History, meaning and kinds of tamago (egg)

tamago sushi (egg sushi) atsuyaki tamago sushi usuyaki tamago sushi (kashiwazuke)

Tamago was eaten from the Edo period!?

Seasoned omelet sushi is called Tamago-zushi, tamago or Gyoku in Japan. Tamago means egg, Gyoku means omelet in sushi restaurants. An omelet sushi was eaten from the Edo period (1603-1867) according to the art like "Bowl of sushi" drawn by Hiroshige Utagawa.

Sushi box with omelet is called Hako-zushi, Sushi roll with thin omelet is called Tamago-maki then. A hand-shaped omelet sushi appeared with expanding a hand-shaped sushi.

Bowl of sushi drawn by Hiroshige Utagawa.

In the past, some Japanese said that they could know skills of sushi chef by eating omelet sushi because of difficulties of making it. Most sushi chefs developed their skills of sushi with raw fish, but they did not do that of omelet. They were too busy to do that since omelet sushi was the last sushi like dessert.

However, people can not know skills by eating an omelet sushi nowadays. Many sushi restaurants, especially belt conveyor sushi restaurants, use ready-made omelet. The taste of omelet sushi is same in these sushi restaurants.

On the other hand, Japanese old style sushi restaurants serve omelet sushi without ready-made omelet. They make it with traditional methods. Some of them are developing their skills and methods of it. A few sushi gourmets may know skills by eating it.

There are three types of omelet sushi, Atsuyaki-tamago, Dashimaki-tamago and Usuyaki-tamago. Atsuyaki-tamago is a thick omelet sushi made by eggs with paste of fish or shrimp and sugar. This sushi is derived from castella sponge cake.

Atsuyaki tamago sushi

Castella is one of the Japanese traditional confectioneries called wagashi. It was brought by Portuguese, but originally developed in Japan. Castella was very popular in the Edo period (1603-1867). Atsuyaki-tamago sushi was served as dessert after eating other sushi. This sushi has longest history, but the number of sushi restaurants serving this sushi decreased.

Many Japanese old style sushi restaurants serve Dashimaki-tamago instead of Atsuyaki-tamago. Dashimaki-tamago is an omelet roll made by eggs, light broth, sugar and soy sauce. It is originally one of the dishes of Japanese cuisine washoku, but is served in sushi restaurants now.

It is cooked in a short time rather than Atsuyaki-tamago. In addition, it can be added some seasonings easily to differentiate other sushi restaurants. Many Japanese think it when they think of omelet sushi.

Dashimaki tamago sushi

Usuyaki-tamago is a thin omelet made by eggs and little sugar. Usuyaki-tamago sushi is rice wrapped in a thin omelet or covered with a thin omelet. This sushi needs skills to make it smooth without burn. Some sushi restaurants use special tools for making it.

The number of sushi restaurants serving this sushi is fewer than the number of sushi restaurants serving other omelet sushi. In Tokyo, the only ten sushi restaurants serve this sushi.

Usuyaki tamago sushi

It is said that there are two reasons for serving omelet sushi by sushi restaurants. The one reason is that sweetness of omelet sushi can clean one's palate. This sushi is eaten for finishing off in sushi restaurants. The other reason is that sushi set becomes colorful by this sushi. The yellow of omelet stands out from other sushi because other sushi are red, pink, black or white.

Nowadays, there might be other reason for that. Most kids including Japanese kids do not like raw fish, but they can eat an omelet sushi because of sweetness. An omelet sushi ranked No.1 in the favorite ranking of preschoolers conducted by Maruha Nichiro Co. This sushi also ranked No.2 in the favorite sushi ranking of schoolchildren. A salmon sushi ranked No.1 in this ranking. Most belt conveyor sushi restaurants may serve an omelet sushi for kids and parents who want to eat sushi.

You can enjoy various sushi when you travel Japan. If you like sushi and conveyor belt sushi restaurant, you can invest it. Food and life companies (TYO:3563) and Kura Sushi Inc (TYO:2695) are listed in Tokyo Stock Exchange. If you like Japanese seafoods, you can invest Kyokuyo Co. (TYO:3563) which is a fishery company and Maruha Nichiro Co. (TYO:1333) which is a seafood company in Japan. These companies are also included some ETFs for investing Japanese companies.