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Rolled thick omelet, dashi-maki tamago, contains a substantial amount of dashi, fish stock, as its name suggests. The stock adds good flavor to the eggs and also dilutes the egg protein, so the resulting omelet is tender and juicy, as you probably know from tasting one at sushi restaurants in your neighborhood. Unlike the Western omelet, a Japanese rolled omelet is made up of four to five layers, which, when rolled together, become indistinguishable.
To prepare the rolled omelet efficiently, you should use a Japanese rectangular omelet pan, 6½ by 5½ inches by 1½ inches deep. With some manipulation, a 6-inch diameter Western skillet will also do the job.
The rolled omelet tastes best on the day of preparation. Refrigeration firms the egg protein in the omelet and destroys the fragrance and taste.
If you are using a Japanese omelet pan, temper it by following the instructions below. In my experience, nonstick Japanese omelet pans that have been used several times still need tempering each time they are used.
- Vegetable oil for greasing the omelet pan
- 4 large eggs, broken into a large bowl
- 3 tablespoons dashi (fish stock)
- 1½ tablespoons mirin (sweet cooking wine)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon shoyu (soy sauce)
Break the eggs into a large bowl and, with a whidk, gently stir (do not beat) until the egg white is broken up. Add the dashi, mirin, salt, sugar, and soy sauce and mix together gently (you do not want to create much foam).
Set the tempered pan with 1 tablespoon of the reserved oil over medium-high heat and, when hot, wipe out the excess oil with a paper towl (leaving too much oil makes the omelet taste greasy).
Pour in 1/4 cup of the egg mixture. It should make a sizzling sound. Quickly swirl the eggs to coat the bottom of the pan and then cook them over medium-high heat until the bottom is cooked and barely golden and the surface is still moist. During this stage, bubbles from trapped steam may push the thin layer of egg up from the bottom, making it inflate like a balloon here and there. With chopsticks or with the sharp edge of a flat stainless steel spatula, poke a small hole through the bubbles to deflate them and let the uncooked egg liquid run through the holes and under the omelet.
Roll the thin omelet toward you with chopsticks or a spatula. Push the rolled omelet to the far end of the pan. Grease the entire bottom of the pan again using an oil-soaked paper towel. Add another 1/4 cup of the egg mixture. Spread it out over the bottom of the pan. With chopsticks or a spatula, lift the rolled omelet you have just made so that some of the new egg flows underneath. Cook until the bottom is firm underneath. Cook until the bottom is firm and the surface is moist, poking the steam vents if necessary. With chopsticks or a spatula, loosen the second thin omelet from the pan along with the first omelet, then lift them up over the second sheet of omelet and turn them both together to make a two-layered omelet. Return it to the back of the pan. Repeat with process with another 1/4 cup of the egg and finally with the remaining egg. With the help of a spatula, press adn form the hot tender omelet into a neat rectangular shape in the pan. Remove the omelet from the pan and let it stand to cool to room temperature. The omelet tastes best after 3 to 5 hours at room temperature.
Tempering the Japanese Omelet Pan
If using a conventional omelet pan, pour 1/4 cup of vegetable oil into it and warm over medium-low heat. When the oil is hot, turn the heat to low and continue warming it for 20 minutes. If the outer edge of the pan is not covered with oil, using tongs pick up a piece of paper towel, dip it into the heated oil, and smear a little of the oil onto the outer edge (be very careful not to ignite the paper towel.) This tempering of the pan is done so that the omelet won't stick to the pan during cooking. After tempering, pour off all the oil from the pan into a heat-resistant cup and reserve.
© 2006 Hiroko Shimbo
Note from Cookstr's Editors
Nutritional information includes 1 teaspoon of oil for the pan, is based on the entire recipe, but does not include fish stock. For nutritional information on fish stock, please follow the link above.