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.

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Hot plate yakisoba with pickled ginger

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Yakisoba, Japanese fried noodles. They are often made on the hot plate like their cousin okonomiyaki and actually that was the same day as this. Emi is the chef.
What gives flavor to the dish is often beni shooga, red pickled ginger. Look at this :

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Emi’s homemade. You can see the ginger roots in vinegar with leaves of red shiso that bring the color.

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The cut ginger.

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Ingredients are common with okomiyaki : cabbage (cut in squares), pork breast… and it’s the same okonomiyaki/Worcester sauce. Add to this negi leeks.

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And the noodles. They are home-made egg noodles.

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Simple and delicious.

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Sukiyaki, Japanese big dinner

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As Christmas is approaching, I wish you a nice holiday season. So let’s have a sukiyaki party !
It’s a party meal designed to showcase delicious premium Japanese beef and season produce. A hot pot to cook and share on the table.

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The ingredients are cut, cleaned, prepared and presented on big trays on the table.
First tray : fungi, konnyaku noodles and grilled tofu.
There were 4 types of mushrooms : shimeji, enoki, dry and soaked maitake and fresh kikurage.

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Second tray : negi leeks, onions, soaked yakifu (gluten croutons) and kikuna (chrysanthemum greens).

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Third tray : the beef. Wagyu, Japanese traditionally raised cows. Beside you can see cubes of beef fat.

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Each eater is given a bowl with a good fresh egg. Whisk your egg with the chopsticks and get ready to dip you ingredients in this sauce.

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First step : greasing the pot with fat and roasting the first slices. They can be enjoyed this way as the beef is delicious, just on its own.

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That’s the technique : melt some fat, add some meat, pour a little sugar, then a little shoyu (sauce sauce), a little sake. Mix and cook.

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All the other ingredients are added in small batches…

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For dessert… well, there are no desserts for Japanese meal. So that’s a French tarte Tatin, made with Japanese apples.

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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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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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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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