Long long ago I lived in Japan (twice) and while living there managed to try many and varied types of food. There are some favorites that still remain after all these years. Most are difficult to re-create at home, but this is easy and yummy and although there are rules which must be followed my kids and I have had this dish a lot over the years. Tonight it was Nick’s request for his 17th birthday dinner. So this is how I make it:
Into a huge bowl break about 4 eggs. Add aprox 1.5 cups of self raising flour, 3 chopped spring onions, 2 tablespoons of rice flour (not necessary but I like the texture it adds), some chopped bacon or chicken or pork cut into small pieces, and about a quarter of sliced cabbage – regular green one. Mix this all up well. Heat up a non-stick frypan of a decent size, add a slick of oil, not too much. Add spoonfuls of the mixture to the hot frypan and cook them as you would a pancake, albeit a very lumpy one. Fry until golden on one side then turn over. Onto the top add some okonomiyaki sauce – you can buy it or you can make it from the recipe below. You need enough sauce on top to be nice and thick and make little cuts into the pancake so that the sauce goes into it a bit. Cook them until the bottom is golden and your meat is cooked. Remove from heat and place on plate. On top, add some beni shoga – pink pickled ginger, not the sort that you get on sushi but the proper kind and this you will have to buy from an asian grocery store. On top of the ginger put squirts of Kewpi mayonnaise – again it must be this kind, regular won’t work.
For the sauce: Mix a big dollop of tomato sauce, a big squirt of soy sauce and a tablespoon of brown sugar together.
You should be warned. This is very very filling. In Japan you would go out to a restaurant to have this for dinner and it is about as close to junk food as they had there before McDonalds et all arrived on the scene. When you have it there you mix your own individual pancakes in a cup and cook it yourself over a hot plate. It should be accompanied with Chuhai or Shochu which is a very yummy alcoholic drink based on vodka and soda with flavouring of your choice.