I returned from a trip to Japan with a square tomago (omelette) pan and high hopes for making this delicious Japanese speciality. I've tried twice so far and each attempt was worse than the last. (They make it look so easy on Youtube). Egg that cooks too slowly develops into an unappetizing plasma - too quickly and it peels off the bottom of the pan in dry scales. My tomagos were a medly of plasma and scales. It surely has something to do with proper heating of the pan, and also the fact that the egg mixture is much thinner with the addition of dashi and other liquid seasonings.
Any tips would be appreciated!
MarkC, I'm lol and have to say, "medley of plasma and scales" -- one of the most unappetizing descriptions I've *ever* read here!
The problems you describe lead me to believe that your Tomago pan is not properly seasoned.
Tomago, as you may already have discovered, is done over high heat in a well heated and rather heavily oiled pan. "Heavy" oiled simply means that the hot oil is allowed the coat the pan before pouring off the excess. Some cooks/chefs coat the pan several times in succession to ensure that they have enough oil to finish the Tomago properly without sticking or burning. The Tomago layers cook quickly over the high heat so it isn't given enough time to burn (or even brown much at all) while it's firming up in the pan. If you're having to leave it spread out long enough for it to burn, you may be pouring your layers too thick. The "scales" are simply a product of insufficient oil and/or improper seasoning of the pan.
Thanks, everybody, these were all helpful comments. Todao, your analysis sounds correct. I had no idea how hot to heat the pan, and probably heated it too slowly, and without sufficient seasoning. I like the balance of ingredients in the L.A. Times article, particularly the relatively small amount of sugar. The recipe I made tasted like a dessert.
One more question, I'm using powdered dashi stock. I know purists may object, but this is for my repertoire of fast, weekday kids meals (my daughter is a fanatic of manga and everything else Japanese). I don't live in the U.S., and the product I bought only contains Japanese writing. How much water should I add with a ten gram packet?