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Eat This Word: Onsen Tamago

Priyanka Anand

May 18, 2016

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WHAT? An inverted soft-boiled egg. Silky, smooth eggs are a staple in Japanese cooking: soft-boiled eggs are topped on ramen, and lightly fried yolks are folded into an omurice, also known as a Japanese omelet. Onsen tamago is no different—lauded as the perfect protein-rich supplement to any dish from donburi to vegetable soup. More commonly referred to as a preparation than a dish, onsen tamago features a firm yolk inside soft, runny whites. Directly translated, “onsen” means “hot springs” and “tamago” means “egg,” suggesting that the dish was traditionally prepared in local hot springs. Today, however, it’s usually cooked in a boiling pot of water on the stovetop. The eggs are poached inside their shells and then gently cracked into a bowl for serving. This method yields a creamy, custard-like egg, usually combined with a dashi-based soy sauce and eaten alongside other dishes for breakfast. For a more substantial meal, mix the egg into steamed rice and top with scallions and soy sauce. Caution: it may take several tries to get the perfect one!

WHERE? Escape to Maui at the Beard House

WHEN? Thursday, May 19, 2016

HOW? Abalone Risotto with Onsen Tamago and Shiitake Salt