Asian Rolled Egg (tamagoyaki or gyeran mali)

Don’t be frightened by the exotic name. Basically, these are a light omelette, rolled, and then sliced into pinwheels or bitesized pieces- perfect for a light afternoon tea, picnic food, a snack, or traveling, especially if you do better with protein than carbs.

tamago yaki gyerin mali Since I first posted this, I’ve made them for our Ukrainian orphans and our American boys (unofficial foster sons, all children of trauma, btw, and I’ve been told kids from trauma are really helped by eating eggs).

I’ve gotten better at rolling them, and I learned a tip while watching a K-Drama.=)  Tip included in cooking instructions below.

korean eggs tamagoyakiMy version of a combination of nori tamagoyaki (Japanese) and gyeran mali (계란말이, Korean), my ‘recipe’ at the bottom of the post.

Clearly, I need to perfect the rolling technique, but otherwise, I think it made a tasty breakfast. (My son didn’t. His face was. well, less than complimentary).

I have also made these once before, without the carrots I think, as a travel snack for the Equuschick’s oldest two.  The Equuschick is always looking for high protein, low glycemic index snacks and foods for her crew.

I made them from memory, and then after I finished, I looked for recipes on the internet to see what I did wrong and to find better pictures of the rolling technique.
nori tamagoyaki: I omitted the sugar, because, gag. Maybe my son comes by that face he made naturally.

gyeran mali (계란말이):

Both of these sites have a prettier final version. I think I let the top cook just a little too long- it wasn’t overdone, it just wasn’t quite moist enough for the layers to bond together seamlessly. Plus, the seaweed kind of makes that harder anyway.

I used home-made mayonnaise instead of the milk because whole30 doesn’t permit dairy other than ghee, and because I always add a little bit of mayo to my omelettes.

tamago yaki gyerin mali tool
I used this tool to make tiny little carrot pieces. It’s a pampered chef thing, and when you slide it down your carrot (or any other harder vegetable), it makes shoestring style slices. Then I used a knife and sliced them again into tiny, confetti style bits.

Traditionally, a rectangular frying pan is used, but I don’t have one. This Kotobuki Tamagoyaki Japanese Omelette Pan is 7 1/2 inches and has a nonstick coating, and it’s less expensive than most.*


Meanwhile, I just make mine in my regular round skillet. I pour in some of the egg/carrot mixture and then pick up the skillet and give it a gentle ride on a tilt-a-whirl so the eggs can spread as thinly as possible.

Carrots, not cheese

Carrots, not cheese

When the bottom was set, I cheated a bit and put the skillet under the broiler for about a minute.  This was probably the main reason mine didn’t roll up as prettily as the ones at the gyerean mali version linked above.  Don’t do it. The top should be slightly damp when you put the nori on the tamago yaki.


tamago yaki gyerin mali making 3

While the skillet was in the oven, I quickly toasted my nori, or seaweed laver, over the open flame of my gas stovetop.  You don’t, strictly speaking, have to do this, but I do think it enhances the flavor. Don’t set it on fire. Or rather, when you do, blow it out quickly. You can still eat it.=)

Then I return the pan to the stovetop, put the seaweed laver over the top of the egg, give it a second  or three to really nestle down and get cozy with the egg (it helps to put a lid on the skillet for a just a few seconds).

Tip learned from watching a K-Drama: To make the rolling easier spoon just a bit of the raw egg mixture you haven’t used yet over the nori.  Spread it a bit with the back of the spoon if you like, but it’s not really necessary.

Now the rolling begins:

tamago yaki gyerin mali making 4


Experienced gyeran mali/tamagoyaki makers use chopsticks for this.  Ha. I use one tool to scrape up and roll from the right, while with the tool on the left, I push down and in a bit along the edges, rolling and tucking, rolling and tucking, until:

Looks like a rolled egg taco!

Looks like a rolled egg taco!

Put your roll on a plate (a warm plate would be ideal), and then repeat the process.

tamago yaki gyerin mali making 6

Authentically speaking, they shouldn’t have those brown bits, but should be a uniform light yellow in color.

Now you slice them.  I used kitchen shears.  If you don’t have kitchen shears use a well washed pair of regular scissors.  Seriously.  It’s much better with scissors.

tamago yaki gyerin mali making 7


This is from the tamagoyaki I made without broiling it, keeping the pan on lower heat, and spreading a bit of raw egg over the nori:

tamago yaki gyerin mali making 8


Finally, here’s the Recipe:

3 eggs

about a tablespoon or a little less of home-made mayonnaise (or store-bought)

1 1/2 medium carrots, minced

1/2 an onion, diced small

Coconut aminos- 2 teaspoons (optional.  You could use fish sauce, or milk, or soy sauce, or water).

salt and pepper to taste

ghee or other fat for cooking


Set out all your ingredients.

Heat a teaspoon or so of oil or other fat in the skillet.  Dice the onion and start browning it.

mince your carrots

Whisk the eggs, mayo, and amino acids (if using) in a bowl.  Stir in the carrots. Add the eggs.

Add more oil to the skillet if necessary.  Pour a third of the mixture into the pan, tilting and turning the pan as you do so to help the egg mixture spread across the pan in a thin layer.  Cook over low flame just until set.  The top should still be really wet and shiny, but not completely liquid.

Now, put the seaweed on top, let it shrink and meld into the egg and then spread a spoonful of egg mixture over the seaweed and gently begin rolling, tucking, and rolling again, starting from the hottest side of your pan, if your stove heat unevenly, as mine does.


The seaweed is optional, too.  You don’t have to use it. Then this would just be  tamagoyaki, not nori tamagoyaki.

Tips for quicker prep:

Prep the carrots the night before- cut them into long skinny strips and bag them well (wrap in a wet paper towel or put an ice cube in the bag) and refrigerate until morning, then finish dicing them into confetti sized pieces.  Or buy grated carrots and mince them.

Use dried, minced onion instead of dicing an onion.  Put the dried minced onion in your mixing bowl with the milk first thing, so it will be rehydrated when you are ready to mix the eggs with the vegetables.  Add less salt, as they can be a bit salty.  Add a tablespoon or two more milk if using dried onions.

Set out all your ingredients and tools in advance.

Start the pan heating when you start dicing the carrots.

I did the above advance prep and had four tamagoyaki rolls done, and from start to finish it took me 20 minutes.  I think I could get it down to ten minutes with regular practice.


*Oh, my: I bet this is the truly traditional version. 85 dollars, and it’s lovely: Egg Pan Tamagoyaki Made in Japan Professinal Model Copper W/wooden Handle,wooden Lid

But what I’m really interested in is this 5 inch square, cast-iron ” Wonder Skillet”

This entry was posted in cookery and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.


  1. Posted October 4, 2014 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    I tried this yesterday after my mother mentioned it and liked it a lot. Thanks for posting the recipe!

  2. Bon
    Posted October 5, 2014 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    It’s tamagoyaki.

    • Headmistress, zookeeper
      Posted October 5, 2014 at 1:11 pm | Permalink


Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


  • Amazon: Buy our Kindle Books

  • Search Amazon

    Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks

  • Brainy Fridays Recommends:

  • Search: