Sunday, March 28, 2010

Lucy's Toronto Vacation - 4: Homemade Okonomiyaki

Lucy's Toronto Vacation - 1
Lucy's Toronto Vacation - 2
Lucy's Toronto Vacation - 3
Lucy's Toronto Vacation - 4


I'm going to pick it up after the last post...

After we got home, we began to get the munchies. The last thing we ate was a pretty sad (and expensive) platter of veggies and dip at the bar, while watching the men's hockey team bring home the gold in a movie-like fashion. On the menu: okonomiyaki!

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We had already bought all of the ingredients for the okonomiyaki the day before. We found most of the stuff I didn't have at a small Japanese store on Queen Street West called Sanko.

Okonomiyaki batter mix.

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Bonito flakes. I didn't realize it at the time, but this contains 5 individual packages of bonito flakes - which was perfect for us. On a random note, I see agedashi tofu on the package! (On another random note, we haven't blogged about the agedashi tofu we had at Totoya... hmm... going to dig around and try and find those pictures.)

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Okonomiyaki sauce (which, to me, tasted like the same sauce they put on the takoyaki we ate last summer) and Japanese mayo. Do you notice the braille on the top of the bottle of okonomiyaki sauce? Cool!

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The whole process is pretty simple and didn't take too long to make. Lucy and I have never made this before, but it was just a cabbage pancake. Right?

Mise en place was done:
- We took a few cabbage leaves and sliced them into ribbons (after washing them), though we should've shredded it instead of slicing em up.
- Bacon was fried and a portion of the plate of bacon was cut up

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- Green onions were washed and sliced
- Cheese was cut up

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Once we were finished with all of the mise en place, we mixed up the batter; batter mix, eggs, water, the sliced up cabbage, and salt were all added into a bowl.

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For the first okonomiyaki, we decided to add the bacon under all of the fixings instead of mixing it into the batter, so the pancake was cooked on medium heat. And just like making breakfast pancakes, you should flip the pancake when the edges are pretty much cooked and when there's bubbles come from the middle of the batter.

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After we flipped the pancake, the cheese was put on top. We then put a lid on top to make sure the cheese melted and the whole pancake cooked through.

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Now onto the fun part...

We added the bacon on top of the pancake, then added the okonomiyaki, the Japanese mayo, green onions and the bonito flakes.


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Lucy and I inhaled the first pancake. I didn't really find anything that exciting about the dish, other than the dancing bonito flakes. On the other hand, Lucy definitely loved it! It was very heavy and salty because of the cheese, bacon, okonomiyaki sauce, Japanese mayo and bonito flakes. I felt the bacon was overpowering and way to heavy. The pancake would've been a lot better if the cabbage was finely shredded, as some of the ribbons weren't uniformly cooked. Most of the cabbage was nice and soft, but some of the other parts were a bit crunchy - which wasn't a bad thing, since it gave a nice texture.

Onto the next okonomiyaki pancake. We mixed the bacon into the batter this time. Here's a step by step picture guide on how we turned a cabbage and bacon pancake into an eye-pleasing okonomiyaki.

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If we were to do this again, I would probably use low sodium bacon (if that was the choice of protein). You'll still get the flavour of the bacon without the sodium. Trust me, I just threw some onto a homemade pizza and it tasted fine. I'd maybe try some shrimp or some slices of fatty pork on the bottom of the pancake (like some people do it in Japan). I need to think about how to make the dish exciting for my palate... please don't hurt me okonomiyaki crazies!


And this concludes Lucy's EPIC Toronto Vacation. I hope you all enjoyed reading about her visit to Toronto, as we did experiencing it.

Love ya sis! <3


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