Lazy Kitchen Outtakes: Tamagoyaki

We can’t always meet expectations… Sigh. I’ve always wanted to try making tamagoyaki. I would rate this attempt at 6/10 for effort. 

Introduction: Tamagoyaki

Tamagoyakitamago for egg, and yaki for grill/fry— is a popular and versatile side dish in Japan. If you’ve eaten in a sushi or yakitori place, or if you’ve ever had a big bento lunch, you’ve probably seen this unassuming protein-heavy side dish. 

This cute spin on a basic egg omelette is made by rolling thin layers of seasoned egg on a frying pan. I’ve watched many videos of chefs and cooking enthusiasts making Tamagoyaki, usually in a square frying pan. But it works pretty well in a circular pan as well. 

I woke up one morning with the desire to make Tamagoyaki for breakfast. This is what happened. 

Expectations: The Japanese Omelette

The recipe says it “serves 1” but like hell —4 eggs for 1 person = too many eggs. 

The basic Tamagoyaki has the following ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp mirin or Japanese sweet rice wine
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Cooking oil as needed 

According to the wild Internet, you can also use dashi powder instead of mirin. 

I got the basic recipe for a tamagoyaki from Japan Centre. The recipe has been rated by almost 600 people, and it seemed easy enough. 

All you need to do is to beat the eggs and to add the seasoning to the mix. You then fry the egg mix one thin layer at a time to create a nice roll. 

Reality: The Tamagoyaki… Disaster

I say disaster, but (1) my mom rated it as “edible” and (2) everyone ate it anyway. At the same time, my mom quietly told me to never attempt this again. LOL! 

Gomen :(

Because this blog believes in learning, innovation and critical thinking, here are several places where I might have gone wrong:

  • Our soy sauce was dark.
    • SOY SAUCE FACT: you can replace dark soy sauce with light so you can make braising dishes, but you can’t replace light with dark! 
  • Maybe our Japanese sweet rice wine is… bad… 
  • We only have dark and light brown sugar at home (I have NO idea why we don’t have white sugar… apparently it’s more expensive so we don’t stock it???
  • It’s so hard to make a solid roll. I need to PRACTICE!

Anyway. We can apparently add other ingredients like spring onion, nori and other finely chopped vegetables for extra flavor. Someday. Or maybe not. This has been a fail.

Until next time!

❤️ Your resident kitchen gremlin 

Check out other lazy kitchen episodes here. 

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