Emi’s okonomiyaki


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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


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)
And in between ?


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.


Yakitori tsukune


Tonight yakitori !
But the photos are… night photos. Sorry.


You’ll see nicer in this post with 2 more versions of this basic skewer. And a mini-compil :

other yakitori

Soft tsukune recipe :
-For about 150g of meat (not too lean ground chicken), I’ve added a 1 tbs of ginger (minced), 1 tbs of leek (minced), 1 ts of soy sauce, a pinch of sugar, 2 tbs of sake, 1 tbs of sesame oil, plus a little more salt. After adding the previous ingredients and kneading, I’ve mixed in 2 big tbs of potato starch and about 1/2 cup of water. I let it rest 2 hours so flavors can mix.
-Then the balls are formed and boiled. Bring a pot of water to ebullition, pass on medium heat and throw in freshly made balls. When they are done, they are white all around and they come afloat. Take them away. They can be cooled and stored for a later meal, or used immediately.
-Put balls on skewers, oil, salt and grill. It’s the simple “salt grilled style”.


Yuzu citrus and togarashi hot chili pepper tsukune. I also made nira tsukune by adding minced nira (garlic chive) to the mix.


With the broth I made a soup, adding slices of ginger, shimeji mushrooms and negi leeks.



Lacquered yakitori balls and grilled kabocha


Sauce tsukune.


Sesame tsukune.
Two more variation of tsukune (meat balls) of yakitori (grilled chicken skewer bars). For simple “salt” version, see here.


Yep, they are painted…


The boiled balls (preparation here) are put on skewers, then painted several times with sauce, before, during and after being grilled under the broiler or on a brasero. I have not made my sauce, I’ve used the fruity Bulldog sauce (more here). Some yakitori shops use that, but most make their mix.
For the sesame ones, after 2 or 3 times, I stopped adding sauce but passed the skewer in a mix of white and black sesame seeds.


As I used the oven-toaster, I also grilled thin slices of kabocha pumpkin. Just like that, no salt, no oil. It’s delicious.


Vegetables (raw red onion, blanched and cooled okra and ninniku-no-me garlic stalks) and the leftover of creamy pesto dressing (preparation here). I mixed and let one hour.


Then 2 appetizers, I kept them “nature” without adding salt :


The seeds of kabocha, baked with the rest.




So I had a small casual dinner… well, that was a lunch.

other yakitori


Carotene lunch


Baked paprika, carotene powered.
I am not sure the body tells what it needs, but I wanted to eat this yellow orange color. I like thinking these food bring a lot of antioxidant β-carotene that I need now. Even if I’m wrong, I’ve eaten something good.


A yellow paprika and carrot *okara*. I made carrot juice, they are the grounds.


The filling is azuki beans, new onion, the carrot *okara*, turmeric, garlic, chili pepper, salt.


Baked. I’ve put a drizzle of olive oil on top. That favors vitamin absorption.


Today’s salad : chrysanthemum, young onion (salted, let 20 minutes, rinsed), parsley and ninniku no me (garlic stalks).


Dessert : citrus flavored torta di riso (see here).


A nice little three course meal, ready in few minute. The dessert was made a few days ago.



Creamy garden pasta


Pasta can be very healthy… at the condition you don’t use it to replace your greens. Have both together.
This dish is particularly easy to digest. It’s creamy but not in the Alfredo way.


The Spring produce : green peas and new onion are today’s guests.


That’s a one-pot dish : I add the veggies in the pot with the pasta, just not from the start so they don’t overcook.


For the sauce, I mixed home-made soy yogurt, lots of minced parsley, salt, black pepper and secret touch : coriander seed + nutmeg.


The sauce added on the hot plate will tenderly coat the pasta.



Le nouveau gâteau truffe au chocolat , with soy yogurt


Not your grandma’s usual yogurt, not her salon de thé ‘s truffe au chocolat. I had no intention to remake them. The cake ended up similar just like that as I was improvising. Lucky !


Freshly made soy yogurt

It’s the greatest soy yogurt for me. Commercial soy yogurt are always on the runny side of creamy, or on the jello side. And the Japanese soy yogurt, oh my, I’d never eat that, it’s over-sweetened and flavored with with stevia that I loath.
This one has a texture of… yogurt. And a taste of soy. It’s perfect.
Don’t skip the sugar, it helps maturation and the result is not sweet at all.

Easy recipe :
-make one liter of thick tonyu soy milk (tutorial)
-in a small cup mix 1 tbs of potato starch, 1/4 of agar, 1/2 cup of soy milk. Cook a few seconds in the micro-wave till its thickens. You get a mess.
-in the blender, mix the warmed soy milk, the cup of starch, 1 tbs of sugar, 2 tbs of store bough soy yogurt
-let overnight in a yogurt maker

Tip : you can take a thermos/thick pot with a lid, place glass bin in the middle, very hot water around…and you have a yogurt maker. I do that for smaller batches.


Freshly made soy ‘Greek’ yogurt.
Drained in a cheese cloth (from the pharmacy), let overnight in the fridge. Drink the whey or use it for cooking, it’s full of healthy probiotics.

Other dairy-like ideas : my diary-free diary.


Now, let’s make the cake : I whip all that to make a chocolate mousse.


A nutty biscuit base (just blend all together).


Composition : the base, a layer of mousse, slices of kumquat, more mousse, cocoa.
The result is really bluffing. That’s not exactly looking like those from the pâtissier‘s, but that’s as close as you dream of getting for some sweet you make like that in 10 minutes. Taste is divine…


These kinkan (kumquats) are still in season and visible in the streets.


Crème de sakura (sakura an)


桜餡sakura an is the girlie version of anko, the classic sweet bean paste used to make Japanese sweets.


It is traditionally flavored with pickled sakura.


Dried daifuku mame. They are big white beans, very convenient to make Japanese sweets.


After soaking and cooking.


1. Paste the beans.
2. Add color (beni koji for red) and syrup or sugar. I also add a little brandy.
3. Pass the paste through a sieve.
4. Add pickled minced sakura leaves (for strong taste) and/or flowers (for lighter taste and pink bits in the mass).
5. Let a few hours, so the paste takes the full flavor.

The pickled sakura must be rinsed and soaked, otherwise they are really too salty.


That’s the finished paste. It can be used in sweets and breads.

DSC07698-001 With the rest of paste that didn’t pass the filtering, and some leftover of anko bean paste, I made a toast.

Wagashi Saga : Japanese sweet posts and tutorials.

Recipes using sakura-an :
DSC07734-001sakura mochi
DSC08042-002double sakura waffles
DSC08359-001sakura anpan