Lyme’s disease dictates most of my diet—I can’t eat certain foods and if I eat something too frequently there’s a chance I might develop a sensitivity or allergy. Eggs are one of my favorite foods to cook, and after removing eggs from my meals for a few years I was finally able to reintroduce them last year.
While there is nothing wrong with a good omelette or scrambled eggs, I found myself looking for fresh ways to reintroduce the egg back into my meals. I wanted a recipe that was fun, interesting, and packed more flavors than my basic salt and pepper.
I settled on a tamagoyaki dish, based on the rolled omelettes of Japanese cuisine. The dish is simple and easy to customize. So I practiced rolling eggs in my small circular pan for a couple of weeks (tamagoyaki is usually cooked in a rectangular pan). When I was proficient enough in rolling, I added ingredients in the center, inspired by a variation made by a Korean restaurant.
Summer was in full swing by then, and we had a heaping grape tomato plant in the garden. I would walk out to the garden, harvest a few tomatoes, slice them, then roll them in the center of the egg. This remains my favorite variation of this dish. There is nothing quite like eating a slice of egg that is firm on the outside, tender on the inside, and filled with raw garden-fresh tomatoes, slightly softened by the heat. While I also enjoyed putting in cherry tomatoes from the garden or mixing the two, there was nothing quite as good as the tart meatiness of the grape tomato.
In the winter I have added thinly sliced ham, potatoes, and diced canned tomatoes. Spinach is also a great option, and any mix of ham, potatoes, and tomatoes is delicious.
While cooking tamagoyaki requires a bit more attention and care than a typical omelette, I’m so glad I made the switch. It adds a bit more interest to a limited menu, and it feels special. As tiny as this change is, it has brought a lot of joy back to my cooking. Sometimes you need to find a new way of doing something mundane.