Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Recipe: Tamagoyaki (Rolled Omelet in a Frying Pan)

A slightly sweetened tamagoyaki, or rolled omelet, is indispensable to a Japanese bento box lunch.

There’s just something that’s so comforting about the savory yet slightly sweet egg. The air trapped between its rolled layers makes the omelet tender even when it’s fully cooked through, and it’s great to eat alongside rice, paired with bread, as a sandwich filling or simply on its own.

Preparing tamagoyaki is also pretty simple, making it one of the first elements those new to making bento lunches are able to master. The recipe that follows won’t give you the perfect-looking specimens served at restaurants across Japan, but they’ll do fine for dinner at home.

While square-shaped tamagoyaki pans exist, they’re not a necessity. Any nonstick frying pan (around 26-28 centimeters in diameter) will get the job done.

This week’s recipe is on the sweet side, which is more in line with the style you’ll find in Tokyo and the broader Kanto region. If you’re not a fan of sweet omelets, feel free to reduce the amount of sugar.


Serves 2
Prep time: 5 mins.
Cook time: 5 mins., plus time to cool


  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon shirodashi (liquid dashi) or ½ teaspoon dashi powder
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion (optional)


  1. Break the eggs into a bowl. Rather than using a whisk, beat them with chopsticks or a fork to avoid bubbles forming as much as possible.
  2. Add the sugar, salt and shirodashi (or dashi powder) into the eggs and mix well. Again, try not to make any bubbles.
  3. Heat up a large nonstick frying pan with the vegetable oil over high heat. Spread the vegetable oil all around the pan with a paper towel.
  4. Check if the frying pan is hot enough by pouring a bit of the egg mixture into it and seeing if it solidifies immediately. If it does, lower the heat to medium.
  5. Pour one third of the egg mixture into the frying pan. Just as the surface sets, fold in the left and right sides of the egg and then roll it up from bottom to top as tightly as you can manage. Use a spatula or a pair of cooking chopsticks for this.
  6. Slide the rolled up egg to the bottom side of the frying pan. Pour in another one third of the egg mixture. Lift up the rolled up egg to let the egg mixture flow under it. When the surface of the newly added egg mixture has almost solidified, fold in the sides again and roll up the egg from bottom to top.
  7. Repeat Step 6 one more time. Hold the rolled up egg seam side down for a few seconds on the pan. Take it out of the pan and let it cool if you are packing it in a bento.
  8. Slice and serve with the cut sides up on a plate or in a bento. If you’re packing it into a bento, I recommend putting any ragged bits under the more presentable cut pieces.


If you use green onions, then decrease the amount of sugar to half a tablespoon, and add the onions in Step 2.

MasTer alone

Post a Comment for "Recipe: Tamagoyaki (Rolled Omelet in a Frying Pan)"