Datemaki (Sweet Rolled Omelette) 伊達巻

Print RecipeJump To Recipe

Datemaki (Sweet Rolled Omelette) | Easy Japanese Recipes at

Datemaki (伊達巻) is a sweet rolled omelette and a popular Japanese New Year’s foods (osechi ryori, 御節料理), typically served in a lacquered jubako (special square boxes similar to lunch box).  This dish is by far my favorite dish among the new year foods and I look forward to eating it every year.

Although pre-made datemaki is readily available during this time of the year in Japanese supermarkets, it is easy to make and I hope you try making this dish from scratch.

Datemaki (Sweet Rolled Omelette) | Easy Japanese Recipes at

Datemaki is similar to tamagoyaki.  The main ingredients are eggs and sweet seasonings, but the big difference is that datemaki includes a square white fish cake called hanpen. (はんぺん).

Hanpen is made from grated Japanese yam (yamaimo) and surimi (Alaska Pollock), salt, and kombu dashi and it adds an unique texture to the egg omelette, like a soft fish cake.  If you cannot find hanpen, you can substitute with white fish, scallop, or shrimp.

Although many datemaki recipes require dashi, I find it not necessary as hanpen is made of kombu dashi and this already adds nice flavor to the omelette (but you can add dashi if you like).

Datemaki (Sweet Rolled Omelette) | Easy Japanese Recipes at

To show you how easy it is to make datemaki, I made a video for you.  I hope you follow my YouTube channel if you haven’t.   :)

I’m currently visiting NYC with my family and this city reminds me of my home!  I really miss my family in Japan as the year is close to the end and families are getting together to celebrate the New Years together.

When I was small, my family used to spend the winter breaks in my grandparents home in Osaka so that we can celebrate the New Year’s Day with all the family members.  Grandma, aunties, my mom, and I – all the women in the family – would start preparing the new year foods a few days prior to the New Year Day.  While we spend most of the day in the kitchen, men in the family do the cleaning inside and the outside of house and help run errands for last minute shopping.

New Years celebration was my favorite holiday growing up.  It’s the biggest celebration in Japan and I enjoyed family time and feasts as well as receiving otoshidama (monetary gift) from all the adult family members and playing new year games.  It’s one Japanese holiday that I wish to be in Japan to celebrate.

Thank you so much for reading!  Next, I’ll be back with a really easy and quick dish in case you need hors d’oeuvres or appetizer or simply need one more dish for your osechi ryori.

Don’t want to miss a recipe? Sign up for the FREE Just One Cookbook newsletter delivered to your inbox! And stay in touch on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram for all the latest updates. Thank you so much for reading, and till next time!

Datemaki (Sweet Rolled Omelette)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: Makes 12 pieces
  • 110 g Hanpen (fish cake)* (Buy from Mitsuwa in the US)
  • 4 large eggs
You will also need:
  • 8" x 8" (20 x 20cm) baking dish
  • Parchment paper
  • A bamboo mat*
  1. Preheat oven to 390F (200C). Line a 8" x 8" (20 x 20cm) baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Cut hanpen into ½ inch cubes and whisk eggs in a small bowl.
  3. In a blender or food processor, put hanpen, Seasonings, and beaten egg and blend until smooth.
  4. Strain the egg mixture through a fine sieve twice and pour into the baking dish lined with parchment paper.
  5. Bake at 390F (200C) for 20 minutes or until slightly brown on top. If not brown, broil for 2 minutes or until the surface is a nice even light brown color.
  6. [Note: We will need to roll the omelette while it’s hot.] Once the omelette is done, remove the omelette from the baking pan by lifting the parchment paper. Place the bamboo mat (flat side is facing up) over the omelette. Carefully flip the omelette, holding the parchment paper with one hand and bamboo mat with the other hand. Remove the parchment paper.
  7. Score ⅛ inch (3 mm) deep with a sharp knife every ½ inch so the omelette will roll up nicely without breaking.
  8. Roll omelette into a tight cylinder and secure with rubber brands. Wrap the bamboo roll with plastic wrap. Cool it standing up vertically to maintain a nice round shape. Put the plate underneath to catch liquid dripping.
  9. After 2-3 hours, carefully remove datemaki from bamboo mat. Cut into ¾ inch wide pieces. Serve at room temperature. You can store in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
Hanpen is a white, square/triangle shape surimi product with a soft mild taste. It’s made from grated Japanese yam (yamaimo) and surimi (Alaska Pollock), salt, and kombu dashi. You can find in Japanese grocery stores. If you cannot find hanpen, substitute with white flesh fish (skinless/boneless), scallop or shrimps.

