Negi-yaki… Home-style green okonomiyaki

Negi-yaki is a variation of okonomiyaki, where cabbage is replaced by negi green leeks.

On the photo (follow like a clock ), you can see :
The leek greens being cut with scissors.
Fish powder
Aonori seaweed powder,
Natto,
Shirasu fish bait,
Maitake mushroom,
Ami ebi (salty shrimps),
Grated potato.

So today’s mission is to cook negi-yaki (leek-yaki).
In Osaka, classical topping is “gyusuji” which is… some stew of some parts of beef.
It’s “my version”. Like there was my version of oyster okonomiyaki a while ago.
Another day, I will make one *like in the shops* because they have let me see some of the secrets, eh, eh, eh…

Shita-aji :
Litterally “under-taste”. That’s the flavoring that makes a dish taste Japanese.
Most of it comes from soy sauce and dashi (fish broth).

Dashi :
Dashi stock is made by simmering briefly fish flakes or fish powder or dried fish or kombu seaweed, or a mix of the 4. Each combination has a name. Then, you salt with salt or soy sauce. And you filter.
That doesn’t take more time than to buy instant dashi (with MSG…). That said, good for you if you like instant dashi, but in the same stores, you can also get the flakes, the small fish, the kombu…

If you should buy only one product to cook many Japanese dishes, I recommend the flakes or this :
“ketzuri kona”
I use it for dashi on days I don’t have time (I just add it to hot water), I add directly into okonomiyaki batter, as a furikake , etc.

Two common ingredients :
-Sakura-ebi, or ami-ebi
That’s the same animal, prepared in different way : Very small shrimps caught with a mesh (ami). They are sold salted, and that’s what I have here, the name is “ami ebi”.
They are also sold dried and they have the color of sakura (chery blossom). Or with artificial coloring you get red sakura and I’d avoid them as the product for coloring fish in red is really bad, but if you find only that, you will survive eating them in small quantity. They are called “sakura ebi”.
Their taste is very similar to the dry or salted shrimps from other countries.

Fresh ginger, not visible on the group portrait, but it was present.


The “teppan” or hot plate. Everybody in Japan has an electric teppan. I don’t, but as you see I have a good cast iron plancha. If you have nothing, a large pan is OK.
*************

RECIPE OF NEGI=YAKI :

What you really need :
All purpose flour.
Dry fish powder or flakes.
Soy sauce.
Greens of leeks (if possible thin negi leeks)
Oil.

The rest is what you have in the fridge, what you like… If you have nothing, that’s sad.

Basic batter :
1 cup flour
2 cups water
1 tbs dry fish powder
salt, or soy sauce
+ (options)
1 grated yama-imo potato (I had not any in stock today, as you see, I used a potato)
1 ts of ami-ebi shrimps
1 egg (I made 3 “yakis” with that batter, only one with egg)

Mix it all in the blender, or whisk in a bowl.

First cook the toppings that need pre-cooking on your plancha. Then in a bowl, pour the amount of batter you need. If you want “egged” batter, it’s the time to mix it in. (It’s optional, many shops ask you when you order if you want one) Mix in the leeks and topping, stir.

Clean the plancha, oil it.
I usually pour 1 or 2 tbs of plain batter, then all the content of the bowl with leeks. You can speed up cooking by covering with a big pot lid.
After about 10 minutes, flip it. The result… well, the more you train, the nicer the shape. (I lack training)

Sauces
In Japanese okonomiyaki bars they propose you either :
“so-su” (sauce = Worcester sauce) or “shoyu” (soy sauce).
Each shop pimps up their “so-su” and their “shoyu” by adding what they like, sugar, sake, mirin, soy sauce, corn starch… they simmer the mix, and that make that chef’s sauces.
I take shoyu (soy sauce) that I dilute with a little water… and I spead it it with a brush… no, a finger. For guests, I’d simmer 10 minutes soy sauce, mirin and a little corn starch, to obtain a thicker and sweeter sauce. And I’d prepare similarly some “so-su” (Worscester). I’d use a brush, or more likely a spoon.

On top : fish powder, aonori seaweeds, and shichimi togarashi 7 spice mix.

Les okonomiyakis gourmands (compilation)

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10 thoughts on “Negi-yaki… Home-style green okonomiyaki

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