Okonomiyaki at home

I’ve recently been flooding my Facebook feed (quite obnoxiously I must say) with pictures of food that I’ve made or ordered at restaurants. Having abandoned Blogger completely, I started this new blog to give my friends a break and to get back to writing.

First things first: Stomach monster lives in my belly. When he doesn’t get fed, he gets ANGRY. He gets IRRATIONAL and CRANKY and can’t function until he is fed. People always marvel at how I can eat so much and stay so skinny. I eat just as much as you! I just document it more. There are different iterations of Stomach Monster…for instance my friends D&L call theirs FAT BRAIN. As in, FAT BRAIN WANTS RAMEN!

Anyway I recently posted a photo of homemade okonomiyaki, which looks and sounds hard to make but it really isn’t. It’s just hard to say.
I was at Family Recipe in the LES a couple of weeks ago with Ryan and my roommates. Their okonomiyaki (henceforth known as “O”) came in a small (6 inch!!!) cast iron skillet and featured a gooey consistency and oysters. It was okay. Decided to make it at home with seafood as well, so Ryan and I headed to Hong Kong Supermarket on Hester/Elizabeth for ingredients. We found everything except the pancake mix and O sauce, which I decided to just make from scratch.
Basically you can add whatever the hell you want to the dish, which makes it great for using up leftover ingredients that are floating around your fridge and collecting fridge funk. You can make it with flour, grated yam, water, dashi, etc. And you can use seafood, meat, and any combination of veggies.
Here is a photo of the finished product, so pretty:

Okonomiyaki

And here is how you make it.
Pancake:
Flour
2 eggs
Water
Salt and pepper to season
6 oz baby scallops lightly salted
1 lobster (smash it up and take the meat out, raw) lightly salted
Napa cabbage (quartered lengthwise and sliced thinly – you only need 1/4 of the cabbage) lightly salted
O sauce:
1/3 c Worchestershire sauce
Soy sauce
1 Tbsp sugar
7 Tbsp dashi
Rice vinegar
3-4 Tbsp ketchup
Splash of fish sauce
2 Tbsp cornstarch slurried in water
Garnish:
Bonito flakes
Kewpie mayonnaise
Chopped scallions
Nori
Pickled ginger
You can make the sauce ahead of time so it has time to cool. Just heat all the ingredients in a saucepan except for the slurry and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, then slowly whisk the slurry in til the desired consistency. I didn’t give exact amounts because I just taste it and adjust ingredients until I get what I want.
To make the pancake, beat the eggs and mix with some water. Add enough flour to get it to the desired consistency – you want it to be like pancake batter but not too thick. Add some salt and pepper to season.
To cook, mix all the ingredients together. Heat a 10″ nonstick skillet and add vegetable oil. When it’s hot, pour the batter in and spread it around so it’s an even thickness. Turn the heat to medium low and let it sit for a few minutes. Check the doneness of the bottom and when it seems cooked enough to flip, use a large fish spatula to turn it over. You’ll want to jiggle it in the pan first to 1. make sure it’s not stuck and 2. make sure it’s cooked enough. If it’s still runny on top, leave it for another couple of minutes. You can use 2 spatulas to flip it as well – it might help to have a second set of hands. Once you get it flipped, let it cook for a few more minutes. You can test doneness by pressing lightly in the middle of the pancake.
To serve, top with the O sauce and Kewpie, then sprinkle with bonito flakes, chopped scallions, and nori. Serve the pickled ginger on the side.
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