My tamagoyaki-inspired scrambled eggs are, as ever, the clumsy home cook's take on those French soft-scrambled eggs where you have to start from a cold pan with cubes of butter and stir, low and slow, risotto-style—except mine are much faster and taste like tamago nigiri. You know the one? That sweet omelet with the rice underneath, wrapped around the middle with nori like a Band-Aid?
Tamagoyaki—Japanese rolled omelet—requires quite a bit of practice to master the rolling technique, as well as a special square or rectangular non-stick pan to pull off its distinctive tight spiral, and a bamboo mat to mold its corners. It’s a staple of sushi menus and bento boxes alike, and slices easily into compact, sturdy slabs for sandwiches. Tamagoyaki recipes frequently call for a small amount of dashi, which imparts added savory richness. This soft-scrambled tamago recipe delivers all the flavor without the need for specialized equipment, extra ingredients, or countless attempts to “get it right,” and can be on the table in less than 10 minutes.
While adding sugar to scrambled eggs may give you pause, it won’t take away any of the creamy savoriness or add an unwelcome texture. In fact, a touch of sweetness helps to balance the sharpness of the salt and soy sauce in the mix, accentuates the nuttiness of the toasted sesame oil, and highlights the umami flavor that made you crave scrambled eggs in the first place.
Plate the eggs over a bed of steamed short-grain rice, top with shredded nori (or furikake if you like), and eat for any meal of the day. Sesame seeds, sliced scallions, pickled vegetables or kimchi, and the hot sauce of your choice would all be welcome additions, as well. —Eric Kim
Test Kitchen Notes
Featured in: Why My Japanese-Style Scrambled Eggs Are the Softest & Dreamiest. —The Editors
- Prep time 1 minute
- Cook time 10 minutes
- Serves 1
large eggs, preferably organic
clove garlic, grated
toasted sesame oil
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
portion white rice, to serve
roasted seaweed snack, crushed with your hands or snipped into strips, to serve (optional)
- Whisk together the eggs, garlic, soy sauce, and sugar.
- Starting from a cold pan over medium-low heat, add the sesame oil, then the egg mixture. Stir very occasionally with a rubber spatula so you end up with large curds, but DO stir so that the eggs cook slowly and evenly. Just be sure to slightly undercook them, as they'll continue to cook once you take them off the heat. This step will likely take around 2 to 3 minutes, depending on your stove.
- Season the eggs with salt and pepper to taste, plate over rice, and top with shredded nori (if desired).