knits by sachi

Hiyashi Chuka, Japanese summer dish

The summer in Japan is brutally hot. The temperature usually stays below your body temperature, however, the humidity is unbearable, averaging over 70 % in the hottest months. With the rainy season of June, Japan is in the subtropical climate zone. It is like to be in a permanent sauna!

Do we feel unwell because of the heat? Sure we do. We have a word, Natsubate translated as ‘summer fatigue’.

You may feel physically tired, lose your appetite and have trouble sleeping. If you feel those symptoms, it is likely that you have Natsubate.

Natsubate is the consequence of hot temperatures and humidity during summer. Air conditioning doesn’t help much. In recent times, it has been said that Natubate happens not only due to the heat but also to the overuse of air conditioning.
It is very important to take care of yourself with healthy life style and good nutrition.

I used to lose appetite during the hot months and only food I could manage was cold noodles. My favorite was and still is cold soba noodles but it is mainly carbohydrates. To add a bit more nutrients, I like this dish; Hiyashi Chuka to serve my family.

Hiyachi Chuka literally means “chilled Chinese”; however, it is a Japanese dish with chilled egg noodles and various colorful toppings. Popular toppings include strips of egg crepes, cucumber, ham, and crab sticks. Soy sauce or sesame based dressing is poured over the noodles and toppings.

In Japan, you can get fresh egg noodles suitable for this dish. I used to think it is not possible to enjoy Hiyashi Chuka without these noodles, but recently, I discovered that you can use dry noodles available from local supermarkets.

I use fine noodles like this one.

All you have to do is cook noodles according to the package instructions, drain and rinse with cold water. Drain water well and place noodles in a large bowl. Place any toppings you fancy. I like adding vegetables, too and often serve it with cooked bean sprouts, green beans, mangetout and corn kernels. Here, I also added steamed chicken breast.

For sauce: to serve one

3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 Tbsp vinegar
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1/2 Tbsp rice wine or white wine
1 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp white sesame seeds (roasted/toasted)
1/2 Tbsp English mustard

You can be creative and add a bit of chilli sauce, ginger, coriander etc.
It is colourful, nutritious and easy to make. The flagrant sesame oil and vinegar stimulates appetite and you will recover from Natsubate in no time.

I have this distant memory of having this noodle dish with my mum. It was at a tiny restaurant in my home town many years ago. I don’t remember what we were doing on that day, which restaurant it was or why we ended up there. It wasn’t remarkably tasty noodles either. I just remember me, my mum and Hiyashi Chuka. Now my mother has terminal illness and permanently in hospital, I sometimes think of these little things.

I heard that it would be a very hot summer this year in Japan.

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Magazine interview

Someone wrote about my career recently and made me sound like a knitting super star.

This article came out in Let’s Knit magazine published in the UK.

The Queen of Cute! I have never been called a queen of anything. I am very flattered.

I did a one page short interview article with them some time ago. It was before any of my books came out and was my very first interview. I sent a copy to my mum. I still have the issue myself.

I supplied most photos. My book publisher, Search Press kindly offered some images as well, like this puppies photo. This project is included in A-5 size mini book, 20 to make tiny toys. It is one of my favorites. I am pleased that it is included in the article.

I submitted this photo. It is one of my knitted amusement park project, airplane ride.

My knitted carousel was in the same page, and apparently, these attracted many interests. I would love to publish these patterns some day. Knitting part is not too complicated, however, the assembling requires good explanations, possibly with step-by-step photos.

Also, the airplane project needs a little bit more work. Each airplane is hanging on the edge of a skewer and they don’t always stay like this. Here I confess, some of the airplanes turn upside down when I let my hands go and I had a bit of trouble taking photos. I have to sort something out to fix this. May be I should tie a string to the top side of the airplanes to keep them right side up.

The characters are rather sweet and I do like this project.

I have a baby,

a giraffe,

a penguin,

and a little bear.

The article comes with the aardvark knitting pattern. It was another unique request from the publisher. I didn’t even know what aardvark was until I got this commission.

He is wearing a multi-coloured jumper, but it is knitted with a sock yarn and you don’t need to knit in fairisle. The jumper has a button in the back and is removable.

I hope many will enjoy him.

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Omiyage from Japan

Omiyage (souvenirs) from Japan again! My husband is travelling quite often recently.

