Easy Japanese Recipes

Datemaki (Sweet Rolled Omelette) 伊達巻

Datemaki (Sweet Rolled Omelette) | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

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 JustOneCookbook.com

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 JustOneCookbook.com

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.

Datemaki (Sweet Rolled Omelette) Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: Makes 12 pieces
Ingredients
  • 110 g Hanpen (fish cake)*
  • 4 large eggs
Seasonings
  • 2 Tbsp. mirin
  • 1 Tbsp. sake
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • ½ tsp. soy sauce
You will also need:
  • 8" x 8" (20 x 20cm) baking dish
  • Parchment paper
  • A bamboo mat*
Instructions
  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. Keep the bamboo mat straight to cool, which will help 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.
Notes
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.

Leave a Comment


+ 8 = seventeen

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci) December 26, 2013, 9:29 pm

    Your datemaki looks wonderful, Nami! I really enjoyed the video to see all of the steps. Hope you are having a wonderful time in NYC! :)

    Reply
  • Kate December 26, 2013, 9:47 pm

    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!

    Reply
  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella December 26, 2013, 10:06 pm

    Lovely new look for the new year Nami!! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas time! I hope that 2014 bring more fantastic things! :D

    Reply
  • The Ninja Baker December 26, 2013, 10:06 pm

    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。

    ニューヨークのクリスマスは確かに美しいでしょうね。。。しかし、元年になると日本の伝統は懐かしいでしょうね。

    Reply
  • Eha December 26, 2013, 10:33 pm

    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 :) !

    Reply
    • Nami January 1, 2014, 11:11 pm

      Happy New Year Eha! Thank you so much for your kind comment!

      Reply
  • A_Boleyn December 26, 2013, 10:46 pm

    Another intriguing Japanese recipe that I’ve never heard of but which sounds delicious. Thank you for sharing the recipe and the wonderfully clear instructions.

    Reply
  • Belinda@themoonblushbaker December 26, 2013, 10:51 pm

    Mmmm.. this looks delicious! I love fish cake, and partnered with this swet egg mix. I would simply be in heaven!
    I hope you had a good Christmas and I can not wait for the next new year recipe.

    Reply
  • cristina December 26, 2013, 11:31 pm

    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! :)

    Reply
  • Kimmi December 27, 2013, 4:57 am

    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!

    Reply
    • Nami January 2, 2014, 3:16 pm

      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. :)

      Reply
  • Vicki Bensinger December 27, 2013, 5:38 am

    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.

    Reply
    • Nami January 3, 2014, 5:07 pm

      Hi Vicki! Happy New Year! Yes, you’re absolutely correct. It’s easier to roll without breaking it after you score the omelette. :)

      Reply
  • Sandy December 27, 2013, 7:10 am

    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.

    Reply
    • Nami January 3, 2014, 5:09 pm

      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!

      Reply
  • kwbentodiary December 27, 2013, 7:31 am

    Wow!!! Love it ^_^ You’re always good at it Nami

    Reply
  • John@Kitchen Riffs December 27, 2013, 8:27 am

    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!

    Reply
  • Purabi Naha | Cosmopolitan Currymania December 27, 2013, 8:29 am

    Datemaki is new to me. I have never imagined that an omlette can be sweet. I love the face that this is so simple, Nami. All the ingredients are easily available in my country, except the hanpen. Have a wonderful time with your family…enjoy in NYC, dear!! :)

    Reply
  • Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today December 27, 2013, 8:40 am

    This will make a perfect breakfast. I am planning on visiting Japan this year and I can’t wait. I love Japanese food, I’ve tried out quite a few of your recipes and I can’t wait for all the restaurants in Japan :D

    Reply
  • Kim | a little lunch December 27, 2013, 9:50 am

    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.

    Reply
  • Ina December 27, 2013, 10:33 am

    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!

    Reply
    • Nami January 3, 2014, 5:17 pm

      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!

      Reply
      • ina January 3, 2014, 6:00 pm

        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!

        Reply
        • Nami January 3, 2014, 6:03 pm

          Yeah soft tofu. I love sweet egg since I was small. Tamago/egg sushi, shredded egg crepes over chirashi sushi, datemaki, tamagoyaki… love that sweet (not super sweet) flavor. :)

          Reply
          • ina January 3, 2014, 7:04 pm

            Me too!

            Reply
  • Evelyne@cheapethniceatz December 27, 2013, 11:47 am

    A very different omelette then what I know of and it looks so beautiful, perfect for the holidays. Happy New Year to you and your family!

    Reply
  • Hotly Spiced December 27, 2013, 12:51 pm

    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

    Reply
  • Alessandra December 27, 2013, 1:38 pm

    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!!!

