Homemade Tamagoyaki (Japanese Rolled Omelette) Recipe (2023)

because it works

  • Usukuchi soy sauce is lighter but still very salty and flavorful. Season the eggs well without browning them.
  • While homemade dashi is best, a dash of Hondashi (instant dashi) produces good results with almost no effort.
  • A modest amount of dashi makes the eggs flavorful without thinning the mixture too much; with practice, you can increase the volume of the dashi to taste.

It's humbling to spend weeks developing a recipe only to conclude you're not ready to make it. I thought tamagoyaki would be easy. I've tried it countless times, in sushi restaurants and in bento boxes, even in its homeland of Japan. I watched videos, read cookbooks, and searched Japanese recipe blogs. I'm already fluent in the French omelette, so I could definitely add this easy rolled omelet to my repertoire.

I ordered some custom made rectangular pans just for this. After several failed and mediocre attempts, I was forced to admit that I didn't know what I was doing, what my goals were, or how to get there. Despite my experience eating tamagoyaki, I had no idea how to develop a recipe, what techniques to perfect, and what standards to set. Context, as they say, is everything, and I missed it so much.

This is a frequent challenge in recipe development, especially those for kitchens outside of the developer's area of ​​expertise. And eggs, so basic and delicate, have a way of exposing those limitations. Of course, I could have worked my way up using my experience as a Japanese food restaurant to find somewhere in the area a dish that would be recognizable as tamagoyaki, but I didn't really understand what the parameters were in terms of flavor and form. Who was I to say what was good enough? An unintentionally heavy hand in any direction—too much or too little dashi, sake, mirin, or sugar—would signal to the real experts that you really didn't know what the heck you were talking about.

He needed help and he knew exactly who to ask.

Uma Master Class de Tamagoyaki con el Chef Daisuke Nakazawa

Homemade Tamagoyaki (Japanese Rolled Omelette) Recipe (1)

I'm not sure if there was a more memorable scene in the documentary.Jiro Sushi Dreamsthan when Jiro's apprentice at the time, a young man named Daisuke Nakazawa, described his never-ending quest to perfect the sushi restaurant's version of tamagoyaki. He talked about making multiple batches a day for weeks and months, only to have each batch rejected by his mentor. Only after several months did he finally make one that was deemed good enough.

Chef Nakazawa eventually became a sushi master, moving to the US and openinghis own highly regarded restaurants in New York City and Washington, D.C.. When I contacted him to see if he would teach me the finer points of tamagoyaki, he bluntly told her no. It had taken her years of intense dedication to learn the trade from him, she explained, and it would be an insult to his profession to pretend he could teach me in one sitting.

It's okay, but my mind went back to the scene of Jiro when we saw him make tamagoyaki. It was a special version made by a different method, not rolled, with more ingredients, including nagaimo, or mountain yam. Perhaps Chef Nakazawa thought that he wanted to learn this more advanced method. I called him to explain that he was just looking for guidance on basic homemade tamagoyaki, not the impossible kind he's spent years mastering. "I'll think about it," he said. So I waited.

I don't know what convinced him to finally say yes. Maybe he just felt sorry for a fellow cook who clearly needed guidance. When he arrived at the Serious Eats test kitchen, I bombarded him with questions: which skillet was the best? How much dashi was too much and how much was too little? What did he think were unacceptable flaws in a finished tamagoyaki? Big holes? Crying eggs? Browning?

He smiled and assured me that there was a lot of room for error at home. Then we go into the details.

Choosing the best form of Tamagoyaki

Before my class with Chef Nakazawa, I bought a few different makiyakinabe, the rectangular pans used to make tamagoyaki. one was onelarge square lined with non-stick coating; the other was a more traditional copper pot, similar in size and shape, lined with nickel or tin, I can't say which.

I couldn't use both. I couldn't roll my tortillas without breaking them in one of the pans, and in the copper one my eggs routinely stuck together.

When Chef Nakazawa arrived, he brought out a much smaller rectangular nonstick pan, big enough to make a 2-3 egg tamagoyaki. This was what he was supposed to learn, he said. Once you get the hang of the technique with it, you can scale up to the larger nonstick pan, and eventually the copper one if you so desire.

He noted that while traditional pans have four vertical sides, the easier nonstick ones have a sloped front edge, making it easier to flip the tamagoyaki.

Keep in mind that round nonstick pans of the kind you probably have at home won't work for this preparation.

Tamagoyaki Flavorings

One of my first hurdles in trying to learn how to make tamagoyaki myself was figuring out which flavorings, and how much of them, to add. I had already observed an important fact during my failed attempts: the more dashi I put into my eggs, the runnier they became and the more difficult it was to make the tamagoyaki. What I couldn't figure out without help was how little I could use to make the tamagoyaki easier but still get an acceptable flavor.

