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Tamago (Eggs)


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I wonder if someone would be able to identify this preparation and provide a an English language cookbook reference/recipe?

An egg preparation where the eggs, scrambled(?) are placed in shapes like scallops, and with some device, charred dark streaks (?) are made on them to further create the impression of the ridges of a scallop shell.

Perhaps the dark streaks are made by some tare sauce, but the effect is to produce a facsimile of several scallop shells arranged on a plate.

Many thanks.

gautam

I have no idea. I did some googling using such keywords as hotate (Japanese for scallop), tamago (egg), and modoki (food made to resemble something else), but nothing came up. Could you provide some more info? A single photo may clear up everything.

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Dear Hiroyuki-san,

Thank you so very much for taking so much trouble over this request. I feel quite ashamed for having eaten into your precious time!

Sadly, I cannot supply a photograph because the one I saw was in an English-language book of Japanese cooking in a used bookshop. When I returned to buy, it was gone; thus, my uncertain bibliographic memory. However, the striking photograph therein and description remains fresh, and hopefully, accurate [but one never knows, does one?]

I hesitatingly put the query before this group with far-reaching expertise in the faint hope it might ring a bell somewhere. That still might happen.

Again, thank you so very much for your kind efforts.

gautam

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Can you say where you saw this dish please?

And if you tasted it, did it taste sweet and cakey, or soft and eggy?

It could be:

a) a date-maki mix rolled up in a mat while warm and allowed to cool in the desired shape, then marked with a red-hot skewer, or

b) a roughly mashed hardboiled egg mix rolled in a mat (but this would be hard to mark with a hot skewer, though a sauce mark would be possible)

3) regular Japanese omelet (thick style or thin style) rolled in a mat or possible cut out with a cutter.

If it was REALLY cakey, it could be a madeleine, a very popular cake in Japan.

Hard to say which, without a few more details! A scallop-shell shape is unusual, but a 3-lobed "pine tree branch" shape is more common and sometimes has 3 short brown lines in a fan shape in the center. Of course, a fan shape (quarter-circle) is not unusual.

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I wonder if someone would be able to identify this preparation and provide a an English language cookbook reference/recipe?

An egg preparation where the eggs, scrambled(?) are placed in shapes like scallops, and with some device, charred dark streaks (?) are made on them to further create the impression of the ridges of a scallop shell.

Perhaps the dark streaks are made by some tare sauce, but the effect is to produce a facsimile of several scallop shells arranged on a plate.

Many thanks.

gautam

Could it have been a thin omelette (usuyaki tamago) that was wrapped around something?

Was it anything like this?

The marks like this are usually made with a heated metal skewer.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Thank you very much. You are both right. Many lashes with udon to my idiot self for confusing the issue by interposing scrambled egg and scallop shell, sumi masen.

Kristin has the photograph that refreshed my memory and corrected my errors; and, yes, the marks were made with metal skewers.

Thank you so very much all, and a special thanks to the ever gracious Hiroyuki-san for devoting time, not that Kristin-san and Helen-san also have not, not at all my implication!!!!

I would suppose googling the correct name would offer sufficient recipes? What a delightful visual conceit this dish offers. I so love the lines of Japanese aesthetics, and wonder if there are English language works explaining to neophytes something about the same?

I look in amazement and delight at the thick coils of straw ropes that are decoratively strung on various structures; these are different "lines" than those expressed in the 'rough' tea pottery that again differ from those underlying bamboo plates/server. But throughout, there is some unifying sensibility, some commonality that speaks of its unique Japanese nature.

It is strange and wonderful that cultures have developed (each their unique) this underlying idiom of subform, or line, that runs like a measure or ideation of proportionality [called tala in Indian aesthetics, and used in many different senses] throughout their visual arts, be it food art, scultpure, painting, woodwork, any mimetic craft at all.

gautam

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v. gautam

The dish is called hamaguri sushi (はまぐり寿司) and I thought of it because I knew I had seen recipes and pictures of it in older Japanese (in English) cookbooks. The name refers to the shape (hamaguri means clam) rather than the filling, it is usually made with just a simple vinegared sushi rice or extra infrediants depending on who is making it.

Here is a recipe in English

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Thank you so much Kristin. Now the mystery is solved: clam --> scallop; I can see where my memory played a trick, retaining a semblance of the original name and interposing its own visual interpretation after all these years in an attempt to describe the 'ridges' of the 'shell' !

gautam

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Recipe in English for hamaguri-zushi

The rice inside the omelets can be a straightforward bara-zushi mix with carrot, dried gourd and dried shiitake mushrooms, but you can make it even simpler and just add black sesame seeds (and maybe a small amount of shredded boiled snowpea) if you wish.

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  • 5 months later...

I wonder what kind of egg do you buy. And, what brand and which size?

I usually buy regular, cheap ones. Often, a pack of 10 L-size eggs for 98 yen on every Thursday (eggs' day here in my area).

When my children were smaller, I often bought more expensive ones, like these DHA-enriched ones:

gallery_16375_4595_40818.jpg

Pack of 10 eggs for 238 yen when on sale. It is close to 300 yen on normal days.

