Cookbook Challenge 2011: Fortnight 8, Eggs

Theme: Eggs
Recipe: Tamago
Cookbook: AWW Kitchen

On to Fortnight 8 of the Cookbook Challenge, and the theme is “eggs”. I doubt anyone is keeping track, but I’ve skipped the 7th theme, which is “celebration”. I baked a cake for celebration, but I’m not going to post it because it turned out to be a big ugly thing. And to make matters worse, I dropped it into the (thankfully clean) sink when trying to remove it from the tin. Ugh! After all that, I couldn’t bear to photograph it – I didn’t feel like celebrating the failcake.

(Though I did save failcake from the sink with no ill effects. It turned out to be a really delicious cake. Ugly, but delicious.)

So I’ll come back to celebration another time – let’s just move on to eggs!

For the eggs theme this fortnight, I’ve made tamagoyaki – a slightly, sweet Japanese omelette, that’s popular in bentos and sushi. It’s made from rolling together layers of cooked egg, and is normally prepared in a rectangular pan called makiyakinabe. Making this recipe meant that I finally used the rectangular pan that I purchased in Japan, oh, two years ago… (for SHAME). I only bought a cheap one, because I didn’t think I would use it much – talk about knowing myself! – and I was glad to see that it did the job.

Tamagoyaki is made from beaten egg, mirin, soy sauce and a bit of sugar. You can cook it in a normal pan, of course, but if you use a rectangular pan the edges are neater.

If you’re a visual person, I have photos of the process from when we did a cooking class in Kyoto . There’s also some good descriptions and photos online if you do a search – much clearer than my very confusing explanation below.

There’s supposed to be proper layers, but mine was a bit of a hack (hardly surprising for someone having a day where they drop an entire cake into the sink). Still, you can kind of see the idea behind it. I feel like I should make tamagoyaki more often to get them looking nicer – and it’ll be a good excuse to keep using my rectangular pan!

See previous Cookbook Challenge posts here.

And see what other participants made for this theme at the Cookbook Challenge forum.

Japanese omelette / tamagoyaki

Adapted from AWW Kitchen

4 eggs
1/2 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon caster sugar
1.5 teaspoons mirin
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
vegetable oil

Mix the eggs, water, sugar, mirin and soy sauce together in a bowl until the sugar dissolves.
Heat an omelette pan on medium oil. Add a splash of oil and swirl it around to coat the entire pan.
Pour in enough egg mixture to just cover the base of the pan. Tilt the pan to make sure the mixture is spread evenly.
When it’s almost set, use a spatula to roll the egg from the back of the pan to the front. Push the omelette to the back of the pan.
Add some more oil to the pan and repeat the procedure, lifting up the cooked omelette to let some of the egg mixture run underneath it. When it’s nearly cooked, repeat the rolling procedure.
Repeat these steps until all the mixture is used.
Put the the tamagoyaki on to a moistened sushi rolling mat, seam side down and roll it up tightly. (Or you could just skip this step like I did.)
Let it cool and cut it into slices.