We have the tradition of ‘Omiyage’,gift-giving. Omiyage is translated as souvenirs, however, they are not to be kept for yourself. They are the gifts bought for your friends, family or colleagues. You think of someone while you are away and bring something back for them.

If you travel to Japan, you will notice there are hundreds of tourist shops everywhere filled with local produce and sweets. They are all packaged very nicely, often containing individually wrapped packages inside. These are designed for Omiyage.

I do think they are a little over packaged with plastic bags and paper wraps. Some dislike this tradition all together because they feel the obligation to buy gifts whenever they travel.

I like it. I like buying gifts thinking of someone, and of course, I love getting Omiyage, too.

Usually Omiyage goods are associated with the a specific region; I had requested sake this time and my husband got me a three bottle set from Kyushu region.

Roughly, there are four different types of Sake

Junmai-shu (rice only; no adding of distilled alcohol)
Honjozo-shu (a tad of distilled alcohol is added)
Ginjo-shu (highly milled rice, with or without alcohol added)
futuushu (cheap mass produced sake)

The sake rice is milled before it is used for production. In general, the more the rice used in brewing is milled before being used, the higher the grade of sake. In fact, this is the clearest definition of the ascending grades of sake. Top quality Sake are made with rice that has been milled to remove at least the outer 50% of the original size of the grains.

Some sake are made from rice only, however, some have added alcohol.
Cheap sake has copious amounts of distilled alcohol added to it at the final stages to increase yields. These are just like mass produced jug wines. If you ever tasted sake in a restaurant outside Japan and felt it was too bitter, there is a good chance that the sake was rather a humble grade with lots of added alcohol. Good quality sake should not taste bitter.

Sake with higher grades has had a very small amount of alcohol added to it and this is not to increase yields, but rather the use of alcohol in this very controlled manner helps to enhance aroma and flavour. In fact, all sake which enter competitions has small amount of alcohol added.

If you would like to try real sake without travelling to Japan, you should try a restaurant with good sake list, like this one in London: Sakagura

My husband also brought lots of soy sauce coated rice cakes for my son. They are thick, crunchy and full of flavour. Interesting thing is their ingredients are the same as sake. These rice cakes are made with outer layer of sake rice grains which is removed at milling stage. Nothing goes to waste and the rice cakes taste absolutely amazing.

I am working through the second bottle now. I enjoy tiny bit every day.It is utterly fantastic.

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My knitted Alice(s)

I received this copy from the editor last week. It is Knit Now magazine with my Alice knitting kit.

It was a lot of fun designing this project. From this kit, you get five different coloured yarn to make these three characters. Isn’t it clever?

Yarn is 100% acrylic but is nice, soft and easy to knit. This one is my favorite kit yarn. It doesn’t have unattractive gleam that synthetics often has and looks more organic. It gives you good yardage which makes my job a little easier. I kept the pattern simple. I hope many will enjoy it.

Talking of Alice, I made another Alice set recently, The Wonderland finger puppets.

I absolutely love working on a project with many characters like this. It takes time, but it is rewarding when you finish. It is fairly easy once you make the basic prototype. I start with the main character to make sure the project works.

So, I made Alice and the very important companion, rabbit.

I thought about making them all the same size, but I decided to make animals smaller to enjoy variations. They turned out cute that way.

And Diddle Dee and Diddle Dum. They are supposed to be chubby and short, but I didn’t want to make them too ugly.

The difficult bit was Queen of Hearts. I wasn’t too sure how to express the ‘heart’ bit. I tried with her hair and I think it worked OK.

I wanted to make 10 puppets for each finger, so I added the King of Hearts and the cat. I also made playing cards. I am quite pleased with how they turned out.

And here is the full cast.

This set will be great for children’s story time, but with or without small people, they are still very much enjoyable.

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Patterns in magazines

This pattern was out last week. I was lucky to spot it at a supermarket.

It is in Woman’s Weekly published in the UK. Editors are always so busy and I don’t get notifications of when my patterns get published. Editing weekly magazine must be tough and I don’t know how they do it. I guess I have to be diligent and looking out for my work.

This is one of the quirky requests I often get from editors, otherwise, I would not even think of knitting robots. They named them Knitbots. Clever!

I like getting requests. It is rewarding when I succeed to meet their brief and receive nice compliments. I also enjoy the challenge, but the best of all, I get inspired to create. Sometimes, I carry on having fun, making similar items after I finish my commission.

Some time ago, I made these dummy holders for the same magazine.

