How to make a genuine Osaka Okonomiyaki.

         Yasushi Huwa

 I am from Osaka. In Osaka, Okonomiyaki is a very popular food. There are many Okonomiyaki restaurants in town and each of them proudly make their own tasty Okonomiyaki. However, there are no Okonomiyaki restaurants in Nagano. Well, there are a few, but they don't taste too good to me. That is why I decided to make it at home. At first, I could not make good Okonomiyaki; however, as I tried many times to improve it, I was finally able to make my own delicious Okonomiyaki. Now, I invite my students to my house for Okonomiyaki and they say"it is delicious"(May be my presence influences their judgment).

 By the way, I often travel around the country due to my work, and I noticed that other than the Kyoto-Osaka area and Hiroshima, Nagano was not the only place in all of Japan that didn't have good Okonomiyaki restaurants. Since I want you to enjoy Okonomiyakithat tastes good, I am going to tell you how to make my special Okonomiyaki.

Ingredients

Usually, I don't precisely measure the ingredients by weight. I just know how much to put in without weighing; however, this time I measured the amount that I usually use to tell you exactly how much of the different ingredients you need. By the way, this recipe is for five people. You need:

 Keep in mind that there will be less flour than Chinese yam. The Okonomiyaki introduced here is not only fried with water and flour; the flour will only be used as a glue to stick all the ingredients together. The base is the Chinese yam. We don't use any water. Restaurants which serve bad Okonomiyaki add only a small amount of Chinese yam for seasoning and put in too much flour. If you cook this way, your Okonomiyaki will turn out to be too hard. A tasty Okonomiyaki needs to be crunchy on the outside and moist inside.

 Ground pork is also an important part of this recipe. You should not use expensive red meat. Please use the thin sliced meat that has an equal amount of fat and red meat.

 Do you know what tenkasuis? It is a fried mixture of flour and water that is left after frying tempura. Please make sure that you have it. Around the area where I came from, the tempura stores in the market places often sold it for a cheap price. How about your town? In Nagano, it is sold in bags at super markets. Please find where it is sold.

Preparation

  1. Mix theflourandeggswell. Be very careful not to put too much flour in the mixture. As a reminder, we don't use any water.

  2. Mix the ground Chinese yam into the mixture.

  3. At this point, you need to put a small amount of instant dashinomotomayonnaise, and soy sauceNext, you need to cut the cabbage into small pieces (you do not need to slice it too thin) and add them to the mixture. You may think that there are too many pieces of cabbage in the mixture, but you will need a lot. If you stir thoroughly, it will mix readily with the other ingredients. Okonomiyaki is a healthy food with a lot of vegetables in it.
  4. Next, thin slices of green onion and STRONG>squid should be mixed into the mixture. After stirring for a while, add the dried shrimps and tenkasu.

  5. Finally, you need to fry it. Okonomiyaki should be crunchy on the outside and moist inside. To make it so, you will need a well heated hotplate. Luckly, most hotplates can heat more than 200cel. these days. In my home, I use a hotplate that is heated by the gas.
  6. Spread some cooking oil on the heated hotplate and put the mixture on it. You may fry as much mixture as you desire. However, you should not spread it too thin. This Okonomiyaki mainly contains the Chinese yam; therefore, it easily gets separated. Spread a thick layer of the mixture in the center of the hotplate and prevent it from getting separated. Next, spread the chopped meat on it.

  7. When one side of the mixture is cooked, turn it over. Make sure that the side on the pan has turned light brown before you turn it over. Check a few times to see if it is done. The trick in turning it over is the timing and speed. When the mixture is not cooked enough, it will break apart while you are flipping it over. You can prevent this from happening by making sure that one side is completely cooked. Also, if you flip it too slowly, it will break apart on the spatula. Have two big spatulas ready and turn it over quickly. After turning it over, press the mixture gently and make sure that the entire surface of the mixture has contact with the hotplate.

  8. Again, make sure that the other side is cooked well. After it is cooked, turn it over again with the side of ground pork on top and turn off the hotplate.
  9. Spread the mayonnaise,two sauces, and mustard according to your preference. Cut it into small pieces. Finally, please eat it when it is still warm. You do not have to put mayonnaise on it, but you may want to try it at least once.

And it will taste well with

beer.

I wonder why Okonomiyaki goes so well with beer (if you add a lot of Kimchi to the mixture and fry it, it will taste even better with beer).

Please enjoy Okonomiyaki with many people.


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