“Tarako” cod roe omelet 鱈子のだし巻き

japanese cake

This is another “teiban” 定番 or regular item in Izakaya. Although using a spicy tarako or “(karashi) mentaiko” 辛子明太子 appears to be more common than using regular tarako roe. I like using regular tarako with Tabasco mixed in, so I can control the spiciness.  I am not sure you will find this dish in any place other than an Izakaya or similar low-key eatery unless you make it at home. Some variations exist including adding a nori sheet or cream cheese.

It was a Tuesday night. I thawed a package of tarako the previous weekend but I did not get around to using it. So, I had to start using the tarako soon, hence, this dish.

I usually make a dashimaki with three eggs but this one required 4 eggs and I could have done a better job forming the roll.

Eggs: I used large brown eggs (4). I added dashi broth (4 tbs, leftover from making another dish), sugar (2 tsp) and a pinch of salt and mixed well in a bowl.

Takako: I opened one roe sac by cutting the membrane along the long axis. Using the back of my knife, I scraped off the roe from the membrane and placed it in a small bowl. I then added sake (less than 1 tbs) and Tabasco (as much as you like) and mixed well to attain the degree of spiciness and consistency I wanted. I then made it to a rectangle with the width equivalent to that of a square Japanese Omelet pan. If you like, you could roll this in a nori sheet (if you do this step, wrap the tarako-nori roll in a plastic wrap for few minutes until nori sheet gets moist and keeps its form before placing it on the omelet).

On a low flame, I heated a square Japanese omelet pan and added vegetable oil (my pan is non-stick and I added oil to just barely coat the surface). The pan should be hot enough so that the eggs start cooking immediately but not too hot for the eggs to start bubbling. I poured enough egg mixture to thinly coat the bottom. When it was half cooked, I added the tarako mixture, about one inch from the far edge of the pan. Using a spatula (one wide enough almost encompassing the width of the pan is best), I lifted and draped the 1 inch portion of the omelet over the tarako, and started rolling (You also need to tilt the pan to help with the rolling action. I did not do as well as I could have). I repeated the same process three more times, adding vegetable oil to the pan as needed. I ended up with a rectangular omelet which looks exactly like a Japanese dashimaki omelet from outside (albeit a bit fatter). But, of course, when you slice it, you will see semi-cooked spicy tarako inside.

This is a sublime dish; nice salty taste and interesting texture of tarako in the center with mild spiciness and the surrounding omelet has nice conforming sweetness. We did not need any soy sauce because of the enough saltiness from the tarako. You need to have sake for this dish. Good effort by me on weekday night. Only problem may be that this dish is high in cholesterol.

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