Tamagoyaki is a traditional Japanese omelet that’s easy to prepare, kid friendly, and packed with sweet and savory flavors. Only 8 ingredients needed and ready in 15 minutes! 

Tamagoyaki

What is Tamagoyaki?

Tamagoyaki (玉子焼き), which means grilled egg, is a traditional Japanese omelet that’s made by rolling several thin layers of cooked eggs, one of top of the other, and shaped into a rectangle. It’s served as a breakfast dish (often topped with grated daikon and a drizzle of soy sauce), a side dish for bento boxes, as a topping for nigirizushi (tamago sushi), or as a stuffing for futomaki.

What does it taste like?

Tamagoyaki is both sweet and savory, somewhere between a classic omelet and an egg custard. Every tamagoyaki is different though – I’ve tasted some that are very sweet and some that are barely sweet. I personally prefer more savory than sweet so my recipe doesn’t use a lot of sugar, but feel free to adjust the taste to your own liking.

How to Pronounce Tamagoyaki

 

 

tamagoyaki - Japanese rolled egg

Are Atsuyaki Tamago and Dashimaki Tamago the Same as Tamagoyaki?

The answer to this question is yes and no, depending on where you live in Japan and what you grew up on.

Tamagoyaki translates as “grilled egg”, while atsuyaki tamago translates as “thick grilled egg”, and dashimaki tamago as “dashi rolled egg”. Dashimaki tamago contains a higher level of dashi stock than tamagoyaki (some tamagoyaki recipes don’t contain any dashi) which yields a very light and silky omelet that’s more savory (sometimes entirely savory – like my recipe for dashimaki tamago) than sweet.

Atsuyaki tamago is usually the type of rolled omelet you find in high-end sushi restaurants that’s served at the end of a meal. There is an art to making atsuyaki tamago and only the top sushi chefs know how to perfect it.

But as I initially mentioned, these three terms get mixed around a lot so it doesn’t really matter which one you use at the end of the day, unless you want to be specific.

tamagoyaki whisked ingredients

Ingredients for Tamagoyaki

  • Oil: I’m using grapeseed oil but any type of neutral oil such as vegetable oil or canola oil works for this recipe.
  • Eggs: Get some good pasture raised eggs if you can. They taste so much better because the hens that lay the eggs are free to roam outside which means they are happier and much less stressed. My favorite ones are from Vital Farms which you can find at Whole Foods.
  • Daikon: The daikon is used as a topping for the eggs to lighten up the dish and add a pungent and classically Japanese element to the dish.
  • Soy sauce: The soy sauce is used as a seasoning for the omelet and also as a topping to drizzle on the daikon. Again, I recommend using good soy sauce such as Yamasa for a tastier tamagoyaki.
  • Mirin: Mirin adds sweet, sake-like taste that pairs well with soy sauce and dashi. You will need two tablespoons for this recipe.
  • Dashi: Another classic Japanese ingredient, dashi adds umami and depth of flavor to tamagoyaki. It’s a little fishy and salty and the addition of stock makes the omelet nice and light.
  • Sugar: Sweet and savory is a popular combination in Japanese cuisine. For this recipe I’m only using 1 tablespoon of sugar since I don’t like my omelet to be too sweet. But feel free to add more if you have a sweeter tooth than mine!

how to make tamagoyaki

How to Make Tamagoyaki

  1. Break the eggs in a bowl and whisk them. Strain the eggs through a sieve and into another bowl.
  2. Add the seasoning ingredients (mirin, dashi stock, soy sauce, sugar) and whisk well.
  3. Grab your tamagoyaki pan and brush the bottom with a little oil. If you don’t have a tamagoyaki pan, use the smallest pan you have (something around 5″ to 7″), even if it’s round. Your omelet won’t end up looking rectangular like mine but it will still taste the same.
  4. Pour about 2 tablespoons of egg mixture into the pan and quickly spread the mixture all over the pan by swirling it.
  5. When the layer starts to set, roll it toward the end of the pan and leave it there.
  6. Lightly brush the bottom of the pan again and pour another couple of tablespoons of egg mixture. Quickly swirl to spread the mixture and create a thin layer, making sure the mixture is also spreading under the rolled egg at the end of the pan. When the layer starts to set, roll it toward the handle this time (toward you). When you are done rolling, push the rolled omelet back to the other end of the pan.
  7. Repeat this action until all the egg mixture has been used and you have a complete rolled omelet at the end of the pan.
  8. Turn the heat off and slide the omelet onto parchment or wax paper.
  9. Wrap the paper over the omelet, creating a rectangular shape, and leave for a few minutes to cool.
  10. Cut into six slices and serve with grated daikon on top and a drizzle of soy sauce.

how to make tamagoyaki rolling tamagoyaki parchment paper

What to Serve with Tamagoyaki

If you are serving tamagoyaki for breakfast, offer a side of white rice (watch our tutorial on how to make Japanese rice) and 2 or 3 additional small dishes such as:

If you would like to try your hand at making your own rolls and using tamagoyaki as a stuffing, I have a tutorial on how to make maki sushi here.

tamagoyaki recipe tamagoyaki with daikon and soy sauce tamagoyaki with daikon and soy sauce

Did you like this Tamagoyaki Recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below!

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Tamagoyaki

Tamagoyaki is a traditional Japanese omelet that’s easy to prepare, kid friendly, and packed with sweet and savory flavors. Only 8 ingredients needed and ready in 12 minutes! 

  • Author: Caroline Phelps
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 pieces 1x
  • Category: Side
  • Method: Frying pan
  • Cuisine: Japanese
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs, pasture raised preferably
  • 2 tablespoons grated daikon
  • Soy sauce, to taste

Seasonings:

  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 3 tablespoons dashi stock
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar

Instructions

  1. Whisk the eggs in a bowl and strain into another bowl.
  2. Whisk in the seasoning mix and keep stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  3. Brush a little oil on the tamagoyaki pan (you can also use a regular small pan but it will be much harder to achieve perfectly shaped tamagoyaki rolls) and turn the heat to medium. When the oil is hot pour a little egg mixture into the pan (about 2 tablespoons), just enough to cover the entire pan with a thin layer.
  4. Just as it’s beginning to set, roll the thin layer as best as you can (like a rolled carpet), away from the handle and all the way to the other end of the pan. This is going to be the center of the tamagoyaki roll. You are going to build upon that now.
  5. Brush the pan with a little more oil and add another thin layer of egg mixture – make sure the mixture spreads under the rolled egg layer we just did.
  6. Just as it’s beginning to set, roll the thin layer toward the handle this time (toward you). When you are done rolling, push the rolled omelet back to the other end of the pan.
  7. Repeat the same steps until you’ve used all the egg mixture, always making sure the egg mixture spreads underneath all the previously cooked layers.
  8. Carefully slide the roll out of the pan and onto a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper. Wrap it into a rectangular shape and leave it for a few minutes to cool.
  9. Cut into six slices and serve with grated daikon on top and a drizzle of soy sauce.

Notes

Save the leftovers in the fridge in an airtight storage container. It will keep for 2-3 days.

Keywords: eggs, appetizer, kaiseki, bento

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