My husband, the farmer, used to be a meat and potatoes kind of guy. He always had freshly baked bread with every meal and he always had dessert after every meal.
Then he married me.
Now, he never knows what he’s going to be eating for supper.
He loves food and loves the fact that now he gets to sample fare from different countries. He has acquired a taste for Japanese, Korean, and Thai food. Oh, he also loves Vietnamese, Indian, Filipino, and Caribbean food. In essence, he loves food. Plain and simple.
One of my favourite things to eat when I was teaching abroad was okonomiyaki.
There was a quaint little okonomiyaki shop near the school I taught at. It was fabulous! It was a little hole in the wall a little dodgy looking nothing fancy, but the prices were great and the owner, Fumiko, was a lovely lady. Although we couldn’t really communicate (she spoke no English and my Japanese was really basic), we got along great! We’d always laugh at our clumsy conversations. Most of the time, it ended up in us gesturing at each other. Too funny! I remember one time we mistakenly translated “sea weed” into “parsley”. Hey, it was green and flaky!
Today, I was thinking of my days in Japan and all of a sudden had the craving for okonomiyaki. On a whim, I made okonomiyaki for lunch. It was probably more the memories I craved than the dish itself. In any case, Hubby enjoyed it. It has become one of his favourite dishes as well.
Okonomiyaki basically means “whatever you like, grilled” in Japanese. My Japanese students described it to me as a Japanese pizza or a Japanese pancake.
I taught and lived in Fukuyama, Hiroshima and this dish was really popular in Hiroshima and in Osaka. Hiroshima okonomiyaki and Osaka-style okonomiyaki differ in preparation and in appearance, but are equally delicious.
Here’s my Island version of the dish:
2 cups flour
1 1/4 cup water
4 eggs, beaten
1/8-1/4 of a cabbage, chopped
Toppings – any of the below:
Roast pork or beef
Squid, Octopus, shrimp, other seafood
1. Shred cabbage finely.
2. In a large mixing bowl, add beaten egg, water and flour. Mix ingredients together until smooth.
3. Add shredded/chopped cabbage.
4. Heat non-stick pan or skillet.
5. Chop up whatever ingredients you would like to include. I usually just use cut up bacon and shrimp.
6. I add the bacon to the pan to cook for a bit (it also gives a bit of oil so you don’t have to add any to the pan). Basically, add your veggies or meats to the pan and cook them.
7. Arrange your cooked ingredients into a round form and make sure they are in the middle of the pan.
8. Add your cabbage and batter mixture on top, also in a round shape (as you would if making pancakes).
9. Let it cook through for five minutes (you can tell by the edges when it’s time to flip it over).
10. Flip and let cook for another five to ten minutes.
11. Remove from pan and place on a plate.
12. Dress it up with a bit of mayo and a liberal serving of Okonomiyaki sauce!!
Oh, it’s best when eaten piping hot and straight from the griddle! 🙂