To celebrate the new year, I hosted a last-minute dinner last night with a few close friends. What was on the menu? Okonomiyaki! It was a mellow evening of cocktails and sour beers to accompany the famous Japanese savory pancake.
It was the first time I would be making okonomiyaki, but I figured it would be easy enough. I borrowed a rad table-side hot plate from the parents (which I do not plan on returning, suckas!), and went on a quick trip to the local Korean supermarket (a awesomely cheaper alternative to the Japanese market) to get all the necessary ingredients and toppings.
Prep was minimal -- the biggest pain in the ass was slicing all the cabbage. But nothing was too time-consuming or labor intensive.
Two types of pork belly: American, and "skinless black pork" from Denmark. (For Anders)
Vanesa demonstrating the wonders of nagaimo (mountain potato, not to be pronounced "na-gay-mo", haha)
The batter itself is not unlike pancake batter. It consists of about 1 cup flour, 2 eggs, and 300ml water. Add a bot of nagaimo here. I cheated and also used some pre-made okonomiyaki mix, which you can buy at the Japanese market.
Mix all your desired ingredients into about a cup of batter. We had shrimp, squid, OYSTERS, enoki mushrooms, tempura flakes and of course, cabbage.
Stir so all the ingredients are coated in batter.
Lay the batter onto a hot, well-oiled pan.
Flaten out evenly. You want the pancake to not be so big you can't flip it, nor too thick that it won't cook through.
Add pork belly.
Flipping the pancake can be difficult. I ended up having to cut the pancake into several pieces to be able to flip, which is fine, but not ideal.
When done, slather on some kewpie mayo, Japanese "sosu" (okonoiyaki sauce tonkatsu sauce is fine) or and sprinkle some beni-shoga (pickled ginger) and aonori (green seaweed).
Yoko brought yakisoba, a necessary accompaniment to okonomiyaki.
Happy new year everyone! Let's make 2012 the year of Okonomiyaki!
*Photos by Johnny Lopes and Yoko Kumano