While many people might assume that sushi or Wagyu could be Japan’s soul food, surprisingly enough, raw egg over rice (otherwise known as tamago kake gohan or TKG) is what Japanese people consider soul food. Why, you ask? The simple, hearty and healthy dish consists of three ingredients that you probably have at home – soy sauce, eggs and rice.
While TKG is well loved and delicious in its original iteration, swapping the traditional egg with a yuzutama, a yuzu-flavored egg, pushes this dish to new heights! Incredibly, these eggs acquire yuzu flavor just through yuzu being added to the hens’ feed.
The yuzutama produced by Yamasaki Farms in Kochi are made possible through a very particular feed and water regimen for their hens. They use a blend of sesame, yuzu peels and corn for their feed, but they’re careful to use non-GMO and pesticide free corn, citing that they don’t want to feed their livestock anything without a complete safety guarantee.
Further, fresh spring water from the base of Mount Fuji isn’t good enough for these hens. The hens are given water that has been softened via an electronic water softener to remove hard mineral ions and replace them with sodium ions. The type of water hens consume is incredibly important, especially considering that eggs are 75% water. By removing hard mineral ions and replacing them with sodium ions, these eggs taste better on the molecular level.
The difference between regular eggs and yuzutama
It’s a bit shocking to consider the difference between regular eggs and yuzu eggs. It would be easy to assume that yuzu eggs might have yuzu peel zested over them, or artificial flavors added, but yuzu eggs are actually eggs that taste and smell like yuzu.
The yuzu citrus aroma is apparent immediately, and there isn’t any eggy smell. Cracking open the egg tells a similar story – the smell of raw egg is replaced with a sweet, fragrant touch of yuzu.
Aside from the clear difference in smell and taste, yuzu eggs don’t look any different from regular eggs. In fact, from a simple glance, we doubt anyone would be able to tell the difference.
Yuzutama taste test: How does this delicacy stack up?
Yuzu is a delight when it’s in season, and taking the plunge to yuzutama on TKG was a foregone conclusion. When cracked, the yuzutama bursts with the sweet citrusy aroma of yuzu – almost as if you’re picking and peeling a yuzu fruit right off the tree. Mixing the egg into the rice only further diffused the aroma into the air, and the first bite was a heavenly mixture of egg, fresh rice and a hint of yuzu without any acidic flavor. Yuzu TKG FTW!
Overall, the yuzutama was delicious and we have been convinced to buy them regularly. For anyone who loves yuzu already, take the dive and try it out! Japanese eggs, after all, are safe enough to be eaten raw. In fact, similar to the yuzutama, Japan produces many different kinds of eggs with special characteristics. When tasting Japanese eggs, knowing how the hens are raised and how the deliciousness is produced makes them even more enjoyable.