In The Japanese Table, Sofia Hellsten celebrates her love of Japan with the simple recipes that are the backbone of Japanese home cooking.
Based on the ichijuu-sansai tradition—which literally means ‘one soup, three dishes’—uncomplicated, delicious small plates are served with steamed rice and can be enjoyed at any time of day. Each ingredient is treated like royalty, and recipes include Onigiri, Clear shiitake soup, Soy-pickled eggs and Sweet miso cod.
With suggestions on how to build the perfect meal, as well as easy-to-find ingredients and quick methods, The Japanese Table will inspire you to make Japanese food your everyday staple.
Tamago-sando with miso mayonnaise (Egg Sandwich)
Tamago-sando, or egg sandwich, might sound plain, on the verge of boring and also not very Japanese. Well, let’s put it like this: the best egg sandwich I’ve had in my entire life was in a small coffee parlour in the basement of a dull 1970s Ginza building. The egg was incredibly light and fluffy, contrasting beautifully with the soft toasted bread, crispy salad and smooth mayonnaise. A great cup of pour-over coffee (a method with Japanese origin, where the hot water is poured over freshly ground beans by hand) on the side and my day was made. This is an interpretation of that experience.
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
½ teaspoon white sweet miso
2 tablespoons water
⅓ teaspoon dashi powder
1 tablespoon butter
2 slices of white bread
1 leaf of crispy lettuce, cut in half
Start by mixing the mayonnaise with the miso and set aside.
Cut the crusts off the bread and rinse the lettuce in cold water. Set aside while you cook the egg.
Whisk together eggs, water and dashi powder in a bowl. Heat a frying pan (skillet) over a low heat, add the butter and leave it to melt, then pour in the egg mixture. Let the egg set a little, then push the edges in towards the middle and tilt the pan so that the liquid spreads evenly over the base of the pan. Repeat until the egg is almost set, then fold the sides gently towards the middle so that you get a squarish shape. Turn the omelette over and fry swiftly on the other side. Set aside on a plate.
Toast the bread lightly and spread the mayonnaise on both pieces of bread. Place the lettuce on the bread and put the egg in the middle. Cut in half and serve with a good cup of pour-over coffee.
If you buy mayonnaise, I highly recommend the Japanese Kewpie. I can’t really explain why, but the flavour is really something different from your regular store-bought mayonnaise. You will want to put it on everything, I promise. In order to get the proper taste of a Japanese tamago sandwich I propose you use a white bread that is slightly sweet.
Excerpted from The Japanese Table by Sofia Hellsten. (C) 2020 Reproduced by permission of Hardie Grant. All rights reserved.