Tamagoyaki: Japanese rolled omelette


I’m on an egg kick lately. I’ve long had a love for eggs, but I suspect my recent obsession has a lot to do with a multi-year hiatus I’ve taken from them (long story). So in the last couple weeks, I’ve been going all out with the eggs. (It’s quite possible this and the next post will be egg-related.) I digress.

This weekend, my egg treat(s) have been tamagoyaki, which can be described as a Japanese omelette, only it’s slightly sweetened, delicately rolled, and fried in a special rectangular pan. Tamago means “egg” in Japanese, and yaki is “grilled or fried”. You can make tamagoyaki in a regular circular frying pan, either with a silicon mold or without. If you go without, it’s just a little more work with the folding to keep the shape, but the process is the same.


tamagoyaki ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of mirin (or substitute with 1/4 teaspoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon vegetable oil) Add more mirin or sugar if you prefer a sweeter tamagoyaki. Careful not to add too much mirin as it has a strong flavour to it.
  • 1 tablespoon of oil for cooking (of your choice, I like using grapeseed oil)


1) Break the eggs into a small bowl and add the salt, soy sauce, and mirin (or sugar and vegetable oil).

2) Beat the egg mixture with a fork or chopsticks until smooth. Don’t whisk the eggs or the mixture will froth, which isn’t what you want.

3) Heat the tamagoyaki or small frying pan on medium to high heat until it is hot. Add the cooking oil and roll the oil around the bottom until it coats the pan. For your first time, as it may take you longer to roll the egg, you can turn the heat down to low to medium heat. The pan should be hot so the egg doesn’t stick, but not so hot, the egg burns or cooks too fast. The hallmark of tamagoyaki are the layers upon layers of egg. The trick to this is to start rolling when the egg mixture isn’t completely cooked through yet, this will also hold it together. Once you get the hang of it, the whole process will take a matter of minutes. As your first few times may take you a little longer to get the hang of, turning the heat down a little may help and will buy you more time.


4) Add a thin layer of the egg mixture (about 3 to 4 tablespoons) to your pan and tilt the pan to cover the bottom of the pan. The bottom of the egg will start cooking immediately. As this happens, and while there is still a layer of uncooked egg on the surface, start rolling the egg from one end to the other. The consistency of the uncooked egg layer should be slightly set, although still uncooked, but not runny. You can use either chopsticks to pick up the edge or a spatula. Keep the roll relatively tight.

5) Once your egg roll is on the other end of your pan, add another thin layer of egg mixture (2 to 3 tablespoons) to your pan. Again, tilt the pan to cover the bottom of the pan and into the egg roll. Again, start to roll as the bottom of your egg is cooked while there is still a layer of uncooked egg on the surface.

6) Roll the egg again, this time from the rolled end towards the other end of the pan.

7) Repeat this process until you run out of egg mixture.

8) Once you’re done, remove the egg from the pan and let it cool slightly on a plate for a few minutes. Cut it in approximately 1/2 inch pieces.

Serve hot right away or chilled in a bento for later. Enjoy!

2 thoughts on “Tamagoyaki: Japanese rolled omelette

  1. Thank you! The pan definitely makes a big difference. If you have a frying pan, you can try folding two of the round edges in first and then roll. It’s definitely harder to handle with a frying pan, but they can turn out just as good. The trick is to wait until the uncooked egg stiffens a little and isn’t completely runny anymore. Another trick you can try is tightening the roll with a bamboo sushi mat afterwards. 🙂

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