Wednesday, March 2, 2011

This is how I like it, anyway.

Isn't that the translation? Okonomiyake = "as you like it" in Japanese?

I immediately considered putting tater tots in mine, but settled for slightly-less-evil Bacos instead. Yeah.

I'd wanted to try my hand at this since seeing Closet Cooking's Shitake Okono take the cake for a Tastespotting recipe contest. Plus, my wok is the perfect size for personal-Japanese-pizzas. AND! Little Sis let it be known that this is her fav food, so I had to practice for some future birthday surprise.

Kevin has another recipe on his site that uses whole wheat flour - which worked out swimmingly and added an oaty, grainy flavor.

The traditional recipe calls for Dashi - made most often with fish, so I went with an imported mushroom broth. Steeped with a little kombu, it had a briney, hint of the sea taste. Perfecto. And since I'm a hot toddie about spicy, I mixed some prepared wasabi with the Mayo before spider-webbing our 'cakes. And covered them with toasted sesame chili oil. So many flavors. So lovely.

Baco Okonomiyaki
adapted from Closet Cooking's awesome recipe
makes two pancakes

2 eggs, well beaten
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 small head of cabbage, sliced thin
1/2 cup bacos
1/2 cup broth steeped with one small piece of kombu - for the broth, I used a Japanese mushroom-flavored
Handful of fresh bean sprouts
Handful of frozen edamame
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound shitake mushrooms, stems removed
1 tablespoon soy sauce, or more to taste (whole wheat flour has a sweet undertone - you might want to add a tad more sauce if you likey the salty)
Oil to coat your skillet or wok

To top:

Fried shallots (find these at your Viet/Thai grocery)
Pea shoots (lurv ya TJS!!!)
Chili oil
1/2 cup Katsu sauce
1/2 cup Mayonnaise, preferably Japanese, mixed with 1 tsp wasabi powder

Let's do this.

First, you'll need to saute your cabbage and mushrooms. Heat a tablespoon of sesame oil in a wok, and add your cabbage. Sear them on one side till a tad brown, about 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and a little water and cover your wok, letting the cabbage steam - let it cook 3-4 minutes, until soft. Set aside.

Slice your mushrooms into strips and heat another tablespoon of sesame oil in your wok. Add shrooms and cook over medium heat, until they soften. Shitakes are little sponges, so I couldn't resist adding a little leftover mushroom broth to them just as they were finished cooking - to pump that awesome, earthy flavor. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix your eggs and broth. Add flour and whisk. You want a thin pancake-batter like consistency - adjust if needed. Add all of your veggies, garlic, bacos, soy sauce, edamame, and mix well.

Heat a tablespoon and a half of sesame, olive or veggie oil in your wok until it shimmers. Quickly spoon a large ladleful of batter into the wok's bottom, using the back of the ladle to spread the batter into an evenly-flat circle. Let it cook 4-5 minutes a side - it'll brown nicely. Grab the biggest spatula you have and carefully flip the pancake. Cook another 3-4 minutes, until firmly set. Repeat with pancake 2.

You know I just put the mayo mix and the katsu sauce in a ziplock and cut a little hole to get that tubing action. You might have actual bottles. If so, cheers! Either way, carefully draw a spiral with katsu, then mayo, around the pancake. Use a chopstick to drag lines through the pattern. Preeeeeety. Top with chili oil, shallots, anything you'd like. Thinly sliced nori would have been awesome but Erk's a seaweed hater, so we left it as-is.

Cut into 6 slices and serve. Awesome.

I'm getting back into peanut-butter love, so we ate a simple peanut/sesame/udon salad as a side. It was almost as good as the 'cake - seriously, I love this stuff. For my gluten-free homies out there - try it with brown rice spaghetti. Works perfectly.

Peanut Butter/Sesame Udon Salad
makes 3-4 servings

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced ginger
4 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon agave nectar
Dash rice vinegar 

8 ozs Udon or Soba noodles, prepared al dente

1 cup sliced fresh veggies - I used a small roma tomato and 1/3 of an english cuke
Small handful sprouts
1 tablespoon each black and white sesame seeds, to top
Thin sliced red onion, to top 
Crushed red pepper to top - if you like the spicy.

Prepare your noodles according to package directions, rinse with cold water, and set in the fridge or freezer to chill.

Puree all the sauce ingredients in your blender for a minute or two, till totally uniform.

Toss your sliced veggies and sprouts with your noodles, add sauce, and wrastle that dressing into every nook and cranny. I admit - I gave up on my tongs and used my paws. It's a heavy salad.

Put a handful onto a small plate, top with sesame seeds, thinly sliced onion, and crushed pepper. 

Eat and be merry. Love!


  1. Gorgeous photos! I LOVE okonomiyaki but have never tried making it myself. I'm bookmarking this for the next time I find a good Asian supermarket and stock up!

  2. Thanks sista! Hope yours are even more delish than ours were.

  3. That is one really nice looking okonomiyaki!

  4. Looks delicious! I haven't eaten this in a long time already. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Every part of this meal sounds amazing! I am so intrigued as I have never seen a "pancake" like this before. Your presentation is beautiful! Yummy!

  6. @Kevin - thanks homie! For the inspiration AND the compliment :)

    @Jun - my pleasure!

    @Pretend Chef - I know, isn't it weird and awesome? Savory pancakes covered with lots of sauces ftw.

  7. This looks amzing. I've never heard of it! Any pizza dough without yeast is a bonus for me as yeast never does it's thing for me. It must be world pizza week because I saw a recipe for a Turkish pizza yesterday that caught my eye too! What are bacos?

  8. TOP 9!!! AWESOME!! ♥- Katrina

  9. @blog+dog - bacos are usually TVP (textured vegetable protein) colored and flavored to taste like bacon. They're often what you find on salad bars instead of bacon because they're super cheap!

    @kat - thanks ma doooood!

  10. I love okonomiyaki! It's awesome with mochi and cheese - would go good with bacos. All this time I didn't know bacos wasn't bacon. I'm a moron.

  11. @wok - awwwr, I hope I didn't ruin 'em for ya! Mochi and cheese would be AWESOME and I'll try just that next time.

  12. Beautiful photos!

  13. I have been tempted to start making noodles at home but have been so intimidated. I am not good with baking and my attempts at other homemade dough type things like green onion pancake, roti, etc have been utter flops. I love you video and I think you have inspired me to try these udon noodles at home! Wish me luck!

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