Modern yaki

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Third dish of the hot plate fiesta at Emi’s. You’ve seen :
okonomiyaki and her yakisoba. Now we are mixing both.
That’s not something she usually does, but modan-yaki (modern yaki) is a regular offer in Osaka’s okonomiyaki places.

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If you have a huge hot plate, you can make it all on it. Otherwise, you can stir-fry the noodles in a frying pan with pork breast and Worcester sauce.

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Then on the plate, grill the noodles and more thin slices of pork belly.

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The batter-cabbage mix is the same as for okonomiyaki (more here).

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Place pork on the noodles.

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Cover with batter. Add tenkasu (tempura crumbs), pickled ginger and the rest of pork. Flip.

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On the other side, add an egg.

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Flip again.

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Garnish with sauce, mayonnaise, fish flakes and aonori seaweeds.

Emi’s okonomiyaki

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Each family of Osaka has its secret recipe of okonomiyaki. This post is pure spying. I am going to reveal you how my friend Emi makes hers. It’s a delicious simple version very rich in eggs. Before you start, make you sure you have tasty farm eggs.

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Then, you need thinly shredded cabbage. She cuts it with her big knife. The flavors are tenkasu (tempura crumbs) and thin slices of pork breast.

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The batter : It’s about a tbs of grated yama imo (Japanese yam), water and flour. Whip.
In a bowl, mix batter, cabbage, some tempura crumbs and an egg.

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To be always ready, Emi has a reserve of servings of grated yama imo in her freezer.

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On the oiled hot plate, first some batter-cabbage mix. Then slices of pork. Then more batter. Then flip.

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Then… Why that ? The goal is to make the surface uneven so the sauces will stay on top.

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Garnishing : the sauces are poured on top and layered with a brush. Then she puts fish flakes.
So the sauce are :
-okonomiyaki sauce (a mix of the thick sauce and of the more liquid Worcester sauce)
-mayonnaise
And in between ?

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Do you recognized ? It’s mustard that gives a spicy tone to the sauces.

So you know all the tricks, you can enjoy it at home too.

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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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Oroshi udon, Kyoto style noodles

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Oroshi udon literally means grated udon. That’s not that the noodles are grated, but because some grated daikon radish (oroshi daikon) garnishes them. It’s very refreshing and many Japanese style fast-food offer this dish : chilled udon noodles, grated daikon and tsuyu sauce.

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細うどん hosoi udon, thin udon noodles. They are said to be Kyoto style udon, but they are popular in Osaka too. I think thicker udon is better for Winter dishes and these are more refreshing.

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The grated daikon radish, cut negi leek greens a few flakes of togarashi chili.

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It’s tsuyu.
I made a fish flake dashi (recipe here), flavored with soy sauce and a little brown sugar. Served chilled.

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卵焼きtamago yaki (Japanese omelet rolls) and okra.

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Cream water melon. Taste is like the red one.

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Green nest sushi

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That’s my ideal. Good simple food. With a twist.
Here is a new version of mehari-zushi (sushi in pickled leaf). Again ? Well, those leaves can be stored years when you buy them -or when you make them properly. But mines have to be eaten within the week…

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Hatsuga genmai (germinated brown rice) and ukon (turmeric). This yellow spice is a common addition to the pickle.

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Green egg shaped edamame (boiled green soy beans).

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Wrapped in leaves of takana (mustard greens, pickled). So technically, they are not sushi without vinegar, but they become sour enough thanks to the leaves.

DSC01387-001about takana-zuke (click here)

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With sencha green tea. That’s all what you need.

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Mehari sushi, thyme veggies…

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My beloved mehari-zushi (pickled leaf sushi) are back…

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With them, some thyme flavored veggies. I baked 2 small eggplants, then cut them. Added shishito green peppers. New onion. Olive oil. Salt. And fresh thyme. All that reheated together. Mmmm…

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Today’s salad : Red cabbage, natto, spices and lemon juice.

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Take a leaf of pickled takana (Japanese mustard leaves). Fill it with freshly cooked rice. That’s it.
I have hatsuga mai (polished germinated rice).
DSC01374-001takana-zuke pickles DIY

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Nice green balls. I didn’t fill them with anything. I like simple food.

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Takana-zuke pickled leaves at home (failed and corrected)

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高菜 takana (literally ‘tall leaves’) is a type of large mustard green very popular in Japan. There are even different types of it. Usually it is prepared in tsukemono (pickled) called 高菜漬 takana-zuke.

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First weight the leaves. Then wash them under fresh water and put them to dry outside in the sun.

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After 2 hours : They are dry, still soft.

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Necessary ingredient : 2% of the weight of leaves of natural sea salt.
Optional for flavoring : a piece of kombu seaweed, a dry chili

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Put the salt all around the leaves. I put some on the stalk and fold in 2. Put them in a freezing bag with the flavorings.
After 15 minutes, they are already softer, push out the air and close the bag. Place in the fridge.
You are supposed to press the veggies in a pickle press. I have no idea where mine is. So I squeezed the veggies very tight, then placed the bag under something heavy. And squeezed again the next day…

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Then… that doesn’t work ! After 2 days, the progress was too slow. FAIL !!!!
So I have added water to cover the leaves and 3 grams of salt per cup. So that’s another recipe now. The next day :

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Yeah, much better. I can now make :

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mehari sushi

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