Okonimiyaki, a dish whose name literally means "how you like", can contain any number of fillings. But as depicted in Sweetness & Lightning, it can contain a great deal more: childlike wonder, paternal bonding, and squid. Follow along this week as we recreate this essential Japanese comfort food, and maybe learn a thing or two about growing up in the process.
- 1 Tbsp white sugar
- 2 Tbsp oyster sauce
- 4 Tbsp ketchup
- 3 ½ Tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup mayo
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
- ¼ cup pickled red ginger
- 3-4 scallions, chopped
- ½ head of cabbage, shredded
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 cup dashi broth
- 1 Japanese mountain yam, grated (if you can’t find this, you can use ½ cup of milk combined with 1 tsp baking powder)
- 4 large eggs
- ½ cup tenkasu (fried tempura scraps)
- Slices of pork belly (or bacon)
- Dried bonito flakes (for garnish)
- Aonori (dried green seaweed, for garnish)
- Any toppings/fillings you desire
- Start by roughly chopping your pickled red ginger, scallions and ½ head of cabbage. To shred the cabbage, start by cutting the half in half and removing the core. Slice into thin ribbons and then slice the ribbons crosswise into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
- For the batter, combine 1 cup cake flour with 1 ½ tsp of baking powder. Grate 1 Japanese mountain yam (or combine ½ a cup of milk with 1 tsp of baking powder) into the dry ingredients and then add 1 cup dashi broth. Whisk to combine and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Lightly beat 4 large eggs and add into the mixture once you remove if from the fridge. Then add ¼ cup pickled red ginger, about ¾ of your chopped scallions, ½ a cup of tenkasu, and about ¾ of your chopped cabbage. Fold in and mix together until everything is combined. Then add your remaining cabbage and mix that in as well.
- In a large non-stick skillet, heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil over a medium heat. Add ½ of your mixture to the pan, and using 2 rubber spatulas, coax it into the proper shape, about 1 inch thick and about 8 inches around. Top with pork belly (or bacon) and cover for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes remove top and using either one big spatula or two small ones, flip and let cook, covered, for another 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and transfer to a plate. Brush the top with a generous layer of Okonomiyaki sauce, and then stripe it with the Japanese mayonnaise, then using a wooden skewer, create a zig-zag pattern.
- Optionally top with dried bonito flakes, aonori, and scallions, serve and enjoy!