Tuesday, 12 June 2007

making okonomiyaki.

Back row: spinach (not relevant)
Middle row: okonomiyaki flour, sprinkle stuff, qp/kewpie mayonnaise, okonomiyaki sauce.
Front row: bonito soup stock, completed okonomiyaki.

How to make Okonomiyaki (Japanese Cabbage Fritters):

1. Wake up, and think about making Indian curries. Go to the Indian grocer near the markets.

2. Whilst at the Indian grocer, think about okonomiyaki. Decide to go to Little Tokyo since you're near, to buy some okonomiyaki sauce so that when you do make it, you'll have it on hand.

3. Find the okonomiyaki sauce. While you're there, notice the 'okonomiyaki flour' and realise that you're in the okonomiyaki section (!). Get the smallest pack of flour you can, the one without yam, even though you know it's an important ingredient, and you probably won't get it fresh. Also buy some instant dashi, and something that looks like it might be that stuff they sprinkle on top, though you're not sure since you're just going by the picture.

4. Take it all to the counter. Buy another $8 worth of lollies, when you realise their eftpos minimum is $20 and you have no cash.

5. Go to the supermarket to get some other groceries. While you're there, buy some cabbage. Ponder the Chinese cabbage, and then go with the European kind.

6. Get home and decide since you've got all this stuff, you might as well make the okonomiyaki now, even though it's not mealtime. Don't bother to consult the internet, your brother who has made it before and studies Japanese, or your Japanese neighbour for advice on a recipe, or for help reading the packets.

7. Realise the instant dashi you bought is actually instant bonito soup. Press on. Start mixing one of the sachets in with a cup of boiling water, until it tastes too fishy and gross to eat.

8. Chop up 1/8 of a cabbage very roughly, as well as a small onion. Don't cut it too finely: after all, large chunks of cabbage and onion are yummy!

9. Put most of the flour in a bowl, and mix it with 2 eggs, and the cup of weak bonito soup. Mix in the cabbage and onion, and add more flour until the whole thing has the consistency of potato fritter mix. Ish. Make sure you keep a little flour on hand - you'll want to have an annoyingly small amount leftover to decide what to do with.

10. Fry the mixture in globs in a little olive oil in the frypan. Turn when brown on one side.

11. When cooked, serve with okonomiyaki sauce, and qp mayo. Be childish and make smiley faces with the sauce. Sprinkle some of the sprinkle stuff on top.

Congratulations! You will be rewarded with surprisingly decent okonomiyaki, on par with the commercial ones you have tried! You have made 2-3 large-ish okonomiyaki in under 15 minutes. Give yourself a pat on the back.

12. Take a photo of all the random stuff you bought, so you can hopefully find it again in the shop. You will need to, since you will be making more okonomiyaki this week for sure. You still have 7/8 of a cabbage to get through.

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