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Tamago recipe - on the trail of the Japanese egg

Tamago recipe - on the trail of the Japanese egg | ORYOKI

The Japanese word Tamago (卵 – たまご) translates to 'egg'. In Japan's traditional cuisine, it serves as a foundational ingredient in many dishes. From breakfast to dinner, it accompanies in classic recipes throughout daily life. As an excellent source of protein, it is not only nourishing but also enriches with its distinctive flavor.


Recipe in this blog post:

Breakfast in Japan - fortification for the day

In the classic Japanese cuisine, icy dishes already greet the plates early in the morning. There are many recipes. Whether raw mixed with breakfast rice and seasoned with soy sauce as Tamago Kake Gohan, as silky egg custard (Chawanmushi), or in pancakes (Okonomiyaki). The rolled omelette (called Tamagoyaki or Onsen Tamago) is particularly popular. These dishes are served as accompaniments to rice, miso soup, fish (e.g., salmon or tuna), vegetables, and occasionally Natto (fermented soybeans, often served with mustard and soy sauce). Green tea is also served – the Japanese start to the day reflects an image of health and richness.

Many classics have, however, disappeared from the morning scenes of modern Japan, as time has become more limited with the influx of Western values. International breakfast traditions are the new trend. Toast with jam, ham sandwiches, cornflakes, and yogurt – societal changes at the breakfast table and a quick start to the day with (dairy) coffee, orange juice, and the like. However, the Japanese omelette has been preserved, as its preparation is simple and quick.

Gerolltes Ei mit Gemüse

Tamagoyaki - refueling at lunchtime and afterwards

Already feeling exhausted, it's time for lunch. In pursuit of energy, people in Japan rush into their break. The goal is to find inner calm in the bustling and crowded atmosphere and gather strength anew. Sushi is universally popular here. Tamago Sushi, Tamago Nigiri, or Tamago Maki – delicious snacks from the bento box make their way into hungry stomachs, providing satisfaction without creating a sense of fullness. Those rushing to a restaurant may indulge in the diverse ingredient in the classic Ramen, where Ajitsuke Tamago embellishes the most delightful noodle soup variations as a topping. Breakfast classics can also be found again on the menu. Tamagoyaki, as a layered, sometimes still raw omelette, enhances lunchtime. Sweet enthusiasts also enjoy eggs in desserts, for example, the delicious Castella or juicy Kasutera sponge cake.

For those who don't indulge too much, they move on lightly and satisfied towards the evening – after eating is before eating, with eggs always in the mix.

Chopstick art and its helpers

For those who eat with chopsticks, bite-sized pieces with a relatively firm consistency are needed. Therefore, the Japanese omelette is often rolled and cut into appropriately sized bites. Prepared in a pan, the round edges are cut off, similar to sushi rolls, to create aesthetic uniformity. This way, Tamagoyaki and similar dishes fit much better into the bento and don't waste any space. To simplify this further, square pans are also available in Japan. In restaurants, these contribute to resource conservation by reducing waste and thereby increasing profits.

Chopsticks view in the store »

Experience tamagoyaki for yourself - one basic recipe, endless possibilities

No. of persons1 personNo. of persons
Total Timeca. 20 minutesTotal Time
Level of difficultyeasyLevel of difficulty
Caloriesca. 350kcal per portionCalories

Japanese omelette comes in many variations – daily consumption calls for variety. It is often prepared in sweet form, but savory options are not a faux pas. With the provided recipe, preparing, frying, and rolling are easy and quick.

(Sweet) Tamagoyaki rolls

Tamago Rollen serviert auf Holzbrett
3 eggs
1 pinch pepper
1 pinch salt
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
Sunflower oil or rapeseed oil
Favorite vegetables
Herbs of your choice
Kochende Miss Oryoki
Step 1

Crack 3 eggs into a bowl and whisk them until they reach a uniform consistency.

