Looking for a recipe that only uses a handful of ingredients and takes no more than 5 minutes? Then you're in the right place! Fluffy scrambled egg loaded with fragrant garlic chives, this niratama is a matchmade in heaven. Not only is it delicious, but it's seriously quick and simple to make.
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What is niratama?
Niratama (にら玉) is a very simple dish of fried garlic chives and beaten eggs with some seasonings. The word "nira" (にら) refers to garlic chives and "tama" is short for "tamago" (卵) which means eggs in Japanese.
It goes well with rice and is a good snack for when drinking as well. Chinese restaurants in Japan sometimes have this on menu and it's popular to make at home because it's so quick and simple. Some people like to use it to make donburi (rice bowl) too.
There are many ways to make it, such as mixing chives into fried eggs, adding other ingredients, or adding it to soup as an egg/chives mixture. You can add pork to transform it into "Buta Niratama" as well.
The strong flavor of garlic chives becomes milder and more balanced when combined with eggs.
What are Nira?
Nira (にら) is the Japanese word for garlic chives. They are also known as Chinese chives or Asian chives and taste completely different to the onion chives used in Western cuisine.
While onion chives are hollow in the middle and have a mild taste of onion, nira are flat like a blade of grass and taste more like garlic. Onion chives are often eaten raw, but nira are more commonly used in stir fries.
Tips for making an amazing niratama
It is an extremely quick and easy recipe, but I will share some tips and tricks here to make this simple dish extra special!
Cooking Chinese chives separately beforehand
Although some people just mix them together as they are, I tend to cook the garlic chives with oil for 30 seconds beforehand, and then add it to whisked eggs.
By doing this, the chives become a little milder and don't overpower the taste of the eggs. This helps create harmony within the dish.
It also helps remove any excess moisture from the garlic chives.
Be generous with oil
It's quite important to be generous with oil when cooking egg mixture to make it extra fluffy. Being fluffy is probably the most important element of a good niratama!
Use a high heat
Cooking the eggs quickly on a high heat also helps make the niratama nice and fluffy.
Take the eggs off the heat while they're still a little runny as they will continue to cook in the residual heat. This tip helps prevent dry niratama.
Bit of sesame oil and shichimi for finishing touch
To make niratama more interesting and possibly to make it more suitable for midnight side snack, I recommend drizzling a bit of sesame oil and shichimi chilli pepper over the top. (You can buy shichimi on Amazon here.)
I believe this tiny little trick can make a huge difference. Alternatively, you can drizzle sesame oil base chilli oil like Ra-Yu over it instead.Print