Japanese Pancakes: Okonomiyaki


Moto’s Kitchen: Recipe 18 – Okonomiyaki

Today in Moto’s Kitchen we’re making okonomiyaki! Quite literally meaning “to grill/fry how you like”, Moto will show you the essentials needed in order to make delicious okonomiyaki! While the thought of savory pancakes might seem foreign to some viewers, this is truly a delicious dish that has a variety of versions across Japan, although the most famous arguably comes from Osaka. Experiment with your favorite ingredients and enjoy!

What you need (makes 2 normal sized pancakes):

Okonomiyaki batter:
80 grams flour (cake flour recommended, but all purpose is fine)
1/2 cup dashi (or 1/2 cup water and 1/4 tsp dashi flakes)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar

Pancake ingredients:
Batter
2 cups cabbage
2 eggs
4 tsp chopped pickled ginger
4 tbsp tenkasu (fried wheat flour)

Dressings/Toppings:
Thinly sliced pork (can replace with meat/fish of your choice: bacon, beef, seafood, etc.)
Okonomi sauce
Mayonnaise (Japanese recommended)
Aonori (“blue seaweed”)
Bonito flakes

Begin by making the okonomiyaki batter. Once the correct consistency, mix batter with chopped cabbage, eggs, pickled ginger and the tenkasu. Mix until thoroughly combined, the batter should simply act as a binding ingredient for the cabbage.

Heat up non-stick surface cookware (countertop cooker works well). Add oil to ensure the pancake will not stick. Spoon 1/2 the okonomiyaki batter mixture into the pan and form a pancake shape. Remeber, less is more! The smaller the pancake, the easier it is to flip and prevent breakage. Add your meat/fish of choice to the top (in this case, thin sliced pork). Cover with lid and cook for a couple minutes. If the pancake feels stable to your spatula, flip over. Small breakage is fine. Do not press the pancake down! Simply let it be and continue cooking with lid on for a couple minutes. To test if the okonomiyaki has cooked through, gently press the center with the spatula and see if the batter is still had liquid in it. Feel free to flip the pancake again and cook longer if needed.

Remove the okonomiyaki when done, meat side down. Cover and spread with okonomi sauce, mayonnaise, aonori and bonito flakes. Serve and enjoy!

Get to know:

Tenkasu – or agedama, are small deep-fried bit of tempura dough. Add them to okonomiyaki, udon or takoyaki for a bit of delightful crunchiness.

Okonomi sauce – sweeter and thicker variant of worcestershire sauce. It complements Japanese dishes such as tonkatsu, tempura and of course, okonomiyaki.

Aonori – literally “blue seaweed”, is not too different from regular nori except for the distinctive green color. It’s powder is often sprinkled on the top of food as a flavoring.

Tips:

– Keep the okonomiyaki within a reasonable size to make the flipping process easier
– When flipping the half-done okonomiyaki, less hesitation causes less breakage
– Don’t be tempted to press the ingredients as doing this results in an unpleasantly tough texture

For more info on Moto! http://motocs.com/

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RECIPE: Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pancake)

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