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Tamago (Eggs)


SobaAddict70
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The date was stamped on some brands of eggs about 8 years ago when I was in Germany. On those ones, I don't think it was the expiration date though; I think it was the date that the eggs were laid. I think this lack of emphasis on expiration was due to storage methods in Europe; some eggs are stored refrigerated at the supermarket, and some are not.

The bright orange color of Japanese yolks is mostly due to diet, I believe. There may be some varietal difference from the kinds of chickens common in Japan, but the differences in the US are mostly due to diet.

If you spend more money on eggs in the U.S., for eggs from chickens which are fed flaxseed (usually labeled Omega-3 eggs), you'll find richer-looking orange yolks. Also eggs labeled free-range, all-vegetarian diet tend to look better than ones that don't make such claims.

There is one brand of egg in Seattle sold at Uwajimaya and maybe a few other locations, whose label is in Japanese, which is even more dramatically orange than other ones, but it's quite expensive. Free range eggs cost from $2-4 per dozen, but these ones are usually a super-premium $4.39 (though I've heard this type is even more expensive in New York).

Jason Truesdell

Blog: Pursuing My Passions

Take me to your ryokan, please

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I think there are probably 2 issues here:

1. Salmonella

2. Stale eggs

It sounds like you don't have a salmonella issue in Japan (which as far as I know is related to intensive rearing). In Ireland and the UK, there are a number of different classses of eggs, and the ones labelled free range or organic are generally considered to be fine for using raw (but not for the old, pregnant or the very young).

On the freshness issue a good rule of thumb is to test the egg in a bowl of water. If it stays firmly on the bottom it is fresh, and if it floats to the top it is stale.

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Wow! The pictures of the eggs are great! The photo of each individual egg with a sicker on it is cute, and the stamped eggs are facinating. What a rigorous system! This extremely thorough appearance gives the consumer the assurance that freshness is guaranteed and the product is perfectly safe for raw consumption.

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arrr.... we are probably talking about two different types of tofu then.

The one I use is called "egg tofu" I think it is actually a steamed mixure of blended egg whites and tofu.

Japanese tamago tofu actually does not have tofu in it, it is just eggs. Seasoned and then steamed in a mold. I am assuming it is because of its appearance that it was given the name tamago tofu.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I was trying to find out what IF3 meant (and ccame up empty) but I ran across this site for Akita tamago. Scroll to the bottom and click on skip (スキップ), on this page you enter the date and code from your package of Akita tamago and it will show you information such as where the bird was raise, what kind of bird, what it was fed, etc....

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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A little off-topic, but as good as any thread to ask this...

What accounts for the brilliant orange coloring of the yolks in Japanese eggs? I've tried googling this but have perhaps used the wrong seacrh parameters. Anyways, I was shocked at how all of the yolks looked much more vibrant than their North American counterparts.

Does it deal with the diet of particular hens, the particular strain of chickens, or what?

And a third, even more off topic question. I had a black egg that I had assumed was going to be a "thousand year old egg" - however, it turned out to just be an onsen egg and, besides it's slightly sulphuric/mineral flavor, was really undistinguishable from a regular egg. DO the Japanese have a similar dish to thousand year eggs?

Japanese prize eggs with a deep and bright orange yolk.

The regular supermarket ones look orange enough, but when you pay top dollar for luxury eggs, the colour is amazing. The yolk should also stand up and remain almost spherical when the egg is broken onto a plate, rather than limply spread out.

I've never seen a Japanese thousand year egg.

I think there are probably 2 issues here:

1. Salmonella

2. Stale eggs

It sounds like you don't have a salmonella issue in Japan (which as far as I know is related to intensive rearing). In Ireland and the UK, there are a number of different classses of eggs, and the ones labelled free range or organic are generally considered to be fine for using raw (but not for the old, pregnant or the very young).

On the freshness issue a good rule of thumb is to test the egg in a bowl of water. If it stays firmly on the bottom it is fresh, and if it floats to the top it is stale.

You're right, stale eggs and salmonella are different issues. As I understand it, an egg salmonella will get you no matter how fresh it is. Thanks for pointing that out.

I use the floating test too. I've never had an egg fail in Japan (even way after the expiration date). Which could mean that either Japanese eggs are remarkably long-lasting; or this test doesn't work in Japan!

