Sunday, January 23, 2011

How to make Okonomiyaki

                           Okonomiyaki is a Japanese style veggie pancake, or at least that's the way a Japanese friend described it to me. The first part of the word Okonomi means "as you like" and Yaki means "grilled" so pretty much grilled pancake as you like it. I remember going to the Okonomiyaki restaurants, each table has it's own grill and when you order they bring you a big bowl of uncooked food. It's your job to grill it, makes for a great time with family and friends. It is eaten with an Okonomiyaki sauce which I can't get here so I made my own, oh yea and drowned in mayonnaise! It's a great dish to make because you can add anything you want. Normally it always has cabbage and some kind of fish or meat. Since we live in the desert fresh fish is not the easiest to find, so I usually make mine with meat or chicken. I also have a limited source of Japanese ingredients so I have to work with whatever I can get. Here is my recipe for this delicious Japanese treat!

Here's what you need:

  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • about 1 cup of water
  • half a head of cabbage
  • bacon slices cut in half
  • 1 half white onion (finely chopped)
  • sesame oil
  • 1 green onion (for garnish)
  • handful of finely chopped carrots (optional)
  • 1/2 lb chuck beef, cubed (optional)
  • Soy sauce
  • Mayo
  • Okonomiyaki sauce
If you can't get Okonomiyaki sauce check out this improvised recipe (It's pretty good!) :
  • 2 tablespoons of Ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons of Terriyaki sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of Soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • dash of ginger powder
  • a few sesame seeds (i just love sesame seeds on everything)
Here's what to do:
  1. Saute onions in sesame oil until brown and translucent.
  2. I cook the beef in water and a couple of tablespoons of soy sauce over low heat for a couple of hours prior to making the okonomiyaki. This makes for super soft meat! but this step is optional
  3. Combine the flour and the baking powder, mix well.
  4. Add water, egg and mix with a whisk.
  5. Add the rest of your ingredients, cabbage, onions, meat and carrots.
  6. Mix until combined.          
  7. Grease your skillet and drop in the batter just like you would a pancake.
8. Add your bacon strips on top

9. With a spatula check the bottom to see if it's done. Flip it carefully and grill it until the bacon is fully cooked.

10. Brush on some Okonomiyaki sauce.

11.Add the rest of your toppings like Mayo and I added green onions. In Japan they usually add katsuobushi (dried fish flakes) and  Aonori (seaweed flakes).


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