Monday, November 08, 2010

Okonomiyaki

This is, by far, one of my favourite quick dinner recipes of all times. I eat way too much of it each time we have it, but it's SO good, and SO ridiculously easy to make.

Phil even made the sauce from scratch because he forgot we had a bottle of it in the fridge.

The finished product.
So, okonomiyaki is a Japanese dish that's essentially a pancake batter mixed with cabbage, pickled ginger and other vegetables and meats. It's a very customizable dish! At okonomiyaki restaurants in Japan, the okonomiyaki is cooked on huge griddles in front of you. Some will have you do the cooking at low tables.

This recipe is based on one from The Japanese Kitchen, which was my first Japanese cookbook.

Sauce

¼ cup ketchup
1½ tbsp Worcestershire sauce
¼ tsp smooth Dijon mustard
2 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp soy sauce

In small saucepan, mix all sauce ingredients together. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Batter

1 cup flour
2 tbsp potato starch
1 cup water (or dashi, if you have it)
½ tsp salt

Sift the flour together with the potato starch into a bowl. Add water and salt and mix. Divide the batter between two bowls.

Remaining ingredients

¼ large head shredded cabbage
¼ cup benishoga (pickled red ginger)
¼ cup sliced green onions
3 sliced bacon, chopped (set one piece aside)

2 eggs

Put half the cabbage, ginger, green onions and one piece chopped bacon into each bowl of batter. Press the center of each bowl to make a small depression. Break the eggs, and drop one into the center depression of each bowl.

Heat a large skillet, add 2-3 tbsp neutral flavoured oil and swirl to coat. When the oil is hot, dump out the excess. Reduce heat to low.

With a spoon, mix the batter and the other ingredients in one of the bowls. Raise the heat under the skillet to medium and pour all of the batter from the first bowl into the skillet. Spread the batter into a disk, about 6-7" in diameter. Top with half of the remaining chopped bacon, pressing it into the surface of the pancake. Cook the pancake over medium heat until the bottom is golden.

Now comes the fun part: the flipping. This is a two spatula job. Be quick and decisive. If the bottom is cooked enough, the whole thing shouldn't fall apart.

Once you've flipped it, press to flatten the bottom and cook until the other side is golden. While it's doing that, brush the top with the sauce. Transfer to a plate to keep warm in the over while you repeat the directions with the second bowl of ingredients.


Cut each pancake into six pieces, like a pizza, and serve hot. Phil and I just tend to cut it with our chopsticks and serve ourselves from the middle of the table.

The last piece of bacon shall be mine!
Just for the record, I don't really use my chopsticks like that.

2 comments:

Keith said...

I didn't realize it was so easy to make on your own! I've been under the impression that it was difficult, that's why we always go out for okonomiyaki! Perhaps I ought to try this out on my own...

Alyson said...

The only thing that's difficult is the flipping! The rest is dead easy!

Of course, I didn't realize this until *after* Japan. We always went out for it too!

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