To make nice bigger indentations to datemaki, use bamboo mat with thicker bamboo strips. In Japan we have a special bamboo mat for datemaki and it’s called Oni-Sudare, which gives big ridges.

Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.


Enjoy It? Share it!

Never miss another new recipe!

Sign up and receive the Just One Cookbook email newsletter.

Disclosure: Just One Cookbook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published - required fields are marked *

  1. Oh, Nami, you read my mind! I start to crave datemaki something fierce at this time of year, and all other osechi ryori (candied chestnuts, kuromame, tazukuri, sweet kombu…) I loved the sweetness of these when I was a little girl, they reminded me of cake. Happy New Year to you and your family. I hope you enjoy a lot of delicious ozoni!

  2. 伊達巻きは大好きですがほたてを使うとちょう美味しいでしょう。


  3. Eha

    What an unusual recipe of which I have never heard! Fascinating! I hardly think I can access hanpen here, but the substitutions you have provided will give some idea of what you have so enjoyed. Say hello to New York for me ~ love the city even tho’ have not been for quite a few years :) !

  4. cristina

    I enjoyed reading and learning about datemaki. Hope you’re enjoying the time in NY, will you be there to enjoy New Year’s too? Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones, Nami! :)

  5. Kimmi

    When I first saw the photo, I was wondering how you got those pretty indentations around the datemaki. =) This really seems like a simple and still delicious recipe; I can see how it can easily be a New Year’s favorite!

    Thanks for continuing to share osechi ryori with us — the dishes look so elegant, and I love the image you shared of everyone pitching in to help for New Year’s preparations. Also, I’m glad to hear that your family is having fun in NYC! There’s a Japanese wagashi store called Minamoto Kitchoan that I always like to visit every time I’m in the city. Hope that you and your family enjoy a wonderful New Year’s!

    • Hi Kimmi! Happy New Year! There’s Minamoto Kitchoan in SF too, but I haven’t had a chance to visit SF store yet. I should check it out! I hope you had a wonderful holiday. :)

  6. Nami I’ve never seen this before – it’s beautiful. I’d love to make this. So when you score the omelet it’s just enough to allow it to break when rolling but not cutting all the way through, correct?

    Great recipe and video. Happy Holidays and a Happy and Healthy New Year to you and your family.

  7. Sandy

    Happy New Year in beautiful New York. In April, we are going on a cruise from Los Angeles to Osaka. Our daughter was in Osaka in 1995 during the big earth quake, but she loved the city. We are looking forward to our visit, even for one day.

    • Happy New Year Sandy! How exciting! I didn’t know there is a cruise that goes from LA to Osaka! It’s a nice season to visit Japan during that time. Have a great trip!

  8. Isn’t NYC fun? I worked there for a decade (lived about a 45 – 50 minute train ride up the Hudson River) and really enjoyed it. And this recipe is fun, too! Unlike anything I’ve ever made – really nice. Thanks!

  9. Nami, the image in my mind of you cooking with the women in your family is a happy one with wonderful conversations, food, and laughter! I hope your trip to NYC is filled with many such memories in the making. This is a new dish to me, but it sounds delicious! Happy New Year and best wishes in 2014.

  10. Ina

    Oh Nami, these look beautiful! And easier to make than the tamagoyaki that gave me such trouble!
    I wonder though, can you suggest a vegetarian substitute for the hanpen? Or shall I just leave it out altogether?
    My best wishes for a wonderful family New Year’s Eve, and a very happy 2014!

    • Happy New Year Ina! So sorry for my late response. You have a good question! I actually never made or thought of vegetarian version and I’m not sure how we can substitute the fish cake (or shrimp/scallop/fish). It needs similar texture – do you think tofu would work? Sorry I can’t help much… Hope you have a wonderful 2014 too!

