Date Maki vs. Tamago Yaki: Japanese Rolled Omelettes
Happy New Year 2021!
I spent this New Year’s Eve or Omisoka (大晦日), watching Kouhaku Uta Gassen (紅白歌合戦: Red-White Song Battle), a standard long-loved TV program for Omisoka.
And I ate Toshikoshi Soba (年越しそば: meaning Year-Crossing Noodles) shortly before midnight.
Today (January 1st)’s morning, I enjoyed traditional Japanese dishes for the New Year called Osechi Ryori (お節料理).
Osechi Ryori, simply Osechi, typically comes in a layered lacquered box called Jubako (重箱) and consists of various small side dishes.
Date Maki vs. Tamago Yaki
Date Maki is a rolled omelet, but it is somewhat different from the Tamago Yaki fried omelet that’s become a breakfast staple in Japan.
Date Maki (伊達巻)
Date Maki is not only made from scratch at home, but it is also available in a pre-prepared form at supermarkets, eaten throughout the year.
The cooking uses beaten egg and dashi (soup stock). Those ingredients are mixed with fish or prawn surimi and seasoned with sugar and mirin.
The resulting omelet has a more smooth and resilient texture than Tamago Yaki.
In the name, Maki (巻) stands for a roll, while the origin of Date (伊達) comes from the fact that Date Masamune (伊達 政宗), a feudal lord in the Azuchi–Momoyama period (1573 – 1603), loved the sweet omelet.
Tamago Yaki (玉子焼き)
On the other hand, Tamago Yaki uses beaten eggs flavored with seasonings such as salt, soy sauce, dashi, sugar, mirin, and Mentsuyu. And this one comes both sweet and salty.
In everyday life, Tamago Yaki is much more common than Date Maki, often served in breakfast and used in Bento boxed lunches.
By the way, in its name, Tamago (玉子/卵) means Egg, and Yaki (焼き) stands for a fry.