Tamagoyaki: Japanese rolled omelette

Tamagoyaki

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.

Ingredients:

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)

Continue reading

Ryoji: Ramen is so hot right now

ryoji

UPDATE (November 23, 2013): I returned to Ryoji with some friends recently, and have posted an update on this original restaurant review.


In the last six months, Toronto has seen a surge of new ramen establishments open their doors. For me, it’s been a welcome occurrence since I adore noodle soups of all kinds with ramen being no exception. My hubby and I haven’t completed the full circuit and visited them all yet, but so far, Ryoji Ramen & Izakaya has taken its place as one of our favourite restaurants in the city… and has become a staple place we go to on a regular basis. The establishment itself is a part of the larger Japanese-based Okinawa business founded by Ryoji Kinjo in 1988. Toronto is the first to have a location outside of Japan.

So why do we love it so much. Three main reasons:

  1. The atmosphere is fantastic. Fun, eclectic, well-designed, and spacious. There is a dining nook to suit every preference – communal harvest table dining, smaller two or four tops, bar-side under a swath of colourful ryuku glass lights, or comfy lounge-style by a wall of lamps. What’s also great is that compared to many of its ramen counterparts, it’s relatively large and doesn’t require the same kind of lining-up and waiting that many of the other ones do. Not to say I wouldn’t wait in line, I would and do, but sometimes, I like being able to walk in and get seated relatively quickly.
  2. One word: Ai. Our favourite server… and so far, the only server we’ve ever had (by our request). We love her. She’s an absolute darling – attentive, helpful, knowledgeable, and sweet. She’s my favourite. I’ve told her so.
  3. The food. It’s Okinawa-style ramen and food and it’s delicious.

This last time we went, we ordered a couple of starters: takoyaki (a snack that wraps minced or diced octopus in deep fried wheat flour), the daily sashimi, and sea bass miso yaki (grilled sea bass).

The takoyaki is a no brainer for us. Topped with takoyaki sauce, Japanese mayo, seaweed, pickled daikon strips, and bonito shavings – the ball-shaped snacks are delicious. Careful when taking your first bite. They’re hot.

takoyaki

The daily sashimi this time was salmon, tuna, and mackerel. It always comes with three dipping options: a soy mousse, cracked pepper and salt, and a sweet miso sauce. Combined with the fresh daikon and watercress, the bite-sized morsels of fish have incredible flavour. Continue reading