Feast of Seven Fishes VII - Tamagoyaki Pretending To Be Sponge Cake

Updated: Dec 25, 2020

Finally, this series has drawn to a close and I decided to end on a very subtle note. After a palate cleanser, why not serve up another dessert. Or is it? At 1st look, this might look like a deflated failed sponge cake. But as you took the 1st bite, you will be surprised. Yes, having this will take you back to the ocean once last time.

I admire Japanese cuisine as much as French and Italian. And I had been researching a lot about tamagoyaki sushi a lot. There is a traditional and a modern take on the humble sushi. As I went down the rabbit hole, the traditional tamagoyaki sushi looks like a cake. You can Google about it. Then I saw this YouTube video. That blew my mind and I know I need to make it. It is almost like the traditional tamagoyaki sushi but more towards a sponge cake texture.

It took me quite a while to hunt down the recipe and experiment with it. I am glad that I did cos this dish sits perfectly in this series. I also added a few extra ingredients for texture and flavor profiles; this is a perfect balance of savory, sweetness and at the same time, light, moist and dense. As soon as I took the 1st bite, it literally melts in my mouth.

You can the Japanese mountain yam at a Japanese grocery. The other special tool you will need is a Japanese mortar and pestle aka Katakuchi Suribachi & Surikogi. Please try to get your hands on it as a food processor might not do the trick. I will definitely be using Katakuchi Suribachi & Surikogi to create more recipes in the future. In the meantime, please give this recipe a try. And here I wish you lovely fine people a very Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year!


(Make one 8 inch square cake )

  • Shrimps Shelled & Deveined, 100g

  • Baking Soda, Pinch

  • Scallops, 80g

  • Sake, A Drizzle

  • Nagaimo / Japanese Mountain Yam, 105g

  • Sea Salt, Pinch

  • White Pepper, Pinch

  • Light Soy Sauce, 1 TBSP

  • Egg Yolks, 12

  • Egg Whites, 6

  • Cream of Tartar, Pinch

  • Icing Sugar, 100g

  • Shichimi Togarashi, Pinch (Optional)


  • Oven

  • 8" Square Cake Pan

  • Katakuchi Suribachi & Surikogi (Japanese Mortar & Pestle)

  • Hand / Stand Mixer


  1. After shrimps have been shelled & deveined, transfer into a large bowl.

  2. Sprinkle in the baking soda.

  3. Toss to coat well.

  4. Add water and ice cubes.

  5. Set aside for 30 mins.

  6. Preheat oven to 150 degree celsius or 300 fahrenheit.

  7. Grease cake pan with neutral oil and line parchment paper over hanging at the sides.

  8. After 30 mins, drain and wash thoroughly under running water.

  9. Pat dry and transfer into a bowl.

  10. Add in scallops.

  11. Toss and coat well with some sake.

  12. *If you do not have a Japanese mortar & pestle, you can use a food processor. It might have the same results tho. Give it a few pulses and try not to blitz all the way thru'.*

  13. Coarsely chop shrimps into fine pieces.

  14. Transfer the shrimps into a Katakuchi Suribachi.

  15. Using a Surikogi, grind the shrimps into a smooth paste. It is okay if there are some small bits left.

  16. *This may take a while and a bit of a workout.*

  17. Add in scallops, a couple at a time, using Surikogi to grind into a homogenous paste.

  18. Peel nagaimo and grate into the mixture.

  19. Mix until well combine. You should have a gooey and smooth paste.

  20. Once everything is incorporated, add salt, pepper and soy sauce.

  21. Give it a quick mix.

  22. Add in yolks, a few at a time, using Surikogi to combine well.

  23. In a separate bowl, using a hand or stand mixer, whisk egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks.

  24. While still whisking, gradually add in the icing sugar, 1/3 portions at a time.

  25. Whisk until everything is homogenous.

  26. You should have a fluffy and glossy mixture.

  27. If your Katakuchi Suribachi is big enuff, you can fold in the meringue. If not, I would suggest transfer the mixture into another large bowl.

  28. Fold in the meringue in portions until everything is incorporated well.

  29. You should have a very light and fluffy batter.

  30. Transfer the batter into the prepared cake pan.

  31. Using a skewer to poke any large bubbles.

  32. Wack into the oven and bake for 40 to 50 mins.

  33. The cake should be browned and puffed but still wobbly.

  34. Remove from heat and set aside to cool down slightly.

  35. The cake will deflate when cooled and looks like a failed sponge cake.

  36. Slice and serve warm with some Shichimi Togarashi. You can also serve with some wasabi and soy sauce.

Here's the recipe video:

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