I missed the publication for this one. I haven’t got a slightest clue when these came out. Dummy holder is far from what I need at this moment, but surprisingly, I very much enjoyed designing them. I finished the original request and continue making more holders. It is a bit silly, I know, but I made ladybirds, flowers, chicks and all sorts of things as a motif.

I also discovered that they would make nice brooches, so that I made even more. Animal faces are simple and cute, and seasonal items are also fun to make.

To be honest, there have been some commissions I initially could not feel too excited about. I thought they were not my style or anything I fancy knitting, however, I always ended up having lots of fun with them. I think I truly love creating knitted toys. It is very important for me to work with other people.

This knitting kit is out from Knit Now magazine this month. Making knitting kit is tricky and needs careful planning. I hope many will enjoy the project. This magazine if out for a month, thank goodness, so you have a bit more time to buy a copy from a shop.

As for the missed publications, Woman’s Weekly is putting up all knitting patterns on their website soon. Once it is activated, I will post a link on this page.

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Japanese Potato Salad

It seems that I have been cooking many dishes without knowing they are Japanese.
For example, this potato salad.

When I prepared it for my English friends one day for lunch, they said they never had anything like it before. It is very Japanese, they all said.

How can it be? I thought. It is cooked potatoes with mayonnaise.
We do add vegetables and proteins and this may be unique to our potato salad. There are many variations and each family has their own recipe. Mum always made with ham, boiled egg and sliced cucumber.

I had also used Japanese mayonnaise.

Japanese mayonnaise tastes a little different. Just like there are Hellmann’s and Heinz in the UK, we have Kewpie and Ajinomoto as major brands in Japan. They have been around since mid 1920’s.

Japanese mayonnaise uses soy-based vegetable oil and many of the same ingredients as US/UK ones, however, they don’t add water and uses apple or rice vinegar rather than distilled vinegar. It contains egg yolks rather than whole eggs.Using egg yolks and apple or rice vinegar and eliminating water gives Japanese mayonnaise a thicker texture than American mayonnaise and it is rich. My friends said it was more vinegary and resembled salad cream rather than mayonnaise.
I really missed it when I was an exchange student in America.

How to make Japanese potato salad

2 large potatoes
2 eggs, boiled

2-inch English cucumbers
1/2 tsp salt
2 slices ham
*2-3 tbspJapanese mayonnaise
1-2 tsp English mustard or whole grain mustard

Freshly ground black pepper or white pepper
1/4 tsp salt

Instructions
1. Cook potatoes. You can boil, bake or microwave.
Conventional way is peel potato and boil in a pot. Cook until a skewer goes through. Drain water and put the pot back on the hob.
On the stove, evaporate water and moisture of the potatoes over medium-high heat about 45 seconds or so. When the potatoes are nice and fluffy, remove from heat.

Mash the potatoes roughly to leave some small chunks for texture. Transfer to a large bowl and leave to cool.

The cucumbers we get in Japan are much thinner and cruncher with less water so that we can simply slice them. I either de-seed or use outer flesh of English cucumber. Slice thinly and sprinkle 1/4 tsp of salt. Leave it for 15 minutes, then, rinse. Squeeze firmly to get rid of excess moisture.

Dice the sliced ham. I use good quality ham with no added water.

Mash up boiled eggs.

When potatoes are cooled, add ham, cucumber and eggs to potatoes.
Add salt, pepper, mayonnaise and mustard mix until incorporated.

If you do not have Japanese mayonnaise?

Although we like Japanese mayonnaise and it is possible to get them at a Chinese supermarket, they are rather pricey. I often use English salad cream or mayonnaise with a teaspoon of vinegar.

I prefer to go easy on mayo and season with salt, pepper and mustard.

There are lots of room for improvisation for this recipe. My auntie used to make it with sliced, quartered and boiled carrot and thinly sliced fresh onion. My friend once made it with tinned tuna and whole grain mustard. My elementary school used to serve it with sliced apple.

You can use wasabi instead of mustard or add a bit of Miso for saltiness. It is fun to experiment.

Fortunately, there is no shortage of potatoes in the UK. You can have a go at this salad if you get bored with your usual baked potatoes or chips.

My new knitting project this week?

I am already writing for winter issues.

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More Easter knits

I found this bottle at our wine shop in town.

It had come from Ibaragi prefecture in Japan. It must be an ale brewed by a small local brewery that uses locally sourced ingredients and water. I felt like I found my old friend. It has such a cute label and I thought I must have it.