Step 2

Add half a teaspoon to a teaspoon of sweetener. This can be sugar, mirin, coconut blossom sugar, agave syrup or similar. Depending on what you use for sweetening in your household. Bear in mind that sugar tastes much sweeter than the healthy options, so you will need to experiment a little and let your taste decide. When it comes to sweetening, less is more.

Step 3

If you prefer a savory version of this simple basic recipe, leave out the sweetener and season with pepper instead. The art of a good omelette really does lie in the seasoning. So feel free to be a little bold.

Step 4

Add 2 tablespoons of light soy sauce. You can omit the extra pinch of salt here if necessary, as the soy sauce is already salty. If you don't have soy sauce to hand, you can add 2-3 pinches of salt instead. However, the taste will be different.

The personal touch

Step 1

Create your own individual tamagoyaki by adding additional ingredients to the base. These can be any herbs, but also vegetables. You can also add fish, meat or vegan alternatives.

Step 2

Tamagoyaki is still rolled, which is why the ratio of base and toppings must be right and the latter must be very finely chopped, preferably grated.

Step 3

Pour a thin layer of egg mixture into a lightly oiled, coated pan. The egg layer in the pan should not be too thick. Let it set briefly over a medium heat, but not completely cooked. We don't want a fried egg, as tamagoyaki remains partially raw in its traditional form. This helps the roll to stick together well at the end and not fall apart. You can roll up the egg while it is still in the pan with a kitchen friend and leave it at the top of the pan while you add another layer of egg. Repeat this process until the roll has the desired diameter.

Step 4

You can now roll your tamagoyaki roll in dashi stock, one of the most important ingredients in Japanese cuisine. It can be found in almost all Japanese recipes.

Step 5

Cut the roll into bite-sized pieces, enjoy or put in a bento.

Attention: In Japan, Salmonella prevention involves medicating the eggs. This is not the case in Germany. You can, therefore, cook the egg completely through and secure it with small sticks after chopping. These sticks present themselves equally beautifully on the plate and eliminate the need for chopsticks or utensils. In a sustainable manner, this allows you to forgo the use of plastic cutlery, especially when 'to go,' and eliminates the need to carry your own utensils. Finally, they fit perfectly into the bento – small as they are.

Alternative: Of course, you can also add your toppings after frying. Place your desired composition on each layer just before you start rolling.

Attention: When using Dashi, transportation in a bento is only possible to a limited extent. Dishes with Tamago as a base should always be freshly prepared and consumed quickly. They taste best when hot.

In general, creativity knows no bounds with Tamagoyaki. Compose whatever you like!

Japanese recipes read in the magazine »

Dashi broth recipe

No. of persons4 personsNo. of persons
Total Timeca. 30 minutesTotal Time
Level of difficultyeasyLevel of difficulty
Dishmain mealDish
Calories50kcal per portionCalories
Kitchenware Kitchenware
5x10cm dried seaweed (kombu) (origin is Hokkaido, by the way)
10g fine and coarse bonito flakes (katsuobushi)
500ml water

Attention: Kombu should not be washed. The powdery white residue has the best flavor.

Attention: Kombu must not be brought to a boil, as the broth will become bitter otherwise.

Step 1

Cut small strips of kombu with scissors (5x10 cm) and soak in cold water (500 ml) for 10 minutes.

Step 2

Heat the water with the kombu on the highest setting. Remove the kombu just before it comes to the boil.

Step 3

Add the katsuobushi and bring to the boil. Turn off the hob immediately after boiling.

Step 4

Leave the katsuobushi to stand in the boiling water for 5 minutes until they sink. Then separate the stock from the katsuobushi. To do this, pour the stock over a container and sieve.

Step 5

Continue to use the dashi (e.g. to enhance the flavor of tamagoyaki rolls). Store the rest in the fridge or freeze. Enjoy the perfect taste of traditional Japanese fresh.

Japanese tableware view in the store »
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