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Tamagoyaki ♥ Sushi ♥♥♥

In Japanese, Recipes on April 2, 2010 at 11:27 am

Eggs are my new best friend (hlyf, you’ve been displaced).

Another friend of mine once told me that nothing makes me happier than good food. Ha. Stubborn as I am, some things are just very hard to deny. Interestingly, this same friend has a love for tamagoyaki, a Japanese sweet-type omelette. I’ve always underrated this simple dish, opting for more ‘special options’ like unagi or jellyfish sushi on my visits to sushi restaurants while A happily tucks into one tamagoyaki sushi after another. Gee I’ve been missing out big time.

Since the start of my master’s course, I’ve learnt not to generalize food preferences. One man’s meat tamago is another man’s poison jellyfish. Too many factors contribute to the way we choose our food: culture, peer influence, family, gender, tasting abilities, personality, physiology, beliefs, individual life experiences, ambience, price, presentation… even our mother’s diet during pregnancy (amniotic fluid yumyum) can also play a part in how we choose our foods.

Anyway, the reason why I mention this is because I’d never have given tamagoyaki a chance, if I had not been faced with a task of preparing a sushi dinner for friends in an exorbitant land; if I had not a friend who has such a love for tamagoyaki; and if my impending food choice final exams had not made me especially aware that there could be good probability that something that is so liked by someone else might actually have certain intrinsic sensory characteristics that I have been blind to. Very blind.

Going back to ‘poor student’ theme, eggs are also a gem because they are cheaper than meat (18kr/SGD$4.60 for 15 eggs vs. 45kr / SGD$11.50 for 2 chicken breasts) and egg whites are also the best source of protein (besides breast milk) as its amino acid composition are in the exact proportions that our body needs. In addition, since becoming a flexitarian 2.5 years ago, I’ve been pretty much counting on eggs, milk and soya bean products (one of the few plant sources of complete protein) as my protein sources for my normal diet, whilst still indulging my food obsessions whenever I’m out on occasional food hunting trips with my foodie friends. 🙂 Unfortunately, since coming to Europe, I’ve been robbed of my soy options (definitely not a fan of tough meat-like western tofus) and eggs have suddenly risen my ingredient ranks. And with ♥ tamagoyaki ♥ in the picture now, eggs are so totally off the charts.

Tamagoyaki is simple, yet impressive. Depending on how authentic you want it to be, you can get really tasty tamagoyaki with simply egg, soya sauce / salt and sugar. (IMHO to a poor student, taste is more important than authenticity) But because I’ve bought mirin for preparing the sushi dinner, I’ve managed to make it complete, similar to the recipe of JustHungry except that I did not have the square pan — not that it mattered at all 😉

Tamagoyaki ♥ Recipe adapted from Just Hungry

  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 dessertspoons (dsp) or 3 tbsp water (can be omitted if you like a firmer egg)
  • 1 tsp soya sauce
  • sprinkle of salt
  • 1 heaped dsp or 1 flat tbsp of sugar
  • 1 tsp mirin
  1. Use a kitchen paper towel to grease the frying pan
  2. Mix ingredients in a beaker / measuring cup / easy-to-pour device
  3. Heat frying pan to moderate-low heat (or if you raise the heat, you brown one side of each layer and get something that looks like kueh lapis)
  4. Pour a thin layer of egg and swivel pan to coat base
  5. Roll from the edge, just as surface of egg starts to coagulate (jelly-like appearance)
  6. Repeat with layers until all the egg is used up
  7. Cut and eat if you’re impatient, or shape on a sushi mat for a more pleasing appearance / for tamagoyaki sushi

Recipe alternatives: Adding 1 tsp sugar + 1 dsp water + 1/2 tsp soya sauce or sprinkle of salt to 1 egg makes a simpler and yummy tamagoyaki though it tastes slightly different from the japanese ones. Good enough for me, I’d say! But for friends and family, only the best is good enough. 😉

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