Paper-Thin Omelet

Usutamago Yaki

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes

    4-5

    large ( 8 inch ) circles

Appears in

This basic recipe makes crepe-like sheets which the Japanese use in a variety of ways: several recipes in this book call for them. Learning how to flip the omelet with a single chopstick may take a few tries, but once you’ve mastered the technique, you’ll find it a marvelous and useful skill.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 extra-large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon saké (Japanese rice wine)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water, optional
  • vegetable oil for seasoning pan, optional

Method

  1. Break the eggs into a bowl and season them with the rice wine, sugar, and salt. Beat to mix thoroughly, but try not to incorporate air as you do this. Pour the egg mixture through a mesh strainer to ensure a smooth yellow mixture.
  2. If you want to strengthen the paper-thin omelet (for use in Golden Purse Sushi,, for example), add the cornstarch paste. Stir the paste into the egg mixture to combine it well.
  3. For this omelet I recommend using a skillet with a non-stick surface such as Teflon or SilverStone. Even so, I season it with a thin layer of oil, re-oiling the pan between sheets by wiping it with a small wad of paper towel dipped in vegetable oil. An 8-inch skillet is best for making the larger circles for use in Golden Purse sushi; small circles from a 6-inch pan are fine when the omelet will be shredded later for any of the other sushi dishes. Heat your skillet over medium heat.
  4. Pour a little less than one quarter of the egg mixture into the skillet to make the larger circles; about half that for the smaller ones. Add the measured egg mixture to the pan all at once. Swirl this mixture to cover the surface of the skillet evenly. Keep it over medium heat until the edges seem to dry a bit. Remove the skillet from the heat and let the egg sheet cook by retained heat for another 20-30 seconds before flipping it over.
  5. The Japanese use a single chopstick to help flip their sheets of omelet. Trace completely around the circumference of the omelet with the tip of your chopstick. Then, holding the skillet in one hand and the chopstick in the other, tilt the pan so that your hands face each other. Insert the tip of your chopstick just under the edge of the omelet, and alternate the use of twirling motions with back-and-forth strokes to work your way across to the other side of the pan. Lift the omelet, draped over the chopstick, and lay it back in the pan, inverted. Allow the other side to dry off (at most 30 seconds additional exposure to heat), then flip it out of the skillet. Continue to make the omelets in the same manner, stacking them as you go. Thin omelets such as these will keep for 5 days, covered and refrigerated.

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