Tamagoyaki (Japanese Omelet) + Giveaway!

>>  Monday, April 19, 2010

I love sushi, and those who know me know that I typically shun most "cooked" sushi, opting instead for beautiful cuts of raw fish.  There are a few exceptions that I make, and tamagoyaki is one of them.  For some reason, I love the simple, slightly sweet, slightly savory taste of this Japanese omelet.

In Japan, they sell square pans for making these omelets.  I wondered whether I could make it at home with a normal non-stick pan.  Coincidentally, the folks at Teflon contacted me and asked whether I would like to test out one of their new non-stick pans.  According to the Teflon spokesperson, Teflon has been doing a lot of research the past few years, and the new coating is much more durable and will not flake off over time, unlike the previous generation of pans.  This particular pan is made with Teflon Platinum, Teflon's most scratch resistant coating to date.  There is an added midcoat technology that protects the surface from being scratched. You can actually use metal utensils on these pans! Better yet, they offered to give one away to a lucky Tiny Urban Kitchen reader (details at the end of the post).

Of course, since my own non-stick pans did not really work anymore (they stick dismally to eggs!), I agreed to test this pan and also conduct a giveaway.  What a great way to try out my tamagoyaki recipe at home!
Most tamagoyaki recipes will tell you to put a thin layer of oil on the pan to prevent the egg from sticking.  Since I was testing this pan, I thought I would put it to the rigorous test of making eggs without any oil at all.
Overall, it worked beautifully.  I did not use a drop of oil, and I was able to make a pretty nice omelet.  I did need to use the spatula at the edges to start the whole thing off.  Once I had my roll started, however, the rest was pretty easy.  The pan was also easy to clean.  I used a soapy sponge and easily washed off any remaining egg bits.

Adapted from Just Hungry

4 eggs
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tsp. mirin
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. soy sauce

Using a fork, lightly beat eggs, sugar, mirin, salt, and soy sauce together in a bowl.  Avoid using a whisk because you want to minimize bubble formation.  Heat non-stick pan to medium low heat and add a few tablespoons of eggs - just enough to make a thin layer in the pan.  Wait until the egg is mostly set and not runny  (~ 5 min).  Using a chopstick and/or a spatula, slowly roll the egg mixture onto one side of the pan.  Add a few more tablespoons of egg mixture, letting the egg run underneath the egg roll and wait for it to set.  Repeat by rolling the egg roll back, forming a bigger roll. Continue going back and forth until you use up the egg mixture (about 3 times).

Place the egg roll inside a damp bamboo sushi roller.  Wrap the roller around the egg and tighten/squeeze the egg "roll."  You can either keep it rolled up rested on a bowl to let cool, or slice and serve right away.

Note: This tamagoyaki is a little less sweet than what you might find in a restaurant.  Feel free to add a bit more sugar if you like your eggs sweet.
Cutting Tamagoyaki

Presentation Ideas
The traditional way to eat tamagoyaki is to put it on top of sushi rice and "tie" it together with a thin strip of nori (black dried seaweed). But there are lots of different ways of enjoying this versatile omelet.
Tamaoyaki Apple!
Serve as an appetizer!
Tamagoyaki Bento
Or as part of a healthy bento lunch!

The folks at Teflon were kind enough to let me conduct a Giveaway as part of this post.  This is a 10-inch nonstick Tramontina pan coated with Teflon Platinum technology (the one that can take metal utensils!).  It's perfect for making tamagoyaki without any oil.  To enter this giveaway, please leave a comment telling me your favorite egg dish and how you like to prepare it. For extra entries, please subscribe via RSS or become a fan on facebook. Please leave a separate comment for each of these entries.
Teflon Pan

Teflon Pans / Nonstick Pans
There's been a lot of debate about whether nonstick pans coated with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), branded as Teflon by Dupont, are safe. PTFE itself is inert and nontoxic. However, at higher temperatures (starting at 260 °C / 500 °F), PTFE begins to decompose and will release certain fumes.. Some of these by-products are carcinogenic.  The fumes can also cause polymer-fume fever (temporary flu-like symptoms) in humans and can kill birds.  Studies have shown that a lightweight, empty pan on a burner set to "high" can easily reach temperatures over 500 °F.  However, eggs cooked at medium heat will only reach temperatures of around 104°C / 220 °F.  

The other concern about PTFE was the presence of trace amounts of PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) that came as a result of the manufacturing process.  The jury's still out on the safety of PFOA, although evidence points to the fact that it might have some negative health risks.  More recent studies have shown that hardly any PFOA is detected when a nonstick pan is heated, thus reducing earlier fears about this byproduct.

In short, Teflon coated pans are safe to use as long as you use them properly.  Most importantly, don't ever heat an empty pan (or even a pan with just oil in it) on high!  I plan on keeping my pan mostly for making eggs and other low-heat dishes.

Time to time I receive free products from vendors to review. I do not receive any payment for these posts/reviews. The views expressed in the posts are completely my own. For this post, I received one non-stick pan from Teflon to review and another for a giveaway.

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