Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Gourmet part

I love Japanese food but best of all is this everyday dish Okonomiyaki. 

It uses what ever Veggies you want to eat. 
I'll give you some hints and a basic recipe and you'll find this fast meal wonderful! 
If you cut the name in two pieces it means "as you like it" and "grilled food" 
Now how could that be any better?

When we were in Tokyo we ate at a place that only cooks Okonomiyaki,
a giant grill in the front of you and you have them add stuff as they go.  
The man doing the cooking was a Harley man and he and Phil
with Clint's assistance
talked themselves silly while
I enjoyed eating.

Here at home this is my grill, a well seasoned Jen-air 
Be sure what you cook on doesn't stick.

Collect some ingredients
Cabbage for sure,the base for this recipe
we like the napa or Asian cabbages, 
but any well shredded cabbage is yummy. 

Collect some veggies that can cook quickly, anything
that you have around can be cut in thin strips or angle cuts to put
as much surface as possible on the grill. 
In this batch I used carrots, two kinds of onions and cabbage
Last week I had asparagus around and used that. 

I prepare all the ingredients and then mix up the batter, a smooth
french pancake style batter

2 eggs broken and beaten slightly
2/3 cup dashi Or some sort of broth (I use chicken)
Sprinkle 1 cup of all purpose flour over liquid, stirring as you go
 Stir until there are no lumps (oh who cares about a few lumps!)
There are mixes you can buy with a very soft flour in it and some spices.

This makes 2 very large Okonmiyaki cakes or 4 very nicely sized ones.

cabbage, sweet onions, ham, green onions

I add ingredients in handfuls and lightly stir each handful

You want the batter to coat everything well, 
You want enough cabbage to be the main ingredient
You want enough other ingredients to make them interesting
There should be more veggie than batter.
What do the Japanese people put in Okonomiyaki? 

Wow it depends on where in the country you eat it.
It always has a cabbage base,
meats include Fish stuff, pork, squid, beef (they love beef there), shrimp,
crab, tuna, salmon, etc. (we didn't see any chicken for eating in Japan)

Veggies are mostly green onions, Nori (seaweed) Pickles ginger, pickled other 
tasty things, the parts of Japan we were in hide the veggies!
You would never have a side dish of veggie or
even see what veggie might
be in the dish they are so tiny.

Toppings are the best part and in Japan you get Bonito flakes
that dance on the top when hot! In some areas they top the whole
thing with an egg but not Tokyo and north.
Wasabi if you can take the heat and my favorite
Okonomiyaki sauce which I buy at Central market. 
Mayonnaise here and something very much like mayo in Japan. 

Some areas of Japan put soba noodles with it
but wow much too heavy a meal for us!

Oh my mouth is watering.  

OK lets cook this veggie pancake
All the ingredients are stirred in and ready to cook!

See how wet the ingredients are with 
the batter it just glistens

Oops I just remembered I had frozen kale, perfect 
Last minute add in!

I put a little veggie oil on the grill. 
If I had raw meat I would cook it on the
Grill first and then top it with the cabbage mixture, 
but this ham is already cooked. 

Just getting started cooking, Keep your temp.
At a medium level let's not burn any yummy things

Here is the Okonomiyaki flipped once.
It takes some thought on how long to cook on each side
Do I want my veggies with some crunch?
Do I wanted them just soft?
I never want them mushy
But maybe you do which goes with 
the recipe title "As you like it" we will 
all be HAPPY!

Once off the grill I top mine with the sauce and some mayo and some broken up nori
No bonito flakes on this batch.  

There are some recipes around for Okonomiyaki sauce 
none as good as what you can buy 
But good in a pinch

Make sauce:
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons  Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dark-brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  1. In a small saucepan, mix together all ingredients until smooth. Bring to a low boil, stirring frequently. Turn heat down to low and simmer for a minute and a half and serve warm. Makes 1/2 cup.  

Oh I got so excited to eat I nearly forget to take a photo of the finished 
recipe, now half eaten!

Enjoy making up your own version of Okonomiyaki

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