A Local Perspective on Life in Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.

Japanese Pancake!

You don’t need to actually BUY okonomiyaki mix – though it is good to buy the flour specifically blended for making okonomiyaki. For those of you into cooking, here is one of my tried and true recipes, compliments of a friend with roots in Kansai. Most measurements are approximations, so feel free to tweak the recipe to taste…adding or leaving out whatever ingredients you wish! For a Korean twist, add kimchi…for a daring twist, add some natto…or Mexican, add spicy Monterey Jack cheese, jalapenos or green tabasco sauce! The possibilities are endless, after all, it is not called okonomiyaki ‘as-you-like-it’ pancake for nothing!

Kansai-style Okonomiyaki
Ingredients (2人)
100~150 grams of flour
2 egg
25cc of Japanese dashi (soup stock)
100 grams of ground yam…this replaces water
1 spoon of mayonnaise and soy sauce
200 grams of sliced cabbage
50 grams of sliced stone leek (or green onions)
30 grams of sliced pork or bacon
Seafoods (shrimp, squid, etc)
6~7 pieces of thinly sliced rice cake
60 grams of meltable cheese

optional: little dried shrimp, kimchi, natto, yakisoba noodles, udon, ten-kasu (tempura crisps)
dried bonito
red ginger (benishoga)
nori (green laver)

1) Mix the flour and egg well. Mix the ground yam into the mixture, then dashi, then 1 tsp mayo + 1 tbsp soy sauce.

2) Mix the sliced cabbage and Japanese leeks into the mixture
3) Spread some cooking oil on the heated hotplate and put in 1/4 batter.
4) If you have rice cake, place a few pieces of it on the mixture and put another 1/4 batter. Do not spread it too thin.

5) Spread the sliced pork and seafood on it.
6) When one side of the mixture is cooked and light brown, turn it over.
7) Cook the other side well. Turn it over again, sprinkle cheese and turn over when it starts to melt. Turn after 1 minute. (if you want to keep it crisp in texture, keep the cheese inside and not outside!)
8) Spread wet condiments, then dry condiments on top.
9) Cut into slices, like pizza, eat while it’s warm.

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