I am not a beer drinker. I find all beers too bitter for me. Only recently, I learned the difference between ale and lager.
I tasted a little. The ale had fruity, tangerine like aroma (or should I call it bouquet?) and was very tasty. Yes, it was bitter and my husband happily finished it all, but it was good.

The one I bought is called ‘White ale’ and the shop had another kind, ‘Red rice ale’. That sounds even more interesting. I want to try it next time.

The brewer has an online shop; Hitachino Nest Beer

Oh, I was going to share the pattern of these two little guys here today.

Little chicken and chick

Abbreviations
Stst: stocking stitch
St: stitch
K: knit
P: purl
Kfb: k one through the front then through the back (same stitch)
K2tog: knit two together
P2tog: purl two together
Skpo: slip1, knit1, pass slipped stitch over

Special technique: i-cord
Using double-pointed needles cast on the required number of stitches. Do not turn. Slide stitches to the opposite end of the needle, then knit stitches again taking the yarn firmly across the back of work. Repeat to desired length. Cast off.

Chicken
Materials
• 3g white DK
• Small amounts of brown, dark brown DK (8-ply)
• Small amounts of 4-ply (fingering) red and yellow
• Stuffing

Needles
A pair of 2.75mm-3.00mm (US 2) Double pointed knitting needles (DPN)*It is to make i-cords, but there is an
alternative

Body
With white, cast on 9 sts.
Row 1 (WS): p
Row 2: (kfb) in each st to end. 18 sts
Row 3: p
Row 4: (k1, kfb) to end. 27 sts
Rows 5-11: Beg with a p row, work in Stst.
Row 12: (k1, k2tog) to end. 18 sts
Rows 13-17: Beg with a p row, work in Stst.
Row 18: (k2tog) to end. 9 sts
Break yarn, draw through sts, pull tightly and fasten off.

Wings: make two
With white, cast on 8 sts.
Rows 1-3: Beg with a p row, work in Stst.
Row 4: k2tog, (k1, k2tog) to end. 5 sts
Row 5: p
Break yarn, draw through sts, pull tightly and fasten off.

Feet: make two
With brown, cast on 5 sts.
Ro w1: cast off 4 sts p wise. 1 st
Row 2: cast on 4 sts, cast off these sts p wise. 1 st
Row 3: cast on 4 sts, cast off to end.

Legs: make two
With brown, cast on 2 sts and work 4 rows in i-cord. Break yarn, draw through sts, pull tightly and fasten off.
Alternatively, if you do not have DPNs, cast on 4 sts, cast off these sts p wise.

Wattle: make two
With 4-ply red, cast on 3 sts
Row 1: p1, p2tog.2 sts
Row 2: k2tog and fasten off.

Comb: make three
Work as Wattle

Beak
With 4-ply yellow, cast on 4 sts.
Row 1: (p2tog) twice. 2 sts
Row 2: k2tog and fasten off.

To make up
With fasten-off yarn end, sew body and stuff. Seam wings and attach them to body. Connect three claws of feet at one end neatly and attach them to leg. Attach legs to body. Attach wattle, beak and comb pieces to head. With dark brown, French knot eyes.

Chick
Materials
• Small amount of soft yellow, brown DK
• Small amounts of 4-ply dark brown and yellow
• Stuffing

Body
With soft yellow, cast on 7 sts.
Row 1 (WS): p
Row 2: (kfb) in each st to end. 14 sts
Row 3: p
Row 4: (k1, kfb) to end. 21 sts
Rows 5-7: Beg with a p row, work in Stst.
Row 8: (k1, k2tog) to end. 14 sts
Rows 9-11: Beg with a p row, work in Stst.
Row 12: (k2tog) to end. 7 sts
Break yarn, draw through sts, pull tightly and fasten off.

Wings: make two
With soft yellow, cast on 6 sts.
Rows 1-2: Beg with a p row, work in Stst.
Row 3: (p2tog) to end. 3 sts
Break yarn, draw through sts, pull tightly and fasten off.

Beak
As given for Chicken

To make up
Sew body seam and stuff. Seam wings and attach them to body. Attach beak. With 4-ply dark brown, French not eyes. For a leg, cut brown DK yarn to about 8cm and make a knot on one end. Make another knot on top of first knot to ensure knot will not be undone. Thread yarn and pierce front base of body, leaving knot and about 1cm yarn for leg. Hide yarn end in body. Repeat for other leg.

