Butter and soy sauce are a golden couple in Japanese cooking. A bicultural match made in heaven that just has to be tried to be believed. But don’t just take our word for it, check out The Takeout’s Kevin Pang’s breakdown of the combo — he claims that “magic happens” when you combine the rich, creamy flavor of butter with the salty sting of real soy sauce. In this delicious, but simple, authentic Japanese recipe, we are going to bring that magic to a basic spinach and egg stir-fry. The result? A deeply satisfying dish that will have friends and family clamoring for more.
Stir-frying has been developed into a bit of an art form in Japanese food culture. In fact, the scramble stir-fry, which we are going to utilize in this recipe, is just one of the five traditional Japanese stir-frying techniques. The real art is in getting a nice fluffy consistency going, which brings out the best of the flavors of the other ingredients involved. The secondary ingredients are often added after the fluffy custard-like base has been made from the eggs, oil and a touch of cream. Never let the egg base get dry. Keep stirring and whipping it up in the pan even after you add the secondary ingredients.
How to Whisk Eggs
A lot of the perfection of the final product for this recipe depends on how you have whisked the eggs in the very beginning. If you’re making a Japanese omelet or chawanmushi (Japanese steamed egg savory custard), try to whisk as if you’re cutting egg whites with chopsticks. Move chopsticks fast. Not in circular motion, but back and forth as if you’re sliding the tip of the chopsticks on the bottom surface of the bowl. This will make the eggs very smooth and well-mixed.
If you’re making scrambled egg or egg stir-fry, whisk big in a circular motion. Also make sure not to separate egg yolk and white. This will make the end-product fluffy and soft. Whisking eggs with chopsticks may take a while to master. However, it is an important part of Japanese food culture that pays to learn. Once you have a well-whisked and fluffy egg mix, you can add the oil and cream and begin to start the scramble.
How to Sauté Spinach
Spinach is one of those finicky vegetables that you can easily overcook. The trick to getting all the fresh green flavor of the spinach to come out in this scramble is to add it near the end. Then, cook it right into the scramble while mixing everything continually by hand. When done right, this butter sautéed spinach and egg dish is light but filling and full of flavor, making it a great dish to serve at both vegetarian and traditional dinners and gatherings.
Butter Sautéed Spinach and Egg
- Cut the spinach into about 1 inch lengths.
- Whisk the eggs with chopsticks, and mix in the mirin and water.
- Heat vegetable oil in a small pan and melt butter over medium heat.
- Add spinach and quickly stir fry the spinach. Reduce heat to low.
- Pour in the eggs and mix until the eggs are half-raw.
- Pour in soy sauce in a circular motion and continue cooking until eggs are done.