Datemaki is an egg dish, a bit like sweet Tamagoyaki but cooked with fish cake. Datemaki is a part of Osechi Ryori, the traditional Japanese new year feast. There are a lot of kinds of dishes for Osechi Ryori, but Datemaki is prominent among them for its bright color and interesting shape. Datemaki is fairly sweet like some other Osechi Ryori so that it can last for at least the first 3 days of the new year.
Each part of Osechi Ryori has a meaning to it, and Datemaki is no exception. Datemaki is rolled like roulade cake, and because it resembles rolled books, there is a wish for a success in studying. There are several views about the origin of the word Datemaki. A historical warlord “Date” Masamune liked the dish. “Date” is the name of a narrow sash for a Japanese Kimono. The old word “Date” means colorful or fashionable. It’s not clear which is the real reason, so people choose the one they like.
Datemaki uses fish cake called “hanpen.” Hanpen is a white square fish cake sold at Japanese markets. It has a very mild flavor and light texture. It is often used in Oden, cooked vegetables and meats in soup. Hanpen makes the Datemaki’s texture very airly. It is the crucial ingredient, so we hope you can find it. Making Datemaki’s rolled shape is very easy and forgiving. After you roll on a sushi mat or Oni Sudare used here, cool completely without unrolling. Even if egg cake doesn’t have a perfect shape in the pan, rolling and cooling in the mat will correct it.
If you are making only a few types of Osechi Ryori, this is one to make. It is easy, and the whole family will like it.
- 100g Hanpen (white fish cake)
- 4 eggs
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp Mirin
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Cut Hanpen into small pieces.
- Put everything in a food processor and mix until smooth.
- Heat Tamagoyaki pan with oil. Pour in egg mixture, adjust the heat to low, cover with aluminum foil, and cook about 15 minutes or until cooked through.
- Place it on a sushi mat and roll. Put rubber bands around the mat to prevent it from unrolling, and leave it until completely cool.