Friday, April 23, 2010

Omelet with semi-dried baby sardines シラス卵焼き (Mark's book P116)

Japanese like this salty, semi-dried tiny hatchling fish called "shirasu" シラス or "chirimen jako" 縮緬雑魚. The difference between these two may be regional and/or degree of dryness but they appear to be essentially very similar. This is based on the recipe on Mark's book p116 but to make two small servings from two egg omelet, I used a Japanese rectanglar frying pan (for making "dashimaki"  だし巻き Japanese omelet). Please see the picture below. This is a home-use version of a rectangular pan and has a non-stick surface. I should have taken pictures while I was making the omelet to be more informative but this was an afterthought.

I essentially followed the recipe but I made a slight modification and made it like "dashimaki" or Japanese sweet omelet, which I may be able to post in near future. First, I beat two large eggs, and added one package of shirasu (about 2 tbs), one chopped scallion (about 2 tbs), dashi (2 tbs, I added it as though I was making "dashimaki" but it is optional), ground pepper (I use white pepper just for esthetics). I did not add salt or sugar. I heated the frying pan on a medium-low flame and added a small amount (1 tsp) of vegetable oil. I poured 2/3 of the egg mixture in the pan and scrambled the eggs using a silicon spatula. When the eggs were semi-cooked, I pushed all the eggs to one of the narrow ends of the frying pan to make 1 inch wide
rectangle, leave it for 10-20 seconds and then flipped it over using a spatula. I added the remaining egg mixture and spread it in the empty part of the pan and then lifted the rectangle of omelet, so that the egg mixture went under the rectangle. I waited 10 seconds so that the bottom of the new egg mixture is set but the surface is still runny. Again using a spatula (or kitchen chopsticks if you so prefer), from the end where you made the rectangle of omelet, turn it over several times (wait few seconds at each turns) so that the surface is covered with the final layer of omelet. When the surface of the omelet is cooked (you may have to push the sides of the omelet to the sidewalls of the frying pan and flip over once to make sure all the surface is set and the final layer of the omelet is adhering to the center), take it out on a cutting board and cut into six equal pieces. Serve it with grated daikon or "daikon-oroshi" 大根おろし and soy sauce. The small fish add saltiness, as well as interesting flavor and texture.

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