My next foray into the world of Japanese cooking was Okonomiyaki, sometimes known to Westerners as Japanese Pizza, or Japanese pancake.
My experience of Okonomiyaki is of the seafood variety, so I went with this recipe for Ebi Okonomiyaki from Little Japan Mama’s blog, but I added a chopped small squid hood to the mix as well.
I think my only mistake was being lazy and cutting my cabbage with the Thermomix, which meant it was shredded in much smaller pieces than intended. When I mixed it into the batter, it ended up a lot runnier than the pictures look on Little Japan Mama’s blog, and I ended up with about six, very large pancakes. One of which I ate for lunch and the rest I froze between layers of baking paper so that I can grab them for easy lunches.
I had to forgo the Katsuo-bushi and Ao-nori for the top of my completed Okonomiyaki (I couldn’t get small quantities at the store), but I did have Japanese mayonnaise and a little soy sauce. They clearly don’t look anything like the ones in the recipe, but the taste was surprisingly similar to Okonos I’ve had in restaurants (definitely not as refined, but yummy nonetheless). I’ve heard people say a lot that they love Japanese food (or any sort of foreign cuisine for that matter), but for the life of them, they can’t recreate the same taste of seemingly simple dishes at home. It’s obvious to me, after only two Japanese dishes, that the addition of things like dashi powder and pickled ginger make a huge difference to the authenticity of the taste. I mean, I’ve made savoury cabbage “fritters” before and they tasted fine, but not like this at all.
I’m getting lots of material and experience for my book, as well as relishing in learning about new flavours and tastes. Maybe one year I’ll be ready for MasterChef!