Customers come into the store and ask us how to use the Copper Tamago Pan all the time. It's very hard to explain how to make it without actually cooking it in front of someone. So we decided to capture it on video.
Naturally, we decided to go to Kayoko's dad, Kunio Akabori, owner of Sushi Kuni in Cupertino, California.
He has been making sushi for over three decades, including tamago (egg).
Tamagoyaki is an Japanese-style egg omelette. There are many variations, and sushi chefs take pride in their individualized recipes for tamago. At home, Japanese mothers might add an ingredient to be folded inside, like shirasu (anchovies) or negi (green onions); or a higher ratio of dashi, to add texture and flavor. Tamagoyaki is a requisite bento addition for any kid growing up in Japan.
In any case, tamagoyaki takes some skill and practice to make. We wedged our way into the Sushi Kuni kitchen, where Kuni showed us how the pros do it.
Here's the video:
After we shot the video, Kuni told us about how tamagoyaki originally started out as a delicacy. Right after the war, when sugar was scarce, tamagoyaki were enjoyed only on special occasions like weddings and business celebrations. It was prepared with more sugar and was considered more of a dessert than anything else.
Through the years, as sugar became more available, and people began to be more conscious of their sugar-intake, tamagoyaki evolved into something less sweet and more savory. Although it is often enjoyed at the end of a sushi meal, it is still considered part of the meal.
Kuni stressed that the perfect tamagoyaki is uniform in color and texture. It should be fluffy with no air bubbles in it. It also needs to be consistent throughout. Each layer should have the same level of done-ness.
This was a special tamagoyaki where he folded unagi into it.
Sadly, I do no eat eggs, but when I asked Kayoko how it tasted, she didn't have to say a word. Her face said it all.