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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Okono-minute, the quickest ‘yaki’

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That’s a casual way to make a snack okonomiyaki at home.
Just make crepes, and garnish them with okonomiyaki toppings : kezuriboshi (dry fish flakes), aonori seaweed, negi leek and beni-shoga (pickled ginger). You can also use sakura-ebi (small dried shrimps). And you can skip any that you don’t want, of course.

It’s freely adapted from this recipe gottsuo-yaki. The author says that her grandmother was making this for children and she was wrapping it in a piece of paper so the kids could take it away to go play.

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The crepe : blend or whip 1/2 cup of flour, 3/4 cup of water to get a thick liquid. Adjust quantities. Add a pinch of salt. And a handful of cut negi leeks (the white part).

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These negi, Japanese Spring onion, leeks, scallions… are never far away from a Japanese kitchen.

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Make a small thick crepe.

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Garnish and drizzle shoyu (soy sauce).

DSC06287-001Well here, I put a pile of crepes, to be garnished on the table.
The “take out” style is to paint the top of the crepe with shoyu in the pan, garnish and fold, so the sauce is all inside.

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Black tofu and agedashi kyo-imo taro

Two small Japanese dishes, passed through the gourmande’s paws as usual. That’s not super original, but maybe you don’t know these two.

age-dofu (recipe here)
Agedashi is a classic way to prepare tofu, that means ageru (fry), then pour dashi (broth) on it. This time I made it with taro.

This is the Kyoto style taro, kyo-imo. I have peeled one, cut in a few rolls, boiled till tender. Then I’ve patted them dry and deep-fried till they get colored.

The dashi is the Japanese basic broth : DIY dashi recipe or plant-based kombu dashi.

I have left the fish flakes (you can omit them), added dry togarashi chili pepper, flavored with soy sauce and reheated slightly. I’ve added a little potato starch to thicken and poured on the hot kyo-imo.

Serve hot while it’s crunchy around.

I have used these black soy beans (kuromame) instead of the white. And I have proceeded exactly as I do for white tofu (recipes here).
It’s zaru tofu, shaped in a basket.

Topped with kezuri-katsuo (fish flakes), and at the side soy sauce to pour on it.

You’ll see the rest of the menu in the next post… (soon here)

Japanese garden creamy Winter soup

When it’s so cold inside, you need a soup every day. Yes, I wrote inside that’s not a typo, as outside the weather is mild, it’s Winter, but not freezing. In my place without heating, the day is just OK, but at night it’s a little chilly. So I put on a big sweater, my half-gloves and I get a bowl of good soup to warm me up…

It’s very quick to throw stuff in. Then, just let simmer a while. Today’s soup is a miso-minestrone. See the 3 steps at the end, but first let’s look at what is in it :

It’s full of season produce. Can you recognize them ?

Do you know that animal ? His name is taro. Well, he is a potato… and it’s usually called…

satoimo here.

That’s the season of black soy bean kuromame. I had them boiled.

Some greens.

Shungiku, chrysanthemum leaves.

Kezuribushi, bonito fish flakes.

Koji-miso. There exist very different types of miso. The color depends on ingredients. The more rice, the whiter, the more soy, the darker. This one is light colored miso with a high content of fermented rice (komekoji), and it’s rough textured. Its taste is sweet and mild.

Step one : in some water, put to simmer some dry daikon radish skins (I keep them to make broth), a few peeled satoimo taros, a ts of pasted garlic, 2 tbs of tomato paste, a dry chili and a cup of boiled black beans with their broth. Let 20 minutes.
Step two : I made a 1/2 cup of neri-goma (tahini, white sesame paste), mixed it with a tbs of miso, a ts of fish flakes. I’ve diluted that in the soup and let 2 minutes on low heat.
Step 3 : pour the soup on shungiku greens, top with more fish flakes.
If you want it vegan, just don’t add the fish flakes, replace the topping with aonori seaweed flakes.

Opening 2013 with a Kyoto style o-zoni soup


Akemashite omedeto ! Happy New Year ! Bonne année !
Well, I’m not too much into wish-wish, my first concern this year was as usual : What do we eat in 2013 !
Ozoni ! It’s explained here.

The classic Kyoto o-zoni is caracterized by its simplicity, elegance, traditionalism and refinement. Mine is even simpler than planned… I’ve forgotten to add tofu. It was still delicious.
Kohaku, red and white are the good luck color of New Year and this soup follows this color code.

Mochi. Ozoni is mochi.

Dainty soup with a base of Saikyo miso and a dashi broth of the finest hana-katsuo, flower bonito fish shavings. I had to cheat, I’ve added a little sake kasu.

Traditional seasonal veggies. Ginnan are the gincko tree’s nuts. Kyoto’s small taro satoimo and ultra-red Kintoki carrot.

The veggies are boiled separately as they don’t go well together. These small round mochi get soft by poaching them a few minutes in boiling or near boiling water. If you had a big mochi, you’d need to slice it.

Fill the bowl with a mochi, veggies, tofu if you have. Cover with broth and top with a mount of fish flakes. Take the photo quick as the fish flakes disappear like in moving sands.

Japanese warming soup with mini daikon


A little tutorial of Japanese cuisine today. It’s a soup with sake lees that has the property of warming up the body. It’s ideal for the cold season.

I like daikon, the huge Japanese white radish… but my favorite bit is the leaves. So I’m very happy with this type.

Very small radishes, sweet and tasty.

Tons of greens !

Other recipes with this plant :
Daikon sesame unohana (click here for recipe)
Mini-daikon miso soup
Nameko eggs with daikon leaves
Water tsukemono with mini daikon
Leafy miso

nanakusa okayu

Besides the mini daikon, I had cooked kabocha pumpkin, onion, dry shiitake mushrooms. Then tofu and sakekasu.

酒粕 sakekasu is a by product of sake making. It arrives on the market in this season. The taste ? It’s like unsweetened goat cheese with a little sake… Well, you should try.

Amazake, a drink with sake kasu

Sake kasu soup recipe

1. Dashi stock : put a 1 tbs of dry fish flakes (kezuri katsuo) and water, bring to a boil.
2. Season with soy sauce and miri, simmer a few minutes.
3. Add veggies or whatever items you want (optional, veggies, fish and tofu are common choices)
4. At the end, cut the stove and blend in the sake kasu paste. Slightly reheat without boiling, and serve.

For vegan dashi stock click here.

This is the way to blend in pastes into Japanese soup. The technique is similar for miso. We have this set “sieve + spoon” but you can get them separately. Put pate in the sieve, plunge it in the stock and stir with the spoon till all the paste has melted in.

So I’ve cooked progressively the onions, then the radish, then the leaves and just reheated the tofu and kabocha, finishing with the paste.

Dozo meshi agare !

Champuru with ocean furikake


Another quick lunch around an envy of champuru, the Okinawan tofu scramble, with goya bitter cuke.

Ocean furikake. That’s just that. But well fish and seaweed and you have the feet in the sea… And that changes everything.

Yummmy !