Chef Nakazawa cleared it up for me. There was no minimum quantity for the dashi, tamagoyaki could be made without adding anything. This is the easiest way to get a feel for the swing and turn technique needed for success.

Dashi makes tamagoyaki more delicious, though, so I started with a tablespoon and a half in my first two-egg batch, an amount that gives the tamagoyaki a deeper flavor while keeping the eggs easy enough to handle. You can, he said, increase the dashi until it's the same volume as the eggs, but only if that's the flavor you want and you've developed the knack for it.

Other aromas are at the discretion of the cook. Chef Nakazawa added a teaspoon of eachusukuchi soy sauce (mild)miMirin(sweet rice wine) to our two-egg batches, but you can adjust to taste or replace the mirin with sake and sugar. There is plenty of room for personal taste here.

Soy sauce, however, is essential, and usukuchi is what he recommends. Don't be fooled by the translation as "light" soy sauce. It's lighter in color, which allows you to flavor your eggs without staining them a muddy brown, but it's saltier and somewhat more assertive than koikuchi (dark) soy sauce.

In our test kitchen, Chef Nakazawa made his own dashiright from the start, which is easy enough, but can still be a turn-off for anyone looking to whip up a quick tamagoyaki snack at home. I steeled myself to ask him about Hondashi (instant dashi) and braced myself for an offended reaction. Instead, she nodded and said, "Yes, I use it at home." Then, to make sure there were no misunderstandings, she clasped her hands: "But not for the restaurant."

The Tamagoyaki Technique

Chef Nakazawa demonstrated the basic technique of making tamagoyaki, then asked me to do it while he watched. It is like this:

Start by mixing the eggs with the flavorings and preheat the pan. She holds the pan close to her cheek to feel the heat coming off her. There's no good way to describe how hot the radiated heat should be, but if you practice, you'll feel it. What you really want is for the eggs to gently bubble and sizzle as soon as they hit the pan.

Before adding the eggs, slide an oiled paper towel across the entire pan, making sure to get to the corners. For this two-egg version, the tamagoyaki is made in four layers, so add about a quarter of the total volume of the egg mixture; No need to measure, just look. It should be enough to make a thin layer all over the bottom of the pan.

With the chopsticks, prick the large bubbles to break them. When most of the egg is firm but still wet on top, it's time to make the first roll (the wet egg will work as glue to hold the roll together). This first roll is the hardest, as the egg layer is still very flexible, but it's also the most forgiving, so don't worry if you mess up a bit.

Do your best to slide one of the toothpicks under the far edge of the egg layer, then with a quick and careful upward motion of the pan try to flip it over onto the handle to make the first crease and repeat to roll again. , getting even closer to the handle. When you are really good at it, you can roll it to the end, but as a beginner, there are high chances that this will go wrong for you. That's fine, just use your chopsticks to push the egg into the handle, squashing it into a wavy log.

At this point, the first layer will be rolled or bunched close to the handle. Take the oiled paper towel and grease the other side of the baking sheet, then push the egg log to the other side and grease the baking sheet near the handle.

Homemade Tamagoyaki (Japanese Rolled Omelette) Recipe (2)

Add the next addition of egg mixture, using your chopsticks to lift the roll at the end and allow the raw egg to run underneath. This helps melt the roll and prevents the hard-boiled egg from browning with each new layer. Pop the large bubbles one more time with the tips of the toothpicks.

About the dorado: not like a French omelette, considered a fatal flaw. A little browning is good, whether by accident or on purpose, because you like the flavor. I like the look and tenderness of tamagoyaki without it browning, but that's just me. Sometimes it turns brown on me anyway. I am still learning.

When your new egg shell is firm on the bottom and still wet on top, it's time to roll it up again. The procedure is the same as before, but it's a little easier now that you have that egg chest to work with.

Slide one of your toothpicks under the other side of the egg where the first roll is and... How do I describe the flipping technique? Maybe like this: You know when you're in a car, you're not going very fast, and you hit a smooth but noticeable bump and you get that feeling in your stomach? That feeling of your stomach gently tickling, like a softer version of how it falls when you get off a swing or roller coaster? This is what you want to reproduce with the pan: a gentle upward lift on the end of the pan that floats down, and as you do so your chopsticks follow, giving the egg a bit more upward momentum as you guide it. towards the handle.

Or, you know, I guess you could cheat and use a spatula.