When you are knitting toys, it is a good idea to make it a habit of keeping fairy long end at cast-on and fasten-off ends for sewing. Also, seam with the right side out. Your finish will be neater.

Easter is almost here but this is a super quick project. You can make it in no time.

Happy Easter!

This was in Woman’s Weekly last week. I didn’t know it was out and even I missed it. I will try to find out how to get the pattern from editor.

Sir Elton John was on the cover.

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Ojiya Japanese risotto

My husband came back from Hong Kong business trip this weekend and brought back these.

Oh, not the cats. I knitted the cats.

He said there were lots of Seven Eleven convenience stores in Hong Kong and they all sell Japanese food. Interesting. We love everything Japanese.

Since my older son moved to London to attend his university, our food bill decreased considerably. It is a bit strange because he is not at all a big eater, but I have noticed that we are spending much less at supermarkets.

Also, whenever I cook rice for dinner, we get leftovers which becomes my younger sons lunch the following day. He much prefers meals with Japanese rice to sandwiches or sausage rolls. He normally fixes his own lunch every day.

Recently, he learned to cook ‘Ojiya’, Japanese risotto.

Some call it porridge with rice and technically, it may be correct because rice is not cooked from grain. However, rice looks and has similar texture to risotto and I think you can picture the dish better if I call it that way.

My son’s version is a super short cut. After all, he is a 18-year-old boy who comes home for lunch between lessons.

Properly, you will make soup base with Dashi, stock made with bonito flakes or kombu seaweed. You would cook vegetables and sometimes light meat as chicken or white fish.
The method is simple; you make miso soup and dump cooked rice into it.

Ojiya risotto, my son’s version
Cooking time: 3 mins?
Serves 1

1 instant miso soup (or left over miso soup if you have)
1 bowl of cooked rice
1 egg, beaten
Cooked meat, crab sticks, small amount of wakame seaweed, etc

1. In a small cooking pan, make miso soup according to the instructions or heat up left over miso soup.
2. Add cooked rice.

3. Cook until the rice absorbs some of the liquid and thickens. Add beaten egg.

4. Remove from heat when the egg is cooked through.
5. Sprinkle a bit of chili powder if desired.

If you could spend a bit more time, you can add all sorts of vegetables. My suggestions are sliced shiitake mushrooms, cubed or julienned carrots, cubed potatoes, mooli daikon, radish, parsnip, wakame seaweed,spinach,finely chopped spring onions.

Because the rice absorbs liquid and becomes thicker, you do not need too much rice. There is no oil, cream or cheese added but surprisingly satisfying. It is great when you are on diet.

Eating cauliflower to curve carbohydrate is popular now. I have never tried it, but may be you can substitute some of rice to cauliflower if you would like.

Mum used to cook me Ojiya when I wasn’t feeling well. It is easy to digest and gentle for your body, but at the same time, very nutritious. I am glad that my son has developed the taste for this dish.

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Little Easter Bunnies

I haven’t done this for so long and I am feeling guilty. I should share more of my patterns online, yes, for free!

I do not at all mind doing this. Ideas come up one after another and I have so much I haven’t published. However, it takes a bit of time and care to write patterns. I also do not want to publish anything without getting pattern checked by a tech editor. I make stitch and row count errors, forget writing some body parts and my making up instructions aren’t clear enough sometimes.

But these bunnies have very short patterns and I felt I could manage without help. So here we go.

Littel Easter Bunnies
Size: 6cm
Materials
• 3g white/pink DK
• Small amount of Felted tweed DK
• Small amount of 4-ply dark brown
• Stuffing

Needles: 3mm

Abbreviations
Stst: stocking stitch
St: stitch
K: knit
P: purl
Kfb: k one through the front then through the back (same stitch)
K2tog: knit two together
P2tog: purl two together
Skpo: slip1, knit1, pass slipped stitch over
WS: wrong side

Body
Cast on 8 sts with white/pink.
Row1 (WS): Purl.
Row2: Kfb in each st. 16 sts
Row3: Purl.
Row4: (K1, kfb) to end. 24 sts
Rows5-16: Starting with a p row, work in Stst.
Row17: (p2, p2tog) to end. 18 sts
Rows18-20: Starting witha k row, work in Stst.
Row21: P2tog, (p2, p2tog) to end. 13 sts
Rows22-25: Starting with a k row, work in Stst.
Row26: k1, (k2tog, k1) to end. 9 sts
Break yarn, draw through sts, pull tightly and fasten off.

