Kanitama (蟹玉) is a crab omelette that is served over rice and covered with Ankake sauce. Kanitama is a hearty and filling meal, and it is a dish that is popular in many Asian countries. Kanitama is very similar to the “Japananized Chinese dish known as Tenshinan (天津庵), which is made with a sweet vinegar sauce instead of starchy Ankake sauce.
Ankake (餡掛け) sauce is a starchy sauce made with kudzu (braken starch), potato starch, or cornstarch dissolved in stock. Ankake is used in many dishes around Japan such as Ankake Chahan (Fried Rice with Ankake Sauce), Gomoku Ankake Yakisoba (Yakisoba topped with beef and vegetables in starchy sauce), and even Ankake spaghetti, a popular dish in Nagoya. The Ankake sauce I use for this recipe is thick and hearty, infused with finger and sesame oil and loaded with crab, and it goes perfectly as an omelette topper. There are also lettuce leaves in the sauce which add a lovely color to the dish. The sauce uses chicken stock and is thickened with potato starch to create this tasty topper.
Kanitama translates to “crab and eggs” which makes sense because Kanitama is a crab omelette, albeit topped with sauce and served over rice. The eggs in the Kanitama are lightly cooked- Japanese use soft eggs in many dishes.
This is an easy to prepare hearty meal that can be served with egg rolls and wonton soup to create a complete (Japanese influenced) Chinese meal.