Emi’s okonomiyaki

DSC03611-001

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.

DSC03583-001

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.

2013-12-091

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.

DSC03588-001

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

2013-12-093

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

2013-12-09

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

2013-12-092

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 ?

DSC03604-001

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.

DSC03613-002

Osaka negiyaki, powered up.

DSC01950-001

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)

DSC01920-001

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.

2013-10-212

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

DSC01813-001

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.

DSC01909-001

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 :

DSC01924-001

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.

DSC01921-001

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…

DSC01925-001

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

DSC01927-001

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.

DSC01928-001

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 ?).

DSC01934-001

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

2013-10-213

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.

DSC01957-001

How to handle your yama imo (naga imo, Japanese yam)

DSC01900-001

Apparently that’s not obvious when you have not seen it done. So a few photos are better than a long speech.
This veggie nagaimo is slimy and if you peel it it becomes very slippery, and you may get some skin allergy into the bargain. But that’s only after it’s peeled.

You can touch the skin without problems. So with a knife, peel a length of that long potato, or the tip if it’s the round type. Like a pencil, you sharpen it as you need.

DSC01897-001

First way.

2013-08-232

Grating the in the traditional way in a suribashi (mortar). and you rub it against the lines of the pottery.

DSC01902-001

Second way, with modern graters.

DSC01904-001

Now you can prepare tororo, okonomiyaki, negiyaki
It can also be cubed, sliced, etc, eaten raw or cooked.

DSC01907-001

Tororo-gohan with mitsuba. Yam creamed rice in green.

DSC03598-001
DSC03562-001

This slimy texture is that grated nagaimo (yam) and it’s very appreciated here. It’s very hydrating and refreshing in summer. It’s called tororo.

Tororo-gohan is a traditional Japanese dish probably very ancient. The principle is pouring a cold cream made of nagaimo (yam) on hot rice.

DSC03583-001

Like this !

Peel then grate this naga imo (yamama-imo, Japanese yam) in a Japanese mortar (that has lines carved inside) or a grater with spikes.

DSC03559-001

You obtain the tororo texture. I simply flavor mine with a little soy sauce. Classically you make a tsuyu (soy sauce, dashi broth, mirin, slightly simmered then refreshed).

DSC02715-001

About mitsuba.

DSC03566-001

In the blender I’ve made a pesto of mitsuba greens.

2013-06-07

Pour the tororo on top of a bowl of very hot rice, add toppings and enjoy. My topping is the mitsuba pesto.
Classic toppings : ribbons of nori seaweed, aonori seaweed, raw quail egg, slices of okra, herbs…
I’ve added sesame seeds on my genmai (brown rice).

DSC03577-001

DSC03614-001

Spring tea sweets, from the shop

These wagashi sweets are beautifully shaped, not very flavored and very sweet… they are designed for the tea ceremony. Patterns and colors vary with the season.

The moon in the night.

The arrow.

The flower.

The fish, probably koi carps as it is the season of “koi nobori“, when families that have little boys fly kites in shape of koi carps at their windows.

The flower and the fish are made with the neri-kiri technique. It’s a very soft paste, easy to carve… but very fragile.

Inside, it’s koshi-an, the smooth anko (azuki bean paste).

The eye is made of kanten (agar-agar).

The arrow is also filled with the same koshi-an.

The white part is more cake-like. It’s like karukan mochi. It contains yama-imo potato.

Buta okonomiyaki – Simple pork Osakan pancake

Lunch in Osaka. A classic okonomiyaki.

okonomiyaki gourmands, compilation and recipe

Pork meat is cooked first. It will become red and crispy :

Grated yama-imo for the batter. I have put a big quantity of this potato, so the okonomiyaki didn’t become very compact.
Veggies are cabbage, leftover of spinach and bean sprouts, a few bits of onion.

The sauce is simply soy sauce. Toppings are plenty of aonori seaweed, sesame seeds and grated ginger.That was soft, crispy and yummy.

A small roast…

It’s simply chicken. Marinated in olive oil and herbes de Provence, baked slowly until it’s crispy.

No big fuss for the veggies : the okra in the rest of marinade, plus a little tomato, reheated together. The bok choi was added in the oven at the end. Could I be lazier ? Yes, the yama imo (Chinese yam) is raw, with capers and paprika.

naga-imo potato

Cal : 445 F20.1g C38.1g P32.3g