Have you ever tried the Japanese delicacy of tamagoyaki? ‘Tamago’ meaning egg and ‘Yaki’ meaning fry…. Mix it together and what do you get? Japanese omelette! You don’t have to live in Japan to grab a taste of this dish as it’s pretty simple to make at home. That’s why so many Japanese Mummies have it as a staple dish for their bento boxes or side dishes with dinner. You’ll have it whipped up in a matter of minutes.
How To Cook Japanese Omelette
First, grab your mixing bowl and cooking chopsticks or spatula, three eggs, Japanese sake (dry sherry as an alternative), brown sugar, a pinch of salt, a splash of olive oil and vigor to embark on your Japanese cooking adventure. Crack your eggs into the bowl and add a tablespoon of Japanese sake or sherry, a tablespoon of brown sugar and pinch of salt (for those who are feeling extra adventurous, you can switch the salt for dashi stock… my personal favourite). Get those wrists ready because you’ll need to whisk, whisk, whisk all of the ingredients together until it’s COMPLETELY mixed.
Heat up the oil in the pan on a medium-high heat. Do a test to make sure the pan is hot enough by drawing a line with the chopsticks or fork; the little bit of leftover egg from the chopstick/fork will cook straight away letting you know it’s time. Next, pour 1/3 of the mixture into the pan. Working quickly, roll the mixture around the entire pan by tilting it. Use your chopsticks or spatula to carefully fold the nearly cooked mixture from the top of the pan to the center, then fold again from the center to the bottom then push the roll to the top of the pan. Pour in the second 3rd of the mixture but this time use your chopsticks/spatula to lift the roll up to allow the mixture to go under it when you tilt your pan. Follow the folding technique as before. Once you’ve pushed the roll back to the top finish the last of the mixture by following the same steps.
To get that perfect rectangular shape I like to place the roll in a straw sushi rolling mat and wrap firmly, pressing and shaping – not a necessary step but if you’re a perfectionist like me you’ll probably like to try it. That’s the way a Japanese chef taught me.
Once it’s cooled, slice into slices and enjoy! Once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll be making Japanese omelettes with your eyes closed. Adding cheese, spinach or canned tuna are just a few yummy extras you can try too! Now…. a normal, round frying pan will have you constantly pushing the sides of your omelette to get that perfect shape, however if you use a tamagoyaki pan it will make life a lot easier and give you perfect rectangular Japanese omelettes every time.
Health Benefit By Using Cast Iron Cookware
Now you know how to make a Japanese omelette… but if you use cast iron cookware it not only makes the job even easier, but you’ll also reap health benefits! Did you know that with every dish you cook with a cast iron pan, a little bit of iron is absorbed into your food? Iron is a mineral that our bodies need for growth and development. It helps to preserve energy, regulate our body temperatures and helps our immune systems. Who would have thought that by using a pan could aid in fulfilling your daily iron requirements?! On top of the health benefits, cast iron cookware is a chef’s dream to work with as it’s durable and lasts for years. Once it’s hot it stays hot; a great way to sear meat but also to keep food nice and warm. Also, every time you use it it gets better as you “season” it with every cook. Lastly, it makes food look even more delectable being served up on a real rustic, professional looking pan. So health benefits CHECK functional benefits CHECK aesthetic benefits CHECK… Sounds like a winner to me!
It’s clear that cast iron cookware has a long list of benefits, and the same can be said for tamagoyaki pans too as they too are traditionally made of cast iron. Zak Zakka offers two pans that might tickle your fancy; both made from high quality iron and both can be used with either gas or electric hobs. The first is the ‘Takumi Japan Iron Egg Omelette Pan’ which comes in a medium size – it’s extra special as it has fine bumps on the surface that ensures an even heat all over making sure your food is cooked properly and deliciously. The smooth wooden handle is tilted upwards allowing for easy maneuvering whilst cooking.
The second option from Zak Zakka is the ‘Takumiya Iron Non-Stick Frying Pan’ that is also wonderful for frying and grilling. Made of 1.6mm iron, it’s nice and deep so your food won’t spill over the side of the pan. It’s a smaller, lighter model than the one above but both do the job fantastically; it’s all down to your preference of size & weight. Don’t think you’re only limited to making Japanese omelettes with these pans – roll cakes, searing meat, frying garnishes, eggs and even dumplings are only some ideas! There are plenty of dishes to be made with a tamagoyaki pan so let your culinary imagination run wild.
Square Fry Pan Lid
You have your pan… but perhaps you’d like to finish it off with a nice lid. Zak Zakka also has a square lid that fits perfectly on both pans as it works well on up-handled pans and normal pans alike. At 10x16cm and made from metal with added silicone, it not only fits the pans above perfectly but can also be used to keep other dishes warm… as opposed to using copious amounts of cling film. It keeps the heat locked in nicely and is also easy to clean. The knob is easy to grip and a nice little extra is the hook that allows you to hang it up on a kitchen hook, or if you prefer, just plop it in your cupboard with your pans as it won’t take up much space. For me it’s the perfect add on to your kitchen utensils.
So there you have it; a tasty recipe, two awesome pans to choose from plus a nifty lid! What will you be making for dinner tonight? Japanese Omelette? Why not? Happy cooking!