Okonomi-yaki is a Japanese food that has started to be slowly but widely acknowledged and getting more popular outside Japan this days. For those who haven't heard of it or haven't tried yet, let me briefly explain what it is.
It's often described as a Japanese savory pizza or pancake. Okonomi means "as you like" and yaki means "cook" or "grill". So you can put whatever ingredients you like in your okonomiyaki batter which is made of flour, grated nagaimo (a type of sticky yam, pale brown outside and white inside), dashi Japanese soup stock and eggs, and then grill it in a pancake shape. The basic ingredients are chopped or shredded cabbage + green onion + tempura bits. You can then mix things like shrimp, squid, cheese, mochi - sticky rice cake, etc, in this plain okonomiyaki, or top with pork rib slices as you grill. And then, finish with okonomiyaki sauce, mayonnaise, katsuobushi - bonito flakes, aonori - green laver.
At many okonomiyaki restaurants in Japan, you will need to grill your own okonomiyaki by yourself. It is a fun part of okonomiyaki for most Japanese but if you don't know how to, don't worry and just ask shop staffs to cook for you. They are professional okonomiyak-ist and I am sure they will help you ! The most popular okonomiyaki are "buta-tama" which is standard okonomiyaki topped with pork rib slices and "ebi-ten" which is with shrimps. So you may want to go for these for the first try.
When we cook okonomiyaki at home, we usually use pre-seasoned okonomiyaki-mix and all we need to do is to add some water, veggies, eggs and toppings and then grill. But at TOKYO KITCHEN, you will learn okonomiyaki without using okonomiyaki-mix or nagaimo (sticky yam) as I think these are not easy-to-get ingredients for some of you.
There is another interesting Japanese food called monja-yaki. I will write about it tomorrow so stay with me :)
Hi ! I'm Yoshimi. Here are some updates on TOKYO KITCHEN, Japanese food, Asakusa, Tokyo and more.