And it is that. That is the technique. Repeat two more times, oiling the other side, sliding the egg register, oiling the handle side, adding more raw egg, sliding it under the hard-boiled egg, rolling again. When you're done, if you'd like, you can roll it out on a bamboo sushi mat and leave it for a few minutes to help set the shape, then serve with some grated radish on the side. You can also serve it sliced ​​as a garnish for a larger meal, placing it next to the vegetables in a bento box.

The technique requires some practice, you can be wrong. As Chef Nakazawa reminded me, it was okay. Who cares about perfection in the restaurant; At home, the bar is not so high. Of course I needed him to tell me that. It was not for me to decide that.


How to make Tamagoyaki (Japanese Rolled Omelet)

August 21, 2019

recipe data



Preparation:5 minutes

To cook:10 minutes

Asset:10 minutes

Total:15 minutes

To meet:4 portions

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  • 2 ancho eggs

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (soup)20ml)HomemadeDashiohondashi, or more or less as desired (see note)

  • 1 teaspoon(5ml)usukuchi soy sauce (mild), and more for drizzle

  • 1 teaspoon(5ml)Mirin

  • Oneoil-soaked paper towel, folded into a small package, to grease the pan

  • grated radish, at your service


  1. In a small bowl and using chopsticks, beat the eggs until well combined and no visible traces of whites remain. Add the cooled dashi, mirin, and soy sauce.

  2. Preheat the tamagoyaki pan over medium-high heat until you feel moderate heat when your hand is within an inch or two of the surface (you want it hot enough that the eggs bubble and sizzle when they touch the pan, but not so hot ). brown quickly). Holding the oiled paper towel between a pair of toothpicks, rub the entire pan with a light coating of oil, even in all corners (it helps to keep the oiled towel nearby on a small plate during the cooking process).

    Homemade Tamagoyaki (Japanese Rolled Omelette) Recipe (3)

  3. Add 1/4 of the egg mixture to the pan, tilting it to spread the egg in an even layer covering the bottom of the pan. With the chopsticks, pierce any large bubbles that form.

  4. When the egg is fully set on the bottom but still slightly moist on top, start the first roll: remove the pan from the heat and try to slide one of your toothpicks under the far edge of the egg layer; then, with a swift upward movement of the tray, lift and roll the egg sheet up and over itself so that it rolls partially into the handle. Repeat, rolling the egg blade all the way up towards the handle. This is the hardest layer to roll because the egg sheet is very flexible; if you have difficulty, don't worry, just use the chopsticks to push the egg blade, grabbing it by the handle end.

  5. Return the pan to the heat. Rub the oiled towel over the entire exposed surface of the pan (should be the middle and the other side), then slide the Tortilla Roller with Handle to the other side of the pan and oil the area near the handle.

    Homemade Tamagoyaki (Japanese Rolled Omelette) Recipe (4)

  6. Add the next quarter of the egg mixture (this will make four layers total), spreading it across the bottom of the pan. Using chopsticks, lift up the rolled portion and allow the raw egg to run under. Continue cooking, popping any large bubbles that form, until the new layer is firm and still moist on top.

    Homemade Tamagoyaki (Japanese Rolled Omelette) Recipe (5)

  7. Now repeat the rolling step as before, sliding a toothpick under the far edge and flipping the hard-boiled egg over on itself as you roll it towards the handle. Repeat the layering and rolling process 2 more times until the egg is set.

  8. Turn the rolled tamagoyaki over onto a bamboo sushi mat, if desired, and roll tightly but carefully (this helps define an even rolled shape, but is not necessary); let stand 3 minutes. Transfer the tamagoyaki to a serving plate, slice crosswise if desired, and serve with a small amount of grated radish; Lightly drizzle some more usukuchi soy sauce on the daikon mound, if desired.

    Homemade Tamagoyaki (Japanese Rolled Omelette) Recipe (6)

special equipment

5 x 7-inch Rectangular Nonstick Tamagoyaki Pan, Bamboo Sushi Mat (optional)


Hondashi, or instant dashi crystals, is a quick and easy way to whip up some dashi at home quickly; use 1/4 teaspoon dashi crystals per 1/4 cup warm water, stirring until well dissolved. The exact amount of dashi you use is a matter of taste and skill - you can add equal parts dashi and egg, but it becomes increasingly difficult to cook as the volume of the dashi increases and the eggs become thinner. This recipe starts at a reasonably easy level and is still tasty, but you can add more as your skill increases, or use less if you're having trouble with technique.

Anticipation and Storage

Tamagoyaki can be eaten immediately while still hot, or cooled to room temperature; It's also good ice cream. Wrap tightly in plastic and store for up to 8 hours in the refrigerator if not eaten within the hour of cooking.

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