Sunday, July 13, 2014

Okonomiyaki

If you're not familiar with the Japanese language, the title of this post might be a bit of a mouthful. But it's pretty easy to pronounce, O-ko-no-mi-ya-ki (japanese letters tend to always end on vowels, so if you're trying to pronounce a japanese word, you'll probably be correct if you separate the letters as such).

Anywho! Okonomiyaki is a popular japanese dish that I had been wanting to make for ages. It's main ingredients are cabbage and squid, which to some may sound awful. But I knew David and I would like it so I decided to give it a try.

Let's just say, living in Virginia, you're not going to have a great amount of options when it comes to ingredients. I could only find squid at my local asian market, not even Wegmens had it. The recipe also calls for Chinese Yam (nagaimo) and literally no one sells it here. I asked the owner of the asian market about the yams he had and he seemed pretty confused, saying his were korean yams, and that a yam is a yam. Sadly this isn't true, but I bought one anyway to give it a try. Nagaimo is grated to create a sticky substance to hold the okonomiyaki together. I grated the yam I got, but it was mostly just mush. Still I used it anyways, since it would at least provide some yam flavor and filler. Cabbage, eggs, and flour are also needed, which was fine since you can get those anywhere. I forgot to buy tempura, so I just substituted with bread crumbs. For toppings it's reccomended to use bonito flakes (dried fish), japanese mayo (trust me, it's different), and okonomi sauce (which is a sauce specifically made for okonomiyaki). Thankfully my asian market had all of these, so I was ready to go.


Have you ever cut squid before? Let's just say it's not easy. Slimy little buggers, their bodies are very rubbery and hard to cut through. I had David take a picture because this was a pretty new experience. There's nothing like getting squid goo all over your counter.

After combining everything, you cook them on a frying pan. Instantly it started to fill the kitchen with a delicious smell. I knew this was going to be good.


Look at that! Bet you thought it'd look awful huh? But nope, it looked and tasted amazing. Even with out it being completely authentic, I was really happy with the results. I should warn that it is a process to make, and you're going to get your whole kitchen dirty. But I recommend giving it a try (this is the recipe I worked with)!