Comparison:

gallery_16375_4595_63034.jpg

Left: Regular, cheap egg

Right: DHA-enriched one

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I tend to go to extremes! My local supermarkets don't seem to go for the 100-yen eggs, so I usually buy either the standard bulk brand that each supermarket stocks most of (=fresh), or the very expensive free range eggs at supermarkets which sell enough of them to get in fresh stock at least twice a week.

Brands that promote the superior chickenfeed or water they give their chickens always make me feel suspicious - a battery hen with a deluxe bento is still a battery hen. I do buy them sometimes, and some brands do seem to have better eggs, but not all of them. This is the brand I usually buy - Jiyouran site - despite the misleading name, these are not laid by free-range hens.

The best free-range eggs I can buy come from very local producers. I'll post a photo next time I get to the supermarket that stocks them.

I kept hens when I was a kid, so I don't like buying eggs from badly-raised hens!

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Dear Helen-san,

Your mention of keeping laying hens as a child [in NZ] makes me wonder if there are the equivalent of the American 4H program for school kids in Japan. Kristin might be more familiar with its activities: among other things, children are encouraged to raise livestock, even on a very small scale, say 2 hens, or bantam fowl of production breeds. Japanese quail also provide a good number of eggs from a small space, not necessarily wholly caged, but with a small run.

Pictures of some backyards and sideyards show enough space for a small number of birds, enough for a small family, providing housing codes allow such. I wonder if this is at all practical in Japan? Recently, many towns and cities in the USA have had to re-write their livestock ordinances to allow small numbers of laying hens and quails, but not cockerel, in urban yards, so vociferous has been the demand.

Winter snows/temperatures below Hokkaido are not a problem for many breeds like the Australorp/Jersey Giant types, the Marans and most production Rhode Island Red/ Hampshire Red types, their bantams, and many other less prolific egg layers. Winter protection for quail is very simple, because they are so small and naturally adapted to the Japanese climate.

Hearing Kristin-san mention eating watermelon but once or twice a season, i feel shocked because her little backyard is perfect for growing the small-fruited dwarf watermelons with Japanese genetics, Yellow Doll, Peace etc. in 4 cu.feet bags of pottin mix; to add to these fond delusions, i now imagine a pair or two of hens!

I shan't inflict such torture, even imaginary, on the esteemed Hiroyuki-san, although the watermelons are indeed very tempting, and his side yard is just perfect for a Bosc pear! And, his very bright children engaged with gardening were what originally led me to ask about the 4H type programs!

Thanks for your forbearance.

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There certainly aren't 4H-type programs in suburban areas, and of course, the agrarian tradition here is plant-based, not animal/plant-based. So there are certainly "adopt-a-paddy", ""bucket-paddy" etc, initiatives to familiarize children with those traditions.

Hens and rabbits have traditionally been kept at elementary schools, but since the bird-flu scare, the hens silently disappeared from schools over long vacations. :wacko: .

At the same time, there were reports of abandoned flocks of pet hens, as people tried to disasocciate themselves from keeping birds, without incurring expense or inconvenience.

I think it would be difficult to START keeping hens in suburban Japan now, without getting crowds of irate neighbors on your doorstep claiming that you were trying to spread bird flu.

It might also go against the cultural grain to keep your poultry population young enough for efficient egg production by culling the old ladies from your flock regularly. :sad: .

I don't think there are actual restrictions on keeping poultry in "pet" numbers, but local governments have become very interested in keeping track of the exact numbers of birds people keep.

Recommendations are to keep poultry enclosures netted over the top, to prevent contact with wild birds. I'm sure that the hens of my childhood would have hated that - they liked to roost in the lemon tree.

Perhaps Hiroyuki remembers the guy who kept lots of fancy poultry near where I live, selling the eggs for incredible prices? He's closed down the shiitake part of his operation, and I'm not sure whether he has been able to continue keeping poultry or not.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have been making a lot of onsen tamago for udon lately and have been using a new method. You need a thermometer and something that is insulated to hold the water. I use a small styrofoam cooler but you could use a thermos or some styrofoam take-out containers. I add the eggs to cold water and then heat it up to around 155°F. If anything you want the temperature to be a little bit high. When it reaches the right temperature I put the eggs and as much water as I can in the container and wait on hour. If the water stays fairly hot you should have onsen tamago at the end of that hour. If the eggs spins on a flat surface it worked, if it doesn't spin it's not done. I found that the lower temperature - longer time methods make superior onsen tamago to the high temp. - short time methods.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was talking to the owner of the shop where I buy my eggs the other day and she told me she had a special item. Ukokkei eggs, or eggs from a silkie hen. They are widely believed to have more nutrients than regular eggs. I don't know if this is true or not but if you mention ukokkei to a Japanese person they will tell you if you eat one every day you will be healthy. Silkies are not especially suited to egg production. One egg can cost up to 500¥. This time I bought 5 for 1000¥ and gave all but 2 away as presents. I ate the rest in tamago kake gohan. I couldn't tell the difference in flavor between an ukokkei egg and a regular egg. The shop owner told me a good tip however. Ukokkei eggs generally weigh 50g, if it is marked as ukkokei and doesn't weight the right amount it might be a counterfeit. Considering that you can buy 20 regular eggs for the same price as one ukokkei I can see why people would counterfeit them.

