In Japan before Oshogatsu – New Year – you will see datemaki – sweetened dashi omelette flavoured with shrimp or fish – in many a new year’s lacquered bento box.
For the time poor,Osechi ryori – New Year’s cuisine – is sold at department store food halls or famous Japanese restaurants and can cost from $100 to the thousands.
Datemaki is one of the most popular New Year’s foods and symbolises education and culture. The flavour of datemaki differs from region to region, with different preferences in sweetness and the flavour of local ingredients.
Datemaki is quite simple to make and is very delicious. Why not try it at home?
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Equipment: a sharp kitchen knife, 2 x bamboo sushi mats, baking tin 20cm x 30cm and a blender
Cooking time: 15 minutes
- 7 large eggs
- 6 tbsp white sugar
- 3 tbsp pre made dashi stock
- 3 tbsp mirin
- 1 tsp salt
- 120g hanpen / fish cake cut into 2cm cubes
1. Preheat oven to 180C (not fan forced)
2. Line a 20cm x 30cm cake tin with baking paper
3. Dissolve sugar and salt in dashi and mirin over medium heat and let cool.
4. When cool put in blender with three of the eggs and the fishcake – blend until smooth. Add the remaining eggs and blend for 10 seconds on high.
5. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes and then pour into cake tin.
6. Bake at 180C for 15 minutes or until cooked through and slightly brown on top.
7. Remove from tin by lifting the baking paper and slice in half on a chopping board so you have two halves. Place bamboo mat over the egg and flip holding the baking paper with your other hand.
8. Transfer each half of egg to a bamboo mat and press lightly so the datemaki has indents from the bamboo. Remove the baking paper and score 3mm deep with a sharp knife every 1cm or so.
9. Roll the datemaki tightly and tie with string or rubber bands. Cut any extruding egg from the ends of the roll. Let the roll cool.
10. When cool, unroll the bamboo, slice into 1.5cm slices and serve.
This dish can be kept in the fridge for up to three days and is best eaten at room temperature.
- Roll the datemaki as soon as it comes out of the oven
- If you can’t buy hanpen – fishcake – use shrimps, prawns or a white flesh fish
- Use bamboo mats with a thicker bamboo pieces to give your roll bigger indentations