This conversation has essentially boiled down to:
Which is very in keeping to the va Naza family dynamic. Welcome to the family, Kali.
If you missed last Friday’s bonus Q & A comic with Pakku, you can find it, and all the other Q & A comics thus far, here.
In other news, last week I assembled the Voltron of foods: Okonomiyaki. “Okonomiyaki” is derived from words meaning “as you like it” and “grill” — so, much like there’s a bajillion was to make pizza based on what toppings you pick, the same could be said for this dish. I’ll mention other ingredient options, but feel free to experiment! I first fell in love with Okonomiyaki during the trip to Japan that I took when I was a teen. Specifically the Hiroshima style. There are other styles, but this is the kind I like the best.
It was delicious, and I was asked to share the recipe. AND SO IT SHALL BE! In my preferred form of sharing recipes…In as cracked a manner as possible.
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 tablespoon mirin rice wine
- 3/4 cup water
Whisk all that together like crazy. You may think to yourself “HRM this seems very runny. Maybe I should add some more flour?” but DON’T YOU DO IT. This ain’t yo’ grand-progenitor’s pancakes! This shall be a delicate, flaky Okonomiyaki crepe. TRUST IN THE BATTER. TRUST IN YOUR SEEEELLLLF.
Speaking of which, it’s time to get out a pan! Don’t grease it. No butter, no oil, none of that stuff. NONE OF IT. GET YOUR HAND AWAY FROM THAT CAN. *whacks offending hand with spoon* Once again, we must truuuuust in the batter. Pour some in and spread the batter out really thin in a circular shape. You could do that with the base of a ladle, or pick up the pan’s handle and swirl the batter around. Whatever floats your boat.
Cooking the crepe is the hardest part for me, because it requires patience. Which, honestly, I don’t have a lot of. Especially in the kitchen. See, the crepe shall tell us when it’s ready to be flipped. At first it will steam, maybe bubble, and it will be tempting, SO TEMPTING, to mess with it. But we mustn’t, friend. WE MUST BE STRONG. Once it stops steaming the edges will curl up, as if to flap at you and say “HAAAAUUUUYYYYY GURL I am ready for you to FLIP MAAI WURLD!” and you will say “Oh you saucy thing!” and it will say “NO THAT COMES LATER, I HOPE YOU VISITED THE H-MART AND/OR YOUR LOCAL ASIAN GROCER.”
*cough* Maybe we should distract ourselves with assembling some other ingredients. Yeah. That’s a plan. SO:
All the other stuff
- Cabbage. Just one head, but it will be like…so much cabbage. You need to shred it, and you will be in cabbage supply FOR DAYS. So…maybe plan for some Runzas or some ham and cabbage soup for tomorrow and the day after, yeah?
- Protein(s) of some sort: I use ground pork but you could just as easily do bacon, squid, fish, shrimp, tofu, ground turkey, sausage, thin slices of beef, ham, deli meat WHATEVER YOU WANT IT IS YOUR HOUSE YOUR KITCHEN DO WHAT YOU WANT STICK THEM ALL IN DON’T LET NOBODY JUDGE YOU
- Yakisoba noodles. I like getting these in a packet where the sauce is included, but you could probably do with a bottle of sauce and some instant ramen noodles in a pinch. (…see previous comment about nobody judging you. Except maybe me. I might judge your noodle choices in this life. BUT WHAT DO I KNOW>???)
- Eggs! Fried! But leave that until the end, because cold egg is GROOOOSSSSS
- Garnishes of your choice. Try bonito flakes, scallions, tempura crisps, pickled ginger, seaweed flakes, shredded carrots, green beans, bell pepper strips, zucchini strips GO NUTS HAVE A PARTY!
- Mayonnaise. Because why not I had mayonnaise on things I’d never thought to mayonnaise before when I was over there. AND I REGRET NOTHING.
- Okonomiyaki sauce…like it says on the bottle. Usually next to tonkatsu sauce, which will also do in a pinch.
So to distract myself from that oh-so-tempting and particular crepe, I usually use the time that it’s cooking to shred the cabbage and in another pan start cooking whatever protein(s) I’ve selected. (You may use grease for that proteins. I shall magnanimously allow it.) Once the protein(s) are done, I transfer those to an oven-safe bowl and stick it in the oven at a low temperature to keep them hot-ish. Then I start sauteing the cabbage in the formerly-known-as-protein-pan. All the while, keeping an eye on the crepes so I don’t miss their signal to GET FLIPPED.
Once the crepes are done I transfer them into their own special place in the designated waiting room that the oven has become, promising that we shall not be long apart. Then I use the formerly-known-as-crepe-pan for the yakisoba noodles. While THOSE are going, I’ve usually just finished the cabbage (also joins the proteins and crepes in the increasingly crowded warming/waiting room) so in the formerly-known-as-cabbage-formerly-known-as-protein-pan I start frying up the eggs.
As alllll of that nears completion, I take out the crepe. Stick that on a plate (SOOON MY DELICIOUS. SOOOOON) and spread some mayo on 1/2 of it. On top of that, I put cabbage. On top of that, I put my proteins. On top of THAT I put yakisoba noodles. AND ON TOP OF THAT I stick my just-now-finishing egg BECAUSE I AM A MASTER OF TIMING AND TOTALLY DID NOT BURN ANYTHING DUE TO INATTENTION. *scrapes frantically at pan off-screen*
If, at that point, I’m not quite done with putting things on top of other things, I’ll also toss on some garnishes of my choosing. Now, keep in mind, this has alllll been on just one half of the crepe. The other half now gets folded over. And at last, the final step.
The saucy step.
You can delicately, decoratively, create lovely zig-zag patterns over the top of the meal with your okonomiyaki sauce OR JUST POUR THAT STUFF OUT IN A TORRENT OF DELICIOUSNESS. The title of the dish is literally “as you like it” so DO WHAT YOU WANT AND THEN SHOVE IT IN YOUR FACE CUZ YOU’RE DONE!
This is how mine turned out:
Hope yours is just as delicious.
Have any favorite recipes you’d like to share?