Weekly Japanese Pop Culture Thread (May 13, 2020)

Welcome to The Avocado’s weekly discussion of Japanese pop culture! It’s been over two months since I’ve had a reason to make a bento, and I’m really missing the food and the fun, so this week I’m going to talk a little bit about one of my favorite bento staples: tamagoyaki! This rolled omelette is the perfect combo of sweet and salty, and it was one of the first things I learned to cook when I started trying to make my own bento. It’s easy, delicious, and a good option if you’re avoiding meat. 1 Tamagoyaki is great for your bento because it provides protein, it tastes great at room temperature, and doesn’t take up too much space. You’ll often find a few slices of tamagoyaki in bento boxes as a side dish, but when I make it’s usually the main dish. You can also make one for a shared side for breakfast or dinner.2

I recently got a proper tamagoyaki pan but don’t worry if you don’t have one. You can still make delicious tamagoyaki with a regular frying pan. Here’s the foolproof recipe I used for years, which I always cut in half. You can see from the picture (spoilered below) that while I couldn’t create the most beautiful tamagoyaki with this method, you can still get some of the desired layers.

Frying Pan Method

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Now that I have a tamagoyaki pan I use the recipe in Makiko Itoh’s Just Bento Cookbook 2. It requires three eggs, and there’s step-by-step instructions (with pictures) for how to get those perfect layers. Well, I say perfect, but I still haven’t completely mastered the process, as you can see below.

Tamagoyaki Pan Method

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As you can see, the layers are more defined when using the tamagoyaki pan, but it will taste delicious no matter what it looks like. There’s even a way to make it with just one egg if you don’t want to make a large one. You can also experiment by adding other ingredients like green onions or bacon. If you have any good tamagoyaki recipes, please share!

And, as always…

What have you been watching/reading/playing/eating/listening to lately?

Happy Wednesday! 🙂