fluffy cloud of deliciousness

This Tamago Sando Recipe is the Perfect Side for Your Picnic

The Japanese-style omelet is the key component of this delicate sandwich, bringing a sweet balance to the meal.

By Timothy Malcolm Published in the June 2020 issue of Houstonia Magazine

Image: Carla Gomez

You know what goes great with our fried chicken picnic? An omelet sandwich.

No, really! Let Chef Manabu Horiuchi of Kata Robata tell you why: “The fried chicken you’re serving is kind of salty, so this is kind of a sweet food,” he says. It’s a fine bridge from the savory chicken to this final course before you hit up dessert; plus, it’s a fluffy cloud of deliciousness.

“My mom taught me how to make the egg omelet,” says Hori about tamagoyaki, the Japanese iteration that’s a little lighter, silkier, and sweeter than its American counterpart (thanks to the chopstick whipping method that Hori says is essential for nailing this dish). “Mine is a little bit different,” he acknowledges. “It’s maybe 80 percent or 90 percent of her recipe.” The resulting creation is even more remarkable since it is actually intended to be served at room temperature between a couple of slices of butter-sautéed milk bread, which you can find at most Asian markets. Add a drizzle of maple syrup to top it off, and even the ants will be envious: just like that, a dainty sandwich that’ll be the star of the show.

Tamagoyaki ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 3.5 T dashi
  • 3.5 T sake
  • 1 oz sugar
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2.25 T vegetable oil

Tamagoyaki instructions:

  1. Break eggs into a bowl, and mix gently using chopsticks.
  2. Bring dashi, sake, sugar, and soy sauce to a boil, then pour into bowl with egg mix. Add salt, and mix gently.
  3. Heat 3/4 T of the oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
  4. When the frying pan becomes hot enough to solidify the egg in an instant, pour one-third of the egg solution into the pan and spread it evenly. Lower heat if necessary to prevent burning. 
  5. Crush any bubbles that form with a chopstick tip, and when it is half- ripened, fold the egg from the back to the front and move it to the back of the pan. 
  6. Drain the oil from the frying pan and pour another 3/4 T of oil and another one-third of the egg solution.
  7. Let the egg form a little, then roll the previously formed egg on top. 
  8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 once more. 

Sando ingredients:

  • 1 package Japanese milk bread
  • 1 T butter
  • House-made tamagoyaki (recipe follows)
  • 1 bunch shiso leaf (basil can substitute) 1⁄2 c maple syrup, cooled
  • Skewers

Sando instructions:

  1. Cut Japanese milk bread into 3⁄4-inch-thick pieces, and remove crusts.
  2. Heat butter on sauté pan and add milk bread, cooking until golden brown.  
  3. Slice tamagoyaki to fit milk bread. 
  4. Sandwich the tamagoyaki and shiso leaf in the milk bread. Insert skewer. 
  5. Drizzle maple syrup on sandwich just before eating.
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