tamagoyaki, according to the above-linked Just One Cookbook, the descriptions of which I have excerpted below:
"There are actually a few versions of Tamagoyaki or rolled eggs in Japanese cuisine, which can be confusing.
In general, you can find Atsuyaki Tamago and Dashimaki Tamago. Each variation uses slightly different ingredients, varying ratios of seasonings and cooking methods, but sometimes the names are interchangeable.
The texture of Astuyaki tamago is firm and dense, and it’s much easier to make."
The essential difference between the two is that the Dashi variant contains (get ready for this) dashi. This makes the batter more liquid, which apparently makes this version more difficult to attempt. DEEP Breath... we are going to attempt it anyway. I will be stingy with the amount of dashi added, but I'll add it. The final omelet will be more soft and silken (with luck) than the Astuyaki variant, because it is made with more liquid.
Nowadays, you can buy powdered dashi, but I do make my own. There are fish-containing and vegetarian variants of dashi. (The former uses bonito flakes, and the latter uses rehydrated shiitaki broth.)
Tomagoyaki: A Japanese Rolled Omelet (Dashimaki Variant)
- 3 large eggs, de-shelled.
- 2 tablespoons neutral-tasting cooking oil (I prefer avocado or grapeseed oils)
- One half an optional sheets of nori - that flat seaweed wrapper sold in squares.
- 1 or 2 optional sea scallops, finely sliced an chopped. (Bay scallops are also possible, also finely sliced and chopped.)
- Some cooking oil - I personally prefer either avocado or grapeseed oil, but you do want an oil meant for higher temperatures and without intrinsic flavor.
- 2 tablespoons, 2 teaspoons dashi.
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ▢1 teaspoon low sodium gluten free tamari (or soy sauce as preferred).
- 1 teaspoon mirin/Asian cooking wine.
- 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar.
- A pinch of coarse sea salt, or Kosher salt.
Garnishes (choose among, or use them all):
- Up to 3 ounces of daikon slivers = (1 inch is equivalent to 2.5 cm; optimally choose the green top section as it is sweeter-tasting than the white.)
- A small dipping bowl containing about 2 tablespoons of low sodium, gluten free tamari, or of low sodium soy sauce
- 1 heaping tablespoon of ikura (salmon eggs)
- A little shredded or sliced nori.
- A small scattering of chives, or of thinly sliced green onion/scallions.
Whisk the eggs. In Japan they use the chopsticks to do this, rather than a whisk or a fork. Don't over-mix. If using a seafood such as the scallops mentioned in this recipe, add them now.
Mix all the seasonings ingredients together in a separate bowl, let the sugar dissolve.
Add the seasonings to the eggs, and gently mix together. Put this new mixture into a cup with a spout, which will make the omelet-pouring process easier. (Better yet, start your eggs in such a cup - one less dish to clean!)
Take half a piece of paper towel, and fold it up to use as a mop for oil. You'll need to oil the pan after each layer of crepe that goes to form this tamagoyaki. Even if, as in my case, your tamagoyaki pan is non-stick-coated. (Trust me on this, I missed a corner during one layer.) Oil the pan, and set the mop aside with more oil.
Get the pan very hot - I went with medium-high. A drop of egg mixture should sizzle on the pan. (To adjust pan temperature as you cook, move the pan, don't bother adjusting the flame or heat while cooking.)
Lay out one thin layer of egg mix, and move the pan to cover all the bottom. If you see bubbles forming, pop them with chopsticks. You will use chopsticks for the rest of the process. When the egg is no longer liquid but still soft, roll the egg from one end of the pan to the other, using the chopsticks. The first layer will probably be rough and ugly, but that's going to be on the inside.
Oil the pan again (mop action), move the egg to the other side of the pan, then oil where it was. Pour in another thin layer of egg. Here, I added half a sheet of nori (the picture didn't come out, alas), then, rolling from the old layer, roll this over the nori+new egg layer, and back to the other side of the pan. (You can, of course, omit the nori.)
Again, re-oil the pan as above. moving the rolled omelet portion over to that far side again. Add another thin layer of egg mixture, and roll this with the chopsticks again to the near side.
Continue this process until you use up all the egg mixture. Remove from heat, and roll it onto a prepared sushi mat. I was going to use plastic cling wrap until I realized how hot this omelet was - and punted for foil. Parchment paper would work as well. Roll up tightly, and let set for five minutes. As it cools, it will settle into this more compact shape. Use this time to finish the garnish preparations, if any still needed.
Remove from mat. Cut into six approximately equal sized pieces. This yields three pieces per serving.
Garnish with your choices of garnish, and ideally serve with a warm bowl of sushi rice. This omelet is also good for bento boxes, and will stay good for a day or two, refrigerated. (Garnish, however, shortly before eating.)