My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

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torakris, thanks again for the great links. In the last one, I believe, there was a cartoon version of a scientist/biologist holding an eyedropper and a rack of test tubes. As my Japanese language knowledge is zero, I am not sure what the cartoon implies.

Are some Japanese eggs artificially altered, enhanced through the chickens diet? And if so, are these eggs considered more or less acceptable for uncooked consumption? If so, how does acceptability vary between enhanced eggs and naturally raised eggs?

Edited by mascarpone (log)
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  • 1 month later...

I was reading some recipes on another website and it mentioned the use of Koukiran eggs which are noted for their bright orange yolks. I couldn't find out any other information except that these particular eggs are from Murayama in Yamagata. Anyone know if this specific brand?

I've noticed on various Japanese cooking shows the use of eggs that have a much brighter & darker yolk than I am used to back in the US. I doubt the specific Koukirin eggs are available here in the south, but are there other types I should look at in the local markets? Maybe go with the brown ones or simply the ones that are the most expensive to get the highest quality and a bright orange yolk.

Any help or tips would be as always greatly appreciated!

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I guess you know that these particular eggs are used in Takumi Juudan of Mos Burger:

http://www.mos.co.jp/spotlight/050316/takumi_ju.html

Is that the reason why you posted this particular question in the first place?

Anyway, these eggs are produced by the variety called Boris Brown, a variety raised in your country, the United States.

from here:

http://www.rakuten.co.jp/yamagatamaru/631856/633277/

(Sorry, Japanese only)

This is the website of the poultry farm that produces the eggs:

http://www.net.sfsi.co.jp/tezukuri/index.htm

(Sorry, Japanese only again)

I still don't know whether this is the only farm that produces Koukiran eggs.

As you may know, the color of the eggshell has nothing to do with the color of the yolk. The feed the hens are fed determines the color of the yolk.

What specific information do you need? Do you want to contact the farm and place an order? I ask this question because you seem to be a business-minded person. :biggrin:

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My local shiitake grower's real passion is exotic poultry, and he sells a number of unusual eggs, but I'd have to wait till I get back to Japan to check exactly what.

As for feed, anything with a lot of carotene in it (dark green weeds, for example) will work, but the cheap favorite is apparently marigold petals added to the feed...

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Mori no Tamago http://www.ise-egg.co.jp/buy/products/p01.html of Ise Shokuhin http://www.ise-egg.co.jp/index.html (both in Japanese only) is the best-selling brand of eggs in Japan. They have a bright orange yolk. They are a little more expensive than regular ones, so I only buy them when they are on sale.

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Thanks Hiroyuki for the information. I will be sure to look for the ISE eggs on my next trip to the local market. I did run across the Koukiran egg in an article about the MOS burger promotion and was interested in an egg that would be promoted so highly. While I am developing a restaurant business here in Japan, the egg question was more for personal, at-home use.

Thanks again!

Mori no Tamago http://www.ise-egg.co.jp/buy/products/p01.html of Ise Shokuhin http://www.ise-egg.co.jp/index.html (both in Japanese only) is the best-selling brand of eggs in Japan.  They have a bright orange yolk.  They are a little more expensive than regular ones, so I only buy them when they are on sale.

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  • 3 months later...

One of my favorite dishes that can use pretty much anything in the kitchen is tamago-toji. Protein/vegetables are either sauteed and then simmered or just started out simmering in a lightly seasoned sauce.

I use a simple sauce of 1 cup dashi with 1 tablespoon each of soy sauce, sake, mirin and sugar.

After everything is cooked through, lightly mix some eggs in a bowl (I use 3 large ones) then pour it over everything in the pan. Lower the heat, put on a lid and simmer until your liking. I like mine a bit on the runny side.

My most recent version consisted of tofu (first browned in the pan) and mitsuba (trefoil), the kids devoured it. :biggrin:

gallery_6134_1960_30211.jpg

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Nobody has mentioned quail eggs yet (unless they have a separate thread?). My closest grocery store in Japan used to stock plenty of these, and seeing as I have just recently found a new (and affordable :smile: ) supply of them, I was wondering about how they would fit best into Japanese cuisine.

So far, I'm thinking of boiled separately, peeled, then added into oden or into miso shiru.

Other ideas?

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This is not healthy or particularly elegant, but I had them kushi-age style once and still can't get over it.

