Saturday, 11 February 2012


Here's a recipe that's truly my own... as in it most likely resembles the original idea in the same way New York resembles York.

I first learned about okonomiyaki when I was preparing to go to Japan for the first time back in 2006 - fresh faced and 22, I was setting off to backpack across the country all by myself, just me and a train ticket.

I'm once again planning a trip to Japan, so I thought it would be a nice time to share my favourite Japanese recipe, done the Cory way: okonomiyaki!

Actual okonomiyaki - before Cory has had at the recipe

Okonomiyaki is sort of a Japanese savoury pancake - filled with cabbage and all sorts of delicious things.  I never actually got to try it when I was in Japan, and I'm making it my mission to have it when I'm there next month!  I have to figure out how truly different mine is...

But, however 'different' my special okonomiyaki is, it is genuinly delicious.  And here is how it is prepared (when I am the chef):

-Disolve 1 vegetable stock cube (or dashi if you have any) in about 2 cups of water. 
-Add enough flour to make the consistancy that of pancake batter (NOTE: For the Brits, this means 'scotch' pancake batter, not that Shrove Tuesday runny stuff that makes crepes!!).  I'm very exact, aren't I?
-Beat two eggs in another bowl, and add to the batter.  Mix well.
-Chop up a good amount of cabbage, as well as a handful or so of mushrooms and green onion (spring onion, Brits!.  Add this to the batter - it should have a good amount of veggies in it!
-Heat up a frying pan with some oil, and fry your choice of meat:  shrimp, beef cut into bite size pieces, or shredded chicken; pork is good too!  Just pick one, I'm not suggesting using them all ;)
-When the meat is cooked through, pour the chunky batter all over the meat - have the meat pieces spaced out in the pan before you pour, so it's evenly distributed!

This one has orange bits, because I decided to fry it in chili oil - a nice variation with a bit of a kick!
 -Fry it on a medium high heat, jiggling the pan (use non-stick if you have it!) to make sure it doesn't stick, and sticking a spatula underneath helps as well.

Now comes the tricky bit.  You can either:

a) Flip the giant goopy half-done pancake


b) if you have a grill oven, pop the pan under the heat on medium high and wait for it to turn golden brown.  When it's cooked through and both sides are nicely golden (make sure you dont undercook or it's mushy!), it's ready to serve!

To serve, I usually cut it in half - one for me and one for my husband (but you could easily serve four people with a salad on the side - we're just pigs!), and drizzle mayonaise accross the top (believe me, it's amazing!  This isn't my innovation, this is common!).  It's also good to eat with hoisin or sweet chili sauces.  But seriously, try the mayo.

Often the Japanese recipes call for bonito flakes sprinkled on the top, or these crunchy deep fried batter bits that I can't remember the name of...

But it's pretty much the most amazing thing I can do in the kitchen.  When I taste the real thing I'll report back on if this recipe's flavour is genuine or not... I'm sure the preparation methods are a bit strange!!

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