All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Datemaki / rolled seafood omelet

A slightly sweet New Year's dish representing intellectual enhancement and cultural appreciation. The rolled shape symbolizes a scroll.


(for 16 cm x 21 cm baking sheet/dish)

4 eggs
1 1/2 (45 g) sea scallops
2-3cm (40-60 g) nagaimo
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp dashi
1 tbsp sake
1 tbsp mirin
1/4 tsp usukuchi soy sauce
2 tsp shiokoji salted rice malt (not in photo)


Put all ingredients in food processor, and process.

Remove any unprocessed solids (such as nagaimo pieces).


Line baking sheet with parchment paper, and pour egg mixture onto baking sheet.

Bake at 370-400 F (180-200 C) until top is lightly brown, about 15-20 minutes.


Remove from baking sheet, undo four corners of parchment paper, and place another sheet of parchment paper.


Place onisugare bamboo rolling mat on top with notched side down.

Flip again, and remove parchment paper.

Make several shallow cuts on surface (do not cut through to bottom) at the end nearest you (the side that will be the center of roll), and roll like making a jelly roll.

Put rubber bands on onisudare, cool, and refrigerate until day of serving.


To serve, undo onisudare, and slice 2-3 cm thick.
Serve at room temperature.

  • If you add more scallops, it will become egg fishcake, which is hard to roll but can be cut into squares and served as a New Year's dish.
  • If onisudare is not available, use regular makisu rolling mat or foil.
  • If shiokoji is not at hand, increase usukuchi soy sauce to 1 tsp (max).
  • Among several stories behind the name "date," one is based on the resemblance to a type of obi sash for kimono, and another is based on the word's meaning of "showy." It is also said that this dish was a favorite of Date Masamune (1567-1636), a powerful samurai lord who ruled part of northeastern Japan. Some people disagree with this connection, as they say there is no record that Date Masamune ate eggs. Another commonly mentioned connection with this samurai is a pun that he liked "showy" things.

(Last updated: January 8, 2016)

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