Osaka negiyaki, powered up.

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ねぎ焼き negiyaki
A fresh blog of the classic popular food of Osaka to replace or complete the old tuto.
Keep it really simple and don’t believe you need many ingredients, as it’s originally poor people cuisine, that was made with what was available that day. It’s easily made plant-based.

Here is a typical list of variations of negiyaki you can order in shops around here :

牛すじねぎ焼き gyusuji negiyaki (beef tendon)
豚ねぎ焼き buta negiyaki (pork)
イカねぎ焼き ika … (calamari)
えびねぎ焼き ebi … (shrimps)
豚キムチねぎ焼き buta kimchi … (pork kimchi)
牛すじキムチねぎ焼き gyusuji kimchi … (beef tendon kimchi)
牛すじもちねぎ焼き gyusuji mochi … (beef tendon mochi)
牛すじしょうがねぎ焼き gyusuji shoga …(beef tendon ginger)
ミックスねぎ焼き mix negiyaki …(=we’ll open the fridge and push everything there’s in into your dish)

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Check list :
negi leeks and nikomi (or any other)
-batter
-sauces and garnishing powders
-options : egg, tenkasu
-hot plate and oil

Osaka style :
Options and garnishing (negi and nikomi) are added to the batter at the last minute. Each guest chooses additions or not.

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Negi, scallions, Spring onions…. that’s the base of the dish. You need lots of negi greens. Cut thinly.

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This is konnyaku eringi ginger nikomi (recipe here).
I am probably the only person putting this in negiyaki. The classic version is : konnyaku gyusuji nikomi.
The gyusuji is beef tendon, with the meat that stays around, and that’s a very cheap cut of beef. It is prepared the same way I prepared the eringi. You can make some other meat or mushroom stew as you like.

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BATTER, gourmande style :
Grated nagaimo (about 1/2 cup), flour (1 cup), fish flakes. And enough water to get a creamy texture. Whip well.

Grating the yama imo

Veg’ version : skip the fish flakes, replace water by vegan kombu dashi (recipe here).
Gluten free version : replace flour by rice flour.
Imo free version : replace by grated potato or corn starch + a little baking powder.

Options :

They are not necessary for the classic version, but if you feel more hungry or like them, add what you want, that’s the rule of the game (okonomi = what you want). These 2, you read about on many blogs, they are often found in the rest of Japan, not so systematically here in Osaka :

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Egg. The reasons to not add to the original batter :
-some people don’t want egg (it’s the biggest allergy in Japan)
– texture, with egg, it would make it a harder pancake. In many shops, they add the egg whole egg onto the rest, already on the hotplate and break it and mix with chopsticks.

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Tenkasu. Tempura crumbles.

Others :
beni shoga pickled ginger,
kimchi,
raw meat, raw seafood,
mochi (rice cakes, use the tiny cubes arare, or thin slices),
tofu, cheese,
other veggies, sausage, ham, veggie pickles (tsukemono), salty seafood…

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Heat the hot plate (your skillet). Pass oil with a kitchen paper.

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MIXING :
In a bowl, put a cup of negi, 1/4 cup of nikomi, other options, a whole egg if you use it, a cup of batter. You can add more fish flakes if you wish. Mix roughly with chopsticks or a fork.

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COOKING
Pour everything on the plate, at middle heat. You can cover or not. When it’s all hardened, flip with 2 spatulas. (I cut it in 2 to flip with only one spatula… who cares ?).

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TOPPINGS :

All optional, as you like it, if you want some. A bare negiyaki is good too.

Sauce and mayo :

-the sauce is a thickened and sweetened worcester. The original sauce (called Ikari) was a copycat of LeaPerrins, sold to Kobe’s Brit expats.
Here I have a ready sauce, which is plant-based. If you don’t have it, LeaPerrins steak sauce is very similar. Or thicken the liquid classic worcester with corn starch (simmer a little, sweeten to taste) or by mixing with ketchup. Many shops make their sauce that way.Use a brush to paint it on the top.

-the mayonnaise. It is made more liquid by adding either milk, white wine or lemon juice. (to make easy egg mayo /// to make tofunaise).
To make nice drizzles, put the sauce and mayo in some plastic bottles with a tubular top. I don’t have that.

Variations :
-ketchup
shoyu (soy sauce, thickened)
ponzu (soy sauce + citrus juice)
-steak sauces

Powders (found in Japanese grocery stores) :
kezuribushi fish flakes, or fish powder
aonori seaweed
shichimi togarashi, 7 spice mix

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SERVING
When it’s cooked, put the heat on minimum, decorate.
Let on the plate while eating. Cut small wedges that you push toward guests that can heat directly from the plate, or on a small plate, while the rest stays hot.

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After-Eight oursons… oops.

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There were 2 sweets I liked a lot as a kid.
1. After-Eight : mint in dark chocolate.

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2. Oursons : marshmallow teddy bears in dark chocolate.

I can do a fusion of the two, no ? Well, in theory.

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I pounded into paste a good amount of peppermint, added marshmallows, heat them just enough to melt, stirred…

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Filled chocolate in the mold. Let dry overnight, added the marshmallow cooled, later added chocolate, waited…

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Ah.
But they taste great ! If anybody has tips to take out the bears from the mold without breaking them, I’m taking. I tried making a thicker chocolate case, but that’s not so good. I tried molding the marshmallow so I’d dip it in chocolate after, but it stuck totally on the mold too. I’m too clumsy, it seems.

