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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Black natto brunch

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Tororo on my bowl of natto

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A nagaimo, a long yamaimo or Japanese yam. Naga means long. We often buy only a cut, but the root is 60 cm long or more.

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Grated. Tororo tuto.

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Like an apple or an avocado, grated yamaimo tends to oxidate and darken in color. Or not, and that’s not previsible. But that was the case with this one so I’ve added juice of sudachi lime to keep it relatively creamy in color. That’s also a nice flavor addition.

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Black natto (fermented soy beans). It’s often paired with grated wasabi.

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Natto with rice is a regular breakfast item in Japan. So just that with tororo and green tea. A nice simple brunch.

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Tororo soba

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It’s a very simple Japanese dish. This fresh sauce, tororo, is made from this root vegetable : Nagaimo.

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Grating the nagaimo in the traditional way in a suribashi (mortar). You peel a length of that long potato and you rub it against the line of the pottery. You get this slimy texture, and that’s how we like it as it’s very refreshing. I guess some people don’t appreciate, and this vegetable is not for them.

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Sudachi lime juice. A little sea salt.

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Okra.

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Juwari soba (100% buckwheat noodles), boiled, refreshed in iced water.

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

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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.

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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.

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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).

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About mitsuba.

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

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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).

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Peanut red bean burgers, with fruity sauce

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I really like peanuts, I often eat them just like that. Today, I’ve included them in some spicy bean patties to bring nuttiness and crunchiness.

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I broke the peanuts in the mortar. I keep the red skin, it’s full of nutrient. Added in : Taisho kintoki red beans (boiled), onion, ginger, garlic and stalks of nira. It’s flavored with an Indian spice mix containing mango powder. A little potato starch for binding. Pan-fried.

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The fruity sauce is made by blending carrot, 1/2 konatsu pomelo, a piece of onion, chili pepper and a pinch of salt.

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Sides : salad with goya (bitter squash) and yamaimo simply diced.

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Formule pescatarian

It’s getting hotter. For lunch, it’s pleasant to have a light menu of fish and raw veggie.

Raw yamaimo potato, with spice mix.

Precision : I am not very sure if I have a yamaimo (=yamano imo, Japanese glutinous yam) or a nagaimo (Chinese yam). They are very similar in appearance but wiki in Japanese says they are 2 species. We get of both here, and we get several shapes of both and both are eaten raw most often. So I can tell only if it’s written on the label…


About raw yamaimo (click here)

Grilled shishamo fish and Brussel sprouts.

More about this fish (click here).

Greens.

More greens, celery and lemon.

Couscous curry


A hot plant-based lunch. Ready in a few minutes, as usual. Veggies from the West and the East prepared in Indian curry.


Very fine couscous with a few goji berries. A stir-fry of veggies : green peas, Brussels sprouts, yama-imo potato. Flavored with garlic, whole Indian spices, paprika and tomato sauce.