Anyway that leads me to a question. I have seen 卵掛けご飯専用醤油 soy sauce for use only in tamago kake gohan. Has anyone tried this or know what makes it different from regular soy sauce?

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Are guinea fowl raised for eggs in Japan and are these eggs to be found? In Europe and the US, 2 types of guinea fowl eggs are sold. One is from the Pearl guinea, raised as a barnyard fowl, by hobbyists and free range poultry keepers. The second is from guinea fowl specially bred for laying and raised in deep litter, just like hens, in semi-intensive or intensive poulty farms. The eggs are supposed to especially tasty and prized by many, including those recently arrived from Africa.

Unlike the bland ostrich and emu eggs, there really is a taste bonus in guinea eggs. Besides, they are more resistant to breakage and spoil less readily in ambient temperatures, a useful factor for developing nations.

Samuel N. Nahashon, Ph.D.

Team Coordinator - Research Professor

Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Research

Tennessee State University

Cooperative Agricultural Research Program

snahashon@tnstate.edu

Field of Specialization: Poultry Nutrition and Genetics

Current Research Areas: Optimize nutrient requirements and management practices for improving reproductive and production efficiency of the guinea fowl.

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Anyway that leads me to a question. I have seen 卵掛けご飯専用醤油 soy sauce for use only in tamago kake gohan. Has anyone tried this or know what makes it different from regular soy sauce?

I have seen these in the stores and often wondered the same thing. A quick search came up with this list of 50 different soy sauces just for tamago kake gohan. Many of them are even divided into Kansai (western Japan) and Kanto (Eastern Japan) versions.

I took a look at the first brand listed and it lists the ingredients for both versions as soy sauce, mirin and katsuo bushi. It also mentions that the Kansai version is a little sweeter.

I am not a huge tamago kake fan but my husband eats it only once in a while and he is happy with soy sauce so I don't see a reason for another jar... :biggrin:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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  • 1 month later...

tamgoyaki/dashimaki questions: what kind of pan do you use (copper, teflon, steel?)? how long does it take you to make tamagoyaki? what do you add to the eggs and how many do you use?

I use a cast iron tamagoyaki pan (kansai shape). it takes me about 4 minutes to make but i want to cut down the time to about 2 minutes. I add about 30cc of konbu katsuo dashi to 3 eggs, salt, msg, and usukuchi soy sauce. after cooking I let it cool for a few minutes in a makisu bamboo sushi mat. I would love to hear the way you make it.

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Hi,

The recipe I use is from "just hungry" website. She does not use dashi. When I tried to modify her recipe and include dashi thinking the tamago would be less.. um fattening? oily? salty? my tamago yaki fell apart. I ended up with scrambled eggs. It turned out ok cause I used a "lunch in a box" website trick and turned it into mock tamagoyaki. But I want to know what I did wrong? Or how I can modify it? Thankee thankee

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I can't make tamagoyaki in two minutes. I made it this morning, and it took me about 4-5 minutes. 4 large eggs + 50 ml dashi (instant dashi + soy sauce, no sugar for me).

If you want to make tamagoyaki in two minutes, maybe you should consider buying a special gadget like this one.

According to the TV show, Tameshite Gatten, many professionals employ this ratio:

3 medium eggs + 80 ml dashi

I have tried this ratio twice so far, and the tamagoyaki fell apart each time, like OnigiriFB mentioned.

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/gatten/archive/2006q3/20060823.html

(Japanese only)

ETA: I don't like using a makisu I like to wrap the tamagoyaki in a paper twol and heat in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to make sure that it sets completely, which is important especially when you put it into a bento box.

Edited by Hiroyuki (log)
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According to the TV show, Tameshite Gatten, many professionals employ this ratio:

3 medium eggs + 80 ml dashi

I have tried this ratio twice so far, and the tamagoyaki fell apart each time, like OnigiriFB mentioned.

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/gatten/archive/2006q3/20060823.html

(Japanese only)

That is a lot of dashi, I use 80ml (1/3 cup) with 5 medium eggs and it works perfectly.

gallery_6134_91_1101872954.jpg

It would be really hard to make this in 2 minutes, it takes me about 5 in a small round fry pan.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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  • 2 months later...

AKA: Tamago-yaki in Japanese

I recently learned about these interesting "omelets" which to me seem to be a combination of crepe and omelet.

My daughter discovered the special pan and the technique a while back and when she described it to me a few days ago, I realized I actually have one of the pans, given to me several years ago. I have never used it as the recipe book that came with it was entirely in Japanese and I really had no idea how to use it. At the time I had so many other projects going that I simply put it away and forgot about it.

Since her revelation that these little creations are very tasty, I have ordered a cookbook and have also printed out a couple of recipes I found online.

I did a search but could not find a topic specific to this.

Has anyone had much experience with these and more important, does anyone have any interesting recipes?

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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