Nobody has mentioned quail eggs yet (unless they have a separate thread?). My closest grocery store in Japan used to stock plenty of these, and seeing as I have just recently found a new (and affordable  :smile: ) supply of them, I was wondering about how they would fit best into Japanese cuisine.

So far, I'm thinking of boiled separately, peeled, then added into oden or into miso shiru.

Other ideas?

Jason Truesdell

Blog: Pursuing My Passions

Take me to your ryokan, please

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Quail eggs, or uzura tamago as they are called in Japanese, are very popular especially in bentos. They are easy to prepare, a perfect size and add a nice color to the bento.

In Japan you can buy them fresh or water packed in cans or packets.

Some common ways to prepare them for bentos (or meals) are as

mini Scotch eggs

or skewered with something

they can also be cut into cute shapes (scroll past the sausage carvings...)

The yolks are often used raw as sushi toppings (scroll to bottom) and the whole raw egg is often added to dipping sauces for noodles (look at the first picture, it is on the small dish)

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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  • 1 month later...
And in the "answer your own question" department, I found this page.  Is this the way most people make it at home (albeit in a round skillet)?

I posted a recipe for my unsweetened version of atsuyaki tamago on RecipeGullet:

http://recipes.egullet.org/recipes/r1569.h...0afe55516361c56

I didn't know that only one photo could be posted per recipe, so I post other photos here:

First 1/3 of the egg mixture:

gallery_16375_5_31958.jpg

First 1/3 just rolled:

gallery_16375_5_50632.jpg

Out of the pan and onto a sheet of paper towel:

gallery_16375_5_4373.jpg

Fininished product:

gallery_16375_5_36905.jpg

Yum, yum! :biggrin:Unsweetened atsuyaki tamago is so good.

Edited by Hiroyuki (log)
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  • 3 months later...

I've seen on the Dotch Cooking show where the chef cuts open a soft boiled egg to great enthusiasm from the audience. Usually this is in a soup noodle dish, like ramen. As a guess, it sometimes seems like the egg has been peeled, then cooked in broth because the exterior of the white has taken on the color of the broth, yet the yolk is still very liquid. I did some searches on eG, but I had no luck. A few questions:

-what is the word for this kind of egg in Japanese?

-does anyone know the particulars of how an egg is cooked like this? What is the procedure? At what temperature? For how long?

Arigatou gozaimasu.

~Tad

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Are you looking for something like an onsen tamago, or hot springs egg (which was discussed recently in a Mark Bittman NY Times article), or is it firmer than that?

There is also a recipe with fairly soft-cooked eggs in the 24-page miso supplement from a recent Orange Page magazine (someone mentioned this in the miso thread); I haven't translated it yet, but I plan to. It's for eggs with a wasabi garnish, and the yolks aren't liquid, but they're still translucent rather than being fully set. I'm sorry but I can't find the picture online.

Jennie

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I googled more and I think it might be called hanjuku tamago?

http://www.kintarou.info/s/images/hanjuku.jpg

Or the Hyotei Tamago? Seventh picture down.

http://epicureandebauchery.blogspot.com/20...ing-part-i.html

Edited by FoodZealot (log)
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Yes it does sound liek hanjuku tamago 半熟卵, these are used mostly for noodles dishes like ramen but they also find their way into salads quite a bit.

I looked up a couple recipes and they were about the same except for a variation in the initial boiling time but that could be because of the size of the egg?

1. Bring a pot of water (enough to cover the eggs) to a boil over high heat and then carefully place the eggs inside. Bring back to a boil and lower the heat to medium, boil for 4 to 7 minutes--one recipe said 4, one said 5 and one said 7.....

2. Turn the heat off and let sit for one minute.

3. Place the egg either in ice water or under cold running water for a couple of minutes to cool it down a bit, then peel and eat!

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Or the Hyotei Tamago?  Seventh picture down.

http://epicureandebauchery.blogspot.com/20...ing-part-i.html

瓢亭卵 Hyotei tamago is essentially the same as hanjuku tamago, it is considered a Kyoto meibutsu (speciality food) made famous by the restaurant Hyotei, where the recipe has been supposedly handed down for generations. Until the typical hanjuku tamago this one is usually eaten as a dish on it's own with just a drizzle of soy sauce.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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