Thursday, July 26, 2012


So, this should have been posted back in February when we made this with Iris for the first time, but right after this is about when I started feeling the first trimester blahs and didn't do much "extra" for awhile.

I've keep getting pestered by my best friend Lindsay, who got to try said dish, because she would like to try and recreate it at home.  Without further ado...

The hardest part about making okonomiyaki here is finding the nagaimo root (also called yamaimo in some places) to make them with.  Luckily, they also sell the yamaimo flour, and after making it the first time, we used that afterwards, for easiness sake.  (Although, I'm considering trying it out with regular flour sometime, just to see how it turns out.)

So nagaimo (I should have taken a picture... I always forget to take pictures until we're in the middle of it and I realize, I may want to remember what we did...) is this interesting root that when you grate it, it not only turns all slimy and goopy, but it also makes your hands itch like crazy.  Probably you should wear rubber or latex gloves when doing this to save yourself some grief.  (or just put your hands in plastic baggies).  Here's Iris showing how slimy/goopy it is after grating:  (ps peel the skin off before you grate it)
 The main ingredient in Okonomiyaki is cabbage, which is great because it's so cheap and whenever I need it for a recipe, I always end up with tons left over, so this is a great way to use up leftover cabbage!
 As always, green onion...
 Mix flour and eggs (with chopsticks, if you want to be authentic...)
 Then dump in the grated nagaimo, green onion and add cabbage until it's the "right" consistency- it's pretty thick with vegetables, but everything is wet and still all sticks together.
 This is just thinly sliced pork chop, but you could really use any thinly sliced meat.  In Japan, they use mostly seafood- shrimp, squid, fish...  but other meats are also used.
 Ladle the batter into a nonstick skillet heated to medium.  I believe we sprayed with non-stick spray at first and decided we didn't need to after that, but it probably depends on your pan.
 Then lay the strips of meat on top and
 Cover the pan so it can kind of steam for about 5 minutes.
 You'll know it's time to flip because the meat will have lightened in color.
 The other side should be a nice golden brown.  Finish cooking for about 4 more minutes, or until the other side looks cooked.
 Japanese people all have different preferences for what they put on top of their okonomiyaki, but Iris likes Okonomiyaki sauce (a given) and Japanese mayo.  (It's similar enough to our mayo, that you could use American, but we, of course, wanted to go completely authentic :D)
 The Okonomiyaki Sauce wrapper actually has a recipe for Okonomiyaki on it too, btw.
 I have no idea what these are called, but they're little fish flakes.  To me, they smell like fish food, but when with Romans...  We also sprinkled some blended, dried, Nori (seaweed) flakes.  Voila!  Delish!  These are sooo filling.  We decided after this that we would make them a bit smaller in the future.
 We decided to try to Mochi for dessert.  I had heard of them, but had no clue what they were.
 They're kind of like ice cream balls with some kind of weird coating on the outside.  It's a little be gelatinous, but drier than gelatin, more cakey.  It's kind of cakey, yet jiggley.  That's the best way I can describe it.  The ice cream inside was good, but I didn't love the outer coating.
PS we based our first attempt on this recipe- it gives a LOT more detailed descriptions about what everything is.  However, we didn't use all the same things they used.  Basically, once you have the batter of eggs, flour, nagaimo and cabbage, you can add to it whatever you want.  I believe we used water instead of dashi stock as well.  We didn't add the tenkasu or beni shouga either.

Update: 8/3/12 I made Okonomiyaki for the first time without Iris and decided to try using some leftover bacon for the meat on top.  It was yummy! (and already sliced thin :D).  Also, I have a large, rectangular electric skillet and I did them in there so I could make 4 at a time.  Worked well.  I think I put it at about 350 degrees.


Lindsay said...

Yayyyy!!! Can't wait to try it! Thanks Lib!

Keegan said...

Yum! What fun things you got to do with Iris! I'm impressed with all your cool cooking projects.

Mel said...

Lindsay must be so excited right now! I love the pictures of the food prep. They turned out great! This was a great dish, but since I'm lazy about/scared of buying unfamiliar ingredients I'll just have to hope that you or Linds will invite me for dinner the next time you make them!