photo courtesy of hotdogandbun

I has been said that I am a fussy eater, which is something George Carlin once said is just a nice way of saying a big pain in the ass.  Mrs S could easily tell you that I didn’t exactly warm up to most Japanese food right away.  Unless you live in a major metropolitan area such as Los Angeles, where I’d lived for close to 25 years before having to move to Japan, most Americans’ exposure to Japanese food remains limited to sushi, teppanyaki (think Benihana), table DIY yakiniku charcoal grill restaurants like Gyu Kaku, or ramen noodles.  Some folks may be familiar with shabu-shabu, and others possibly even Japanese curry.  But it wasn’t until my wife took me to a food park in Osaka where I discovered Okonomiyaki.  If you’re not familiar with the concept of a food-park, it’s quite an experience.  Basically you’re issued a swipe card, and it’s filled with numerous individual food vendors in which you can just swipe your card at each of them and chow down here and there as you go around, then you pay at the end.  They’re not all the same, but it’s a popular venue and the one I recommend in Osaka is Naniwa Kuishinbo Yokocho, which is located at. 

〒 552-0022 Tempozan Market Place
1-1-10 Kaigandori, Minato-ku, Osaka

However, if you’re not in Japan and want to know how to make something fantastic that you won’t find much of in the United States, try this.

Okonomiyaki made easy (serves 2)

  • Cabbage – 1/2 of a spherical one (shredded)
  • Flour – 1 cup
  • Nagaimo (type of yam, smaller than a fist) – ground to slime
  • Bonito soup stock (1 cup)
  • 2 eggs
  • Bonito flakes (1 small pack)
  • Thinly sliced pork
  • Okonomiyaki Sauce
  • Kewpie mayonnaise
  1. Shred your cabbage and place into a large mixing bowl, and add your cup of flour, your ground slimy nagaimo, your cup of bonito soup stock, and your 2 eggs.
  2. Mix the hell out of it, then once mixed you put into a pan with some olive oil, place the thinly sliced pork on the top.
  3. Flip it when it’s ready to flip, then flip it again when it’s ready. (If you know how to cook at all you’ll know when it’s ready.)
  4. Put on a plate, add the okonomiyaki sauce and Kewpie mayonnaise as pictured below.
  5. Top with your bonito flakes, and it’s ready to serve.

Bon appétit!

photo by J. Eric Sandoval

For a little extra wow, chop up a few green onions to mix in with the cabbage.  You’ll be absolutely delighted, believe me!

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