On this week’s episode of Improv Kitchen, chef Nyesha Arrington is challenged to make tamagoyaki, a classic Japanese rolled omelette.
Chef Arrington does not own a traditional square tamagoyaki pan, so she decides to try and use two different pans instead: a small non stick pan, and a cast iron skillet. She is also out of mirin, so she makes her own substitution using water, sugar, and Japanese vinegar. As she continues to gather her ingredients, she decides to try two different mixes for the tamagoyaki: one with eggs, handcrafted soy sauce from Kentucky, dashi powder, and her homemade mirin, and the other with the same ingredients, but with matsutake shoyu in place of the soy.
She then makes a number of attempts to flip and roll the omelette, alternating between different techniques and pans. When she gets two sets of tamagoyaki she’s satisfied with, she decides to plate them differently. For the one with the southern influence of the Kentucky soy, she cuts it into large slices and adds cooked baby collard greens as a garnish. For the smaller, matsutake shoyu tamagoyaki, she cuts bite-size square pieces and wraps them in nori.
“You have two different bites here….This one is feeling more punchy, more soy forward, a little bit of a balance of sweetness,” she says of the Kentucky soy tamagoyaki. “And this is a lot more light, a lot more humble, and the flavors really shine through,” she says as she pops a nori-wrapped bite in her mouth. “Overall I’m really happy with it.”