Friday, 20 April 2012

Japan: o-konomi yaki

Some days ago I found my old notebook - the kind with paper, where you need a pen to make entries. In this very book, the last entry was from August 1995. Some things (I'm not going to reveal the whole content of that book) written in it were recipes I liked back then and wanted to keep. One of this was a Japanese recipe: お好み焼き (o-konomi yaki). This is a savoury pancake with cabbage. The name is derived from a Japanese word meaning "what you like". So, whatever you like goes on it (although there are certain things I would never dare to recommend).
Here we are then, about to cook something Japanese. To get myself in the mood I put a CD on with some Japanese music.

That was all I had: A CD from Vivian Hsu.
Together with the pancake I want to prepare a miso soup.
A bit of cutting to start with. Then ... OK ... here is the pancake recipe ...

O-konomi yaki

100 g flour
1 egg (preferably from a happy chicken - at least until someone stole her egg)
1 handful of cut cabbage
50 g prawns
1 spring onion (cut lengthwise)
1 clove of garlic (peeled)
1 thumb sized piece of ginger
1 stock cube (chicken, vegetable, or whatever)
vegetable oil for frying
seaweed, Worcestershire sauce (optional)

First of all mix the flour, a pinch of salt, the (happy) egg and a bit of water to a "gooey"
Heat up the oil in a medium sized pan.
Then add the cabbage and incorporate well. If the batter is too gooey, just add a bit more water to get the desired texture.
When the oil is hot enough you can add half of the batter to the pan and tilt the pan so that the batter covers the bottom of the pan.
Get your prawns, spring onion, garlic, and ginger ready. Put the prawns and the spring onion on the already frying batter. Then grate the garlic and ginger on top, but don't grate too vigorously ... or otherwise you grate your fingers as well.
Cover it all up with the remaining batter and fry nicely and golden from both sides.
Once the pancake is done, you can serve it with seaweed (Reminds me of a stupid joke: Why did the lobster blush? Because the sea weed.) and Worcestershire sauce.
Then "dig in"! Maybe together with a miso soup. Well, how can you it this with chopsticks? Try, and find out ...
To finish this whole meal of, a small cup of green tea.
But don't add milk to the tea. At least that is what it said on the package.
I hope you like o-konomi yaki ... I do. Instead of using prawns - as I already mentioned at the outset - you can use many different other things, like beef, pork or go for a vegetarian version with some nice vegetables like carrots or use cheese or ... what you like (However, I don't take any responsibility if it isn't edible anymore!).

Some day I will try a traditional Japanese breakfast ...

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