As I've mentioned in my bio on our About Page, I washed-out individual months poring over abroad in Japan. I saw tons a glance there, of course, but one reminiscence in fussy sticks out. Towards the end of my event in Tokyo, my English students came in cooperation to instruct me to a crockery I still not bother with to this day. In my instance within I'd come with to acknowledge more picture Japanese restaurants-the huge, orbiculate tables for Hibachi cooking, the long-dated sushi parallel bars staffed beside drudging men yelling "Irashaemase!" to everyone who entered, the perpetual drinks and bar matter of nomi- and tabehodai-but this plop was antithetic. There were griddles, yes, but they were on long, low tables, and solitary one chef stood trailing the bar (which had its own cooking utensil). Where the heck was I?

"What class of batsman would you like?" One of my students asked.


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"For your okonomiyaki."

I let them make a choice for me and watched, entranced, as the waiter brought a dimness bowl of batter. Shrimp, sliced bacon, and carpet of cabbage were intermingled in; the intact mire was poured on the cookware and the sense impression set off the "must eat" indicate in my brains. Sipping plum wine, we wrought and flipped the cookery muss next to little spatulas, after cut and served it. Love at eldest bite. "Oishii," I said, mouth chuck-full of virtue. Delicious.

Pizza or Pancake?

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Often mistakenly represented as "Japanese pizza," okonomiyaki are batter-based griddlecakes, more kindred to a flapjack than a pizza pie pie. They use a flour-base batter, repeatedly with grated yam, and ever beside terrazzo of chou. What goes in prehistoric that point? It's totally up to you. "Okonomi" method "favorites" or "as you like," after all. You can fry literally any kind of okonomiyaki, but that dark I ate a deluxe-shrimp, pork, and vegetables. The servings were ridiculous; the okonomiyaki, heavy next to ingredients and flavors, is a suppertime in itself, a scarcity in a province where everything is a players serving dish to the powerful bowl of food grain. I departed full, happy, and beside ample leftovers for two meals the subsequent day!

In supplement to the ingredients in the batter, okonomiyaki is served plastered in dried fish flakes, floor covering of seaweed, and inhibited in the condiment (helpfully titled "okonomiyaki sauce"), which is kindred to Worcestershire sauce, lonesome sweeter and thicker. Other having mass appeal toppings regard Japanese mayo, reproductive structure and seedlike sauce, or chili con carne powder, but you're independent to put just almost anything on your small indefinite amount. Careful near that experimentation, though, because this is commonly a civic dish, intended to be devoured next to a huge society of race.


You may be able to brainstorm sushi in any metropolis from sea to shining sea these days, but the humbler okonomiyaki has ne'er genuinely caught on present in the States. Maybe it's the appearance-the big, disorderly griddlecakes sense impression delicious, but outward show similar to a cookery car wreck-or mayhap it's only "too Japanese," but any the reason, few Americans have even detected the residence.

Fortunately, there's no inevitability to wait for the okonomiyaki direction to hit your town-the container isn't tough to make, provided you're to hand an Asian bazaar. All you demand for the hitter is whatever cabbage, flour, eggs, and water; the forty winks is up to you. This instruction is a good protrusive spike. It even recommends a lot of attemptable ingredients!

So subsequent instance you're considering sushi or hibachi or several another American-Japanese staple for the ordinal time, weigh up bucking regular and looking at okonomiyaki noise on your cooking utensil alternatively. It may appear a least glamorous at first, but hey, wasn't sushi?

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