Tuesday, January 10, 2006

what to make for dinner...

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 egg
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!!


Anonymous said...

Hi Kat,

Good thing I am reading your post before heading to the Chinese market today to refill in Chinese har-to-find ingredients!
I will look for this yam. It is great to be able to get more educated to Asian cuisine. Thanks for sharing!!


K and S said...

Hi Bea,

So nice of you to stop by!
I hope you are able to find this yam. It is rather long and thick.

Take care!
Kat & Satoshi

bourgogne said...

i've been SO CRAVING okonomiyaki lately and now i'm gonna have to make them myself after i read your post and saw your photos. my food processor is not big or powerful enough so i'll have to shred the cabbage by hand. i love okonomiyaki with shrimp and squid! i just ate dinner but i swear i could easily eat an okonimiyaki right now. :)

K and S said...

Hi Bourgogne,
Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad I've enticed you to make okonomiyaki. :) My food processor is a little guy, I think only a cup and a half? Anyway, if you can't use your food processor, just chop up the cabbage really fine with your knife.
Take care & I hope your okonomiyaki comes out great!
Kat & Satoshi