When we travel to a new place, the first meal we had there would always seem to be the most memorable one. Either it was Banh Mi in Hanoi, Shabu Shabu in Manila (Why you might wonder? It was a treat from my Japanese customer), Thai Wanton Mee in Bangkok, or even the Coffee Luwak in Indonesia. They are not necessary a pleasant memory but it sure was well etched on our mind.
Back in March of 2014, me and my buddies had ours first trip to Japan. We landed on Kansai airport early in the morning and we rent a Toyota Wish from the Toyota rental outside of Kansai airport, and drove our way to Koyasan (高野山). It was a roughly 2 hours drive and we did not take any breakfast before hand, so we decided to have our first meal at Gyoza no Ohsho in Iwade. I ordered a set meal with tenshinhan and instantly fell in love with it.
Tenshinhan is a Chinese inspired Japanese crab meat omelette rice. Besides from the creamy omelette that you get from a regular omelette rice, you also get the umami flavour from the crab meat that being added into the omelette. The rice is just regular steamed white rice without stir frying but a thick and slightly sweet chicken base gravy is introduced to overcome the plain flavour of the rice. It is a savory dish for anyone including kids.
Crab meat is the key ingredient to make a nice plate of Tenshinhan. To get the crab meat, one must steam a whole crab and extract the meat from the shell, which is quite a handful of work. If you are too lazy for that or do not wish to handle all things mentioned above, you could go for frozen de-shell crab meat or just flavored crab stick if first is not an option. Of course, the actual crab meat would still be the better option.
When the missus and I visited Kansai again few years ago, we stopped by the same Gyoza no Ohsho restaurant and I introduced her to tenshinhan. She then became to love it as well and here we are recreating and perfecting our own version of tenshinhan with inspiration from the Gyoza no Ohsho version that we have came to love.
- Sauce pan
- non-stick pan (prefer 20cm in diameter)
Ingredients for Omelette
- 2 Eggs
- 40-50 g Crab meat (or crab stick)
- 1 Spring onion
- 1 Shiitake mushroom
- 1 tsp Sake
- Pinch of Salt and Pepper
Ingredient for Gravy
- 100 ml Chicken stock
- 2 tsp Soy sauce
- 2 tsp Sake
- 2 tsp Sugar (Or 1 tsp if you prefer less sweet)
- 2 tsp Corn Starch (or any starch for thickening)
A bowl of steamed white rice
- Start by tearing the cooked crab meat or crab stick into shreds. Mix them with sake and set it aside.
- Beat 2 eggs in a bowl and season it with a bit of salt and pepper. Set aside for later use.
- Next, finely chop the spring onion and mushroom. Set it aside for now.
- Scoop the rice into a rice bowl, flip it upside down on plate as shown below.
- In a pan, fry the shredded crab meat (or crab stick), mushroom and spring onion with a bit of cooking oil on medium high heat for about 30 second.
- Pour them into the bowl of egg and mix them well.
- Heat 2 tsp of cooking oil in a non-stick pan on medium heat. Pour the egg mixture in.
- When the egg starts to set on the bottom, gently stir the egg with chopsticks or spatula, and slightly shake the pan to resettle the uncooked part.
- Continue to do so until the omelette is half cooked whereby the surface is still a bit runny and wet. Switch off the heat.
- Transfer the omelette to the rice. Make sure the omelette covers the rice.
- Now for the sauce, mix all the sauce ingredients in a bowl.
- Cook it in a sauce pan and let it simmer.
- The sauce is readied when it is thickened. Pour it on the plate and enjoy your tenshinhan.