    Alessandra

    Reply
  • Judit + Corina @WineDineDaily December 27, 2013, 2:27 pm

    Oh Nami hope you are having a wonderful time with your Family in NY. Your datemaki looks delicioius and simple to make with your great recipe video!
    Cheers,
    J+C

    Reply
  • Kristy December 27, 2013, 4:43 pm

    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!

    Reply
  • Monica December 27, 2013, 8:09 pm

    Your omelet roll is so perfect. Have a great time in NYC…I’m glad it reminds you of home. Have a wonderful 2014!

    Reply
  • Marguerite December 27, 2013, 8:43 pm

    Thank you for the recipe, it looks really good, Nami! Shinnen Omedeto gozaimasu to you and family!

    Reply
    • Nami January 3, 2014, 5:18 pm

      Akemashite Omedeto, Marguerite! I’m glad to hear you like the recipe. :) Arigato!

      Reply
  • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef December 28, 2013, 12:13 am

    I looked at the first photo and wondered about those ridges. What a lovely post full of memory food. Your datemaki does look good! I enjoyed the video, Nami.

    Reply
  • Elizabeth @Mango_Queen December 28, 2013, 4:25 pm

    What beautiful family traditions and such a wonderful recipe for datemaki. Enjoy NYC with your family. Thanks for sharing all your recipes, stories and cooking tips. Happy 2014, Nami!

    Reply
  • Valerie | From Valerie's Kitchen December 28, 2013, 5:43 pm

    It’s interesting to see an egg dish that is also sweet. I’ve never come across this one but would absolutely love to try it. Happy New Year, Nami! I hope you are having a wonderful time with family in NYC :)

    Reply
  • Mich Piece of Cake December 28, 2013, 7:51 pm

    This omelette reminds me a swiss roll… it is so pretty.

    Reply
  • GourmetGetaways December 28, 2013, 9:57 pm

    You are so clever!
    This looks so pretty and simple. I would love to try a piece.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family.

    Reply
  • nipponnin December 28, 2013, 10:33 pm

    おいしそう!

    Reply
  • Lynna December 29, 2013, 12:42 am

    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!

    Reply
  • Kelly December 29, 2013, 3:01 am

    This looks wonderful Nami! Hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas and enjoy NYC :) Happy New Year and all the best for 2014 :)

    Reply
  • Ramona December 29, 2013, 4:22 am

    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!!

    Reply
  • Denise Browning@From Brazil To You December 29, 2013, 5:43 am

    What an interesting and pretty rolled omelette, Nami! I also miss my family and wish that I could be celebrating the New Year with them. Enjoy NYC…Wishing you and your family a very happy 2014!

    Reply
  • Dedy@Dentist Chef December 29, 2013, 5:52 am

    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!!!

    Reply
  • Jeannie December 29, 2013, 6:08 am

    Nicely done! Looks delicious even though it’s simple…I like the video…wishing you a Happy New Year 2014:D

    Reply
  • Jayne @ Tenacious Tinkering December 29, 2013, 6:50 pm

    This is like fish egg rolls. We have something similar but not sweet. I love how unique Japanese tastes are but yet not too different that a Chinese like me cannot appreciate.

    Reply
  • Mizuki December 29, 2013, 9:18 pm

    Hi I Have a question-if we substitute happen with white flesh, do we blend the fish raw, or cooked with the egg? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Nami January 3, 2014, 5:30 pm

      Happy New Year Mizuki! I apologize for my late response due to my travel. We use raw fish (or surimi). :)

      Reply
  • Terra January 1, 2014, 5:12 pm

    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

    Reply
  • Raymund January 2, 2014, 6:53 pm

    Thats one nice looking egg

    Reply
  • Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen January 2, 2014, 7:30 pm

    It’s quite beautiful, I like the texture the bamboo mat gives the rolled omelette.

    Reply
  • Sissi January 5, 2014, 10:41 am

    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 ;-) ).

    Reply
  • Sandra | Sandra's Easy Cooking January 6, 2014, 3:24 pm

    This is so so so cool! I really love this Nami. Pretty shape, flavorful, delicious…oh I can’t wait to make this with my kids. Thanks for the idea and the recipe! Awesome video too!

    Reply
  • opinionatedchef July 16, 2014, 10:37 pm

    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!))

    Reply
    • Nami July 17, 2014, 1:57 am

      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! :)

      Reply
  • Pamela September 29, 2014, 11:05 am

    OMG! You make it look so easy. I cant wait to try it now. Thank you for the demo. That helped me!!

    Reply
    • Nami September 29, 2014, 11:33 am

      Hi Pamela! I hope you enjoy the recipe! :)

      Reply