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Plant-based how-to : Tofunaise

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It’s fresh, tart and silky.
Here is a light plant-based sauce, resembling mayonnaise.

Silky tofu, that you buy or make yourself.
It’s the base.

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Sudachi citrus as a flavor.

Recipe :

A :
1/2 cup silky tofu
B :
1/4 ts hot mustard
1/8 ts turmeric for color (optional)
juice of a sudachi lime (or 1/3 lime, or other citrus)
salt, pepper to taste

Poach the tofu in hot water 2 minutes or cook in microwave, let water out. When it’s cooled, add in a blender with other ingredients listed as B.
Keep refrigerated up to a week. If the texture has changed, you just need to stir it with a spoon a little before using.

Rem : you can replace up to 2/3 of the tofu by more olive oil to get a fatter mayo closer to the classic version. That depends on your goal, it will still be vegan. I do it mostly to get a lighter sauce so I have oil just enough for flavoring.

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Autumn leaf daigaku imo

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大学芋 Daigaku imo, literally “the university’s potato”, is a street stall sweet. It’s certainly of Chinese origin, but theses sticky potatoes have become part of the furniture in Japan. Osaka has a famous shop that makes some special ones, dipped in crack maybe, as you can’t stop if you start eaten one. I don’t know their secret. Maybe there is none. You take good satsuma imo (Japanese sweet potato), you fry them and coat in a syrup.
And the results depends on the quality of your ingredients and how you master the process.

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Flat and small is easier, so I cut shapes of 5 mm of thickness.

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I cook them in 3 steps : steaming till they are half-cooked, then I stir-fry them at 160 degrees C till they soften. I put them aside and bring the oil at 180 degrees, to cook them a little more and get crispiness. I put on oil absorbing paper 2 minutes.

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Syrup : 1 tbs of sugar + 1 tbs of honey or mizuame (glucose jelly) + 2 tbs of water. Simmer till it starts getting thicker. Add a few drops of fragrant sesame oil. Pass the freshly fried potatoes (still hot) in this hot syrup.
Decorate with black sesame.

NB : I fry them in normal neutral frying oil, not the dark sesame oil for seasoning. It’s possible to fry in sesame oil but only if you have a different white frying sesame oil.

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They have to be soft inside crispy around. They are better if you eat them warm, just after making them.

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Romanesco ganmodoki

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がんもどきGanmodoki are one of the numerous tofu based specialties that you can find in Japan. You wonder how many there are ? Oh, hundreds :

The Tofu Hyakuchin (豆腐百珍 Tōfu Hyakuchin?) is a Japanese recipe book written by Ka Hitsujun (何必醇) and published in 1782 during the Edo period. It lists 100 recipes for preparing tofu. Due to its immense popularity at the time, a second volume was published the following year.

source

And they had no romanesco then, so recipes like this were added later.
We can buy different types of ganmodoki in tofu shops, at markets and supermarkets and use them in many dishes. Making yours is easy.
Romanesco is beautiful. I’m never tired of watching it.

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For the detailed recipe, see on the blog of the Gourmet that lives in Shizuoka. I simply changed the garnishing vegetables.

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The stalks and leaves of the romanesco. I eat them too in soups or whatever. Here, I’ve cut thin sticks and steamed them. I’ve also steamed a few kabocha pumpkin sticks.

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ヒジキHijiki seaweed. We can buy them fresh or dry. That doesn’t make a big difference. Add water to the dry ones, wait 10 minutes.

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I pan-fried them.

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Served with steamed romanesco, raw myoga, and shikwasa lime juice as a seasoning.

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A nice plant based lunch.

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Electrolyte refill smoothie

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When it’s hot, we sweat a lot and lose water. And we also eliminate precious elements, electrolyte or ions, whatever sports drink maker call them. We don’t need to buy their powders to replace them. Let’s get all the nutrients with a natural drink.

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Moloheya (molokhia), this herb has a jelly texture like okra (gumbo), and that comes with the property of maintaining hydration. Like those sports gels.

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It’s a smoothie of frozen banana (for its carbs and potassium) , molokhia and a little lemon juice. Now we need sodium ? Well on the glass.

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I know the color is not superb, but the taste is very fruity, the texture deliciously creamy and it’s very efficient.

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Nuts, herbs and spices, that’s dukka

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I had never heard about this product. Originally from Egypt, dukka (duqqa) is a kind of spice mix used in Middle-Eastern cuisines. The quickest way to taste it was to make mine. That’s without warranty of having the authentic flavor but that doesn’t matter as long as it’s good. Some day I’ll go there to taste the original.

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Spices : black pepper, coriander seeds, raw sea salt, dry mint.
“Nuts” : sesame seeds, walnut, cashew nut.
I roasted them in 2 batches. I’ve added cumin powder and paprika powder. And in a mortar, ground finely the spices and more coarsely the nuts.

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Boiled chick peas were waiting to become hummus. I’ve added garlic, a little yuzu juice, olive oil on top.

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I eat it as a dip for veggie sticks (red bell pepper and cucumbers).

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