      • ina

        Good suggestion, thank you. Maybe a soft tofu. I think I’ll just add a little extra soy sauce to disguise the tofu taste a little, though!
        And thank you too, Nami, for telling me how the Japanese put sugar in their omelets. That is truly delicious, who would have thought?! I’ll never make a salty egg dish again!

  11. I hope you’re having a good time in NYC. I’m sorry to hear you won’t be in Japan for the New Year’s celebrations. I loved reading about your family’s traditions. This omelette looks very pretty xx

  12. So perfect, I don’t think I could ever make it so pretty, but I never done it in the oven before, always in the pan… I really need to try! I don’t have a microwave, only a normal oven though…

    Ciao and Happy New Year Nami!!!


  13. This sounds so interesting. I’ve never had anything like it before. And you’ve made it so beautifully! It looks so gourmet! I hope you have a great time in NYC, and that your Christmas was very merry. Happy New Year Nami! Here’s to a happy, healthy 2014!

  14. ohh, I LOVE tamagoyaki, so I know i`ll love this! Plus, I love fish cake as well! What makes this even better is the fact that you bake it (my favorite way to make food, hehe).

    Hope you`re having a blast in NYC!

  15. Wow, what a beautiful way to present a omelet. I love the step by step in this one… because I would have never figured out how you rolled it so perfectly. :) Hope you have a wonderful and happy New Year 2014!!

  16. wow, the scoring process made quite beautifull shape when you roll the egg..
    btw, i love making this sort of omelette with tofu, but none with fish cake before, tempting to try!
    Wish you a Happy New Year my friend!!!

  17. Wow, it has been way too long since I last stopped by. I hope you had a lovely time with family in NYC! I love this recipe, it would be a perfect treat to pack for this traveling girl! It sounds like it is full of flavor, and really delicious! Hugs, Terra

  18. I had no idea datemaki was made with fish cake! It looks so beautiful and carefully rolled… I wish I could taste it. I don’t think I’d ever obtain such a beautiful result (my tamagoyaki are still quite clumsy 😉 ).

  19. nami, i have ben continually impressed with justonecookbook. It is such a treat to see how you grow and get better and better! I have been a Japanophile for 30 years, and I love the choices you make for the recips you cover. I was thinking about this particular recipe and how i would make it if i were doing lots and lots of rolls, instead of just one. (Can you tell I owned a catering company for 30 years?!) I think i would place a piece of plastic wrap over the bamboo mat, with the plastic wrap hanging over the left and right side about2-3 inches. I would put the cooked egg square on the plastic wrap with the browned side up, lay a sheet of nori the same size- over the egg, and roll it up tightly, removing the bamboo mat at the end and twisting the ends of the plastic wrap , one one direction and the other the other direction, to make the roll tight, and then chill, remove the wrap, and slice. And maybe present with a little tobiko in the middle (the nori and the tobiko making up for the scalloped edge that would have been imprinted if the roll had been done your way, in the bamboo mat. Thanks for the inspiration, Nami!

    (That plastic wrap end- twisting technique is what i use when I make poached chicken or seafood ‘sausages’, for making the roll both tight and watertight. When sliced, the spirals come out very neat!))

    • Thank you so much for your kind words and I’m so happy to hear that you enjoy my recipes. :) 30 years of catering experience is amazing! I am not very good at cooking for many people. I get very nervous when I have to feed many people. xD I need to learn some trick and tips from you!

      As for datemaki, one thing I should mention is the shape. You see the wavy decoration around datemaki? It’s signature look. So if you want to keep that, you may need to leave the bamboo with the roll… but if you don’t mind, you should be okay with the plastic wrap method!

      Thank you for your comment! :)

  20. When you say to keep the bamboo mat straight while cooling to maintain the round shape, do you mean to cool it standing up vertically? Thanks! Your recipes are making our New Year’s dinner even better!

    • Hi Karen! Yes “vertically” so one side of round shape won’t be flat. I’ll edit my recipe later. I can’t believe I forgot to take the picture of the process. Thank you for asking. Hope you enjoy this recipe! Happy New Year to you and your family!