I didn't really feel much like cooking tonight. So, what to make? I decided to make a kind of Japanese "fast food"--okonomiyaki.
Okonomiyaki literally means "okonomi"=as you like, "yaki"=grill...Grilled as you like. I guess you could describe Okonomiyaki as being a cross between pizza and pancakes. It is really easy to make, but easier if you have the ready mix. :) (The ready mix has the powdered chinese yam mixed with the flour).
Different areas have different styles of making their okonomiyaki. Osaka's style (I think) is to mix everything up and add the toppings before flipping it over. (Someone once told me that if you live in Osaka you have to be able to make okonomiyaki and takoyaki. I don't really care for takoyaki because you need a special mold and the insides of takoyaki (little donut hole-like things with octopus, green onion and red ginger in it) are liquidy).
Anyway, here's the recipe if you can't find the ready mix in your area:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup water
1/4 grated Chinese yam (nagaimo)
1/4 cabbage (shredded) without the hard parts
about 250g of your favorite toppings: shrimp, pork, octopus, squid, kim chee
Note: I shred the cabbage in the food processor, since my cutting techniques aren't too good, plus I use the hard parts of the cabbage too! :)
Mix the flour, egg, water thoroughly, add shredded cabbage and mix well.
Heat a skillet or frying pan, put about a tablespoon of oil. When the pan is well heated, put a third of the batter onto the pan and cook for about 2-3 minutes.
Put your toppings onto the okonomiyaki and then flip(this takes some skill) over. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Makes 3.
Note #2: Don't make the heat too high or else the inside of your okonomiyaki will be raw.After your okonomiyaki is done, it is time to dress it up...Authentic okonomiyaki has a special sauce that is like worcestershire sauce but a bit thicker and a little sweeter. (Modern okonomiyaki has some mayonnaise on it, plus the special sauce). Katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) are put on top (when the katsuobushi hits the hot okonomiyaki it will seem like the katsuobushi is dancing!!)along with aonori(green laver). Some people also put red ginger (benishoga) into the batter and on the side when serving. I think some also make okonomiyaki with tenkasu(the batter bits from making tempura)into their batter...Remember, grill it with what you like and enjoy!!