Nira-tama is one of the best Japanese dishes that you’ll probably never eat in a restaurant. This combination of scrambled eggs and Chinese garlic chives (also known as nira chives) is a classic example of Japanese home cooking, often served as a donburi (a rice bowl dish) that’s perfect for any meal of the day. It’s a humble dish, but the simplicity lets all of the individual ingredients shine!
Garlic chives have a unique combination of garlic and onion flavor, though they’re a little less pungent than regular garlic cloves. Your best bet for finding these is an Asian market with a well-stocked produce section. If you can’t find them, you can easily substitute with a combination of regular chives and garlic cloves. Personally, I find that a ratio of 2 parts chives to 1 part garlic will make the closest match to the flavor of nira.
My recipe includes a little touch of miso paste and soy sauce to provide a depth of flavor. A little bit goes a long way, and that extra touch will keep you coming back for more. 😋 This quick, easy, and delicious Japanese dish is bound to be a favorite!
1 tsp miso
1 TBSP reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 TBSP oil
1 1/2 oz garlic chives, chopped (alternately, 1 oz chopped chives and 2 cloves minced garlic)
Rice for serving
Whisk the eggs in a medium mixing bowl with the miso and soy sauce until smooth. Set aside. Put a skillet with the oil on medium heat. Toss the chives in, stirring and cooking until the chives stop sweating out moisture and turn to a vibrant green (if you’re using a mixture of chives and garlic, add the garlic once the chives turn vibrant green, then cook and stir for another 30 seconds, until the garlic is fragrant). Pour the egg mixture over the chives; let sit for about 30 seconds, then gently fold the mixture in the pan to cook it evenly. Remove from the heat when the eggs look just slightly wet, and serve over rice.
Serves up to 4.