Ears: make two
With felted tweed, cast on 4 sts.
Rows1-4: Stst, starting with a p row.
Row5: p1, p2tog, p1. 3 sts
Row6: Knit
Row7: P1, p2tog, pass the first st over the second and fasten off.

Tail
With felted tweed, cast on 10 sts, p 1 row. Break yarn, draw through sts, pull tightly and fasten off.

To make up
Seam body and stuff. Attach cast-on edge of ears to head. With dark brown DK yarn, French knot eyes. Take two strands from dark DK yarn, embroider mouth and nose with backstitches.

This is such a easy quick knit. You can surely make a pair by Easter.

I got the idea for the design from Japanese sweets, Wagashi.

Wa-gashi are traditional Japanese confections that are often served with tea. They are commonly made of mochi rice cake, sweetened azuki bean paste, fruits and vegetables. Wagashi are typically made from plant ingredients. I am not too keen on butter, cream, sugar sort of sweets, but I absolutely love Japanese sweets. They are ever so dainty and pretty.

We all like small cute things. I hope you will enjoy my little bunnies.

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Tamagoyaki

This is another casual sushi I make at home; sushi with tamago, egg omelette.

I often make them with Inari zushi. They are both savory sweet and my son’s favorites. I made them for his birthday three weeks ago but again this week, to celebrate his success in driving theory test. I know it is only a half way, so it is a petit celebration.

When I serve these egg sushi to my non-Japanese friends, I often get nice compliments. They are not at all exotic, however, my friends all say that they have never had omelette served in this way.

The omelette is called Tamagoyaki which is made by rolling together several layers of cooked egg. These usually are prepared in a rectangular omelette pan.

There are several types of tamagoyaki. It is made by combining eggs, sugar, salt or soy sauce. Additionally, sake and mirin are used in some recipes. If you add Dashi, stock made from bonito flakes, it is called Dashimaki. Dashimaki is moister because of the extra liquid, and so it has a softer texture. The egg flavor is also a little milder.

Tamagoyaki is often served in the form of nigiri sushi, and also appears in many types of sushi rolls. In Japan, it is also served as a breakfast dish and in Bento box. It is children’s favorite, and we always serve it for New Years day.

This is what Mum made for this year’s celebration.

Tamagoyaki
Ingredients
3 large eggs
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1-2 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp soy sauce or 1/2 tsp salt.
1 tsp mirin, sake or white wine

If you do not want to darken the omelette at all, it is better to use plain salt. Alcohol will evaporate, but if children get put off by the smell of Sake, choose mirin or omit wine all together.

What you will need:
Frying pan (non-stick frying pan is easier to use)
spatula
paper towel

In Japan, you can get a square frying pan for Tamagoyaki, but I do not have one. I use common round frying pan.

Method
1. Heat the pan over medium heat and oil the pan. Wait until the pan is hot. You can test with a drop of egg mixture. If it sizzles, pour a thin layer of egg mixture in the pan, tilting to cover the bottom of the pan.

2. After the bottom of the egg has set but still soft on top, start rolling into a log shape from one side to the other.

3.Move the rolled omelette to the side where you started to roll, and apply a drop of oil to the pan. Pour the egg mixture to cover the bottom of the pan again.


4.When the new layer of egg has set and still soft on top, start rolling from one side to the other.

5. Repeat this process until the mixture is all used.

Remove from the pan and wrap it with a paper towel. Shape the egg when it is still hot. Let it stand for 5 minutes.

There is another version of Tamagoyaki with Dashi stock added. It is called Dashi-maki. Dashi is stock comes from bonito flakes (kombu seaweed stock if you are vegetarian).Dashi-maki has more flavour, however, it is a bit more difficult to roll because of the extra liquid. It is best to practice without Dashi until you get the hang of the rolling technique.
If you would like to try, add 1 tbsp of rice wine and 3 tbsp of Dashi stock to egg mixture.

When my boys were young, parents were always asked to blow eggs before Easter. Children would take egg shells to school to paint and decorate them. Each child needed to bring three egg shells so that I needed to blow six eggs! I ended up feeling light headed and dizzy in the end. It is amazing that the whole egg content comes out from such a tiny hole.

With six eggs, I always made, you guessed right, Tamagoyaki.

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