electronic Gourmet Guide

Japanese Omelet Rolls


The Japanese make sushi-rolls with all sorts of foods other than fish, including eggs. They beat the eggs with a bit of soy sauce, then fry them in a thin layer without stirring, until cooked through. At this point they roll the egg into a spiral-like tube, and cut it into thin shreds or roll it up with other ingredients like rice, vegetables and nori, or seaweed.

In this variation of a traditional Japanese hand-roll, we use a flour tortilla as a wrapper to enclose fresh, crisp spinach leaves, green onion, ham and cheese, and of course a thinly rolled egg "pancake." You may substitute turkey, smoked chicken or omit the meat altogether.

It takes less than five minutes to make. If making several, increase the amounts accordingly and set out the ingredients in assembly-line fashion. The egg takes only a minute or so to cook—simply wipe out the pan after each omelet and keep on going. It takes about as much time to chop multiple amounts of green onion and ham, so you can literally make ten of these in about ten to twelve minutes, and you can use pre-shredded or pre-grated cheese as a further time-saver. You may also cook the omelets the night before, separated by waxed paper and refrigerated, then wrap them up that morning.

Time: less than 5 minutes.
Serves 1, but can increase for multiple servings accordingly.


Note: If the flour tortilla seems dry, rub water on both sides, place between two plates, one inverted on the other, and microwave for about 30 seconds. The steam will soften the tortilla. Or, wet both sides and place the tortilla in a dishtowel for several minutes before use.

1. Beat the egg with the soy sauce and white pepper.

2. Heat a good quality nonstick pan on medium-high. Spray with nonstick coating, then pour in the egg mixture and swirl until a thin layer covers the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle on the grated cheese, green onion and ham. Cook until the egg sets up, about 1 minute. Using a spatula, start at one end of this "egg pancake" and roll it up, as if you were rolling up a carpet. Set aside. (The rolled egg does not have to look perfect.)

3. Spread the cream or goat cheese on the tortilla. In the middle of the tortilla, spread the spinach leaves in a line. Place the rolled egg at one of the tortilla and roll the whole thing up, again as if rolling a carpet. Press the edge to seal; if needed, add an extra spot of cream cheese or goat cheese.

4. To serve at table, cut the roll into thirds on the diagonal for a sushi-like presentation. Or wrap in plastic or foil wrap and take it with you for a lunch or breakfast on the go.

Note: if the cream cheese or goat cheese is too dry, mix it with a spot of yogurt, buttermilk or milk to moisten and make it creamier.

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This is an edited and updated archive of pages originally published in 1997.

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Modified August 2007