Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Experimental Cooking

I hated chemistry in High School. I couldn't see the point in remembering all of the stuff. My sister, who is one year older, was in the same class. She did well. I passed.

The worst part of chemistry was the experiments. I could mix blue and yellow chemicals and come up with something that was purple - not green. I never got the right color. Why not??!?!?!?!

But, I have to say, that with cooking, I enjoy experimenting. I tried three different recipes this past weekend. All got a failing grade. Some I will try again. Hmmm. Hubby ate two of the three. Jun too.

Just to satisfy your curiosity, the first was Banana Oatmeal cookies with pumpkin instead of bananas (too EXPENSIVE). No chocolate chips to go in them, and Jun got a rash/hives all over her face from the walnuts. Ryu hates pumpkin, even disguised in cookies.

The second was from a 1920 cookbook. It was a recipe for tea biscuits. It said it made a light batter, but that you could cut the biscuits out. If not, add a little more flour. I went from two cups to two and a half cups of flour, and decided to make drop biscuits. Hubby and Jun loved them. They were TOO sweet. I will try again - a 1/2 batch - and add all the flour necessary to be able to roll these biscuits out!

The third was shumai. What is the English for this? It is a kind of Chinese dumpling. I merged three recipes together. One recipe was for folks who don't eat pork - and it called for ground turkey - I used ground chicken. One was a