How To Make Precision Cooked Japanese Omelettes

My love for tamagoyaki has been well documented, as has my antipathy towards single-use appliances. The latter, paired with a very small kitchen, has kept me from purchasing the square pan required for making the little grilled egg squares, which is sad because I love them so.

When I read chef Yuji Haraguchi’s pan-less oven-friendly recipe for tamagoyaki, it got me thinking about other cooking methods, and naturally my mind went to precision cooking.

Precision cooking, as we all know, is a pretty great way to cook eggs and egg-based custards, and precision cooked omelets have been around for some time now. It’s a pretty simple process: mix some eggs, add some other ingredients, pour it in a bag and cook. When the eggs have firmed up into a nice, custardy consistency, slide your omelette out of the bag.

Using this straightforward recipe from Japan Centre, I decided to see if the slightly sweet, delightfully bouncy Japanese omelettes could be made in a similar fashion. Spoiler alert: they can.

The texture is a little different, as the traditional preparation requires the cook to grill or fry each layer of egg; precision cooked omelettes are denser and creamier than classic tamagoyaki, with a texture that lives in between an omelette and chawanmushi. (I love them, and am disappointed it took me so long to make them.) They can be served hot or cold, with or without rice, and for breakfast, lunch and dinner. To make them, you will need:

  • 4 eggs

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon mirin

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Heat your water bath to 80 degrees Celsius, and pour all of your ingredients into a mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly, then strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve. (While the straining step isn’t completely necessary, it will ensure a super smooth, consistent omelet.)

Pour the mixture into a gallon-sized freezer bag, taking care to not splash the mixture on the sides of the bag. Lower the bag into the bath and clip the end of the bag over the sides. You may have to lean a plate or large spatula against the bag to keep it from floating up.

Cook the omelette for 20 minutes, then slide it out of the bag and onto a cutting board (I cut the sides of my bag open to make this easier). Trim off any wispy egg pieces, eat them, and slice the omelette into two-bite-sized portions. Serve immediately or chill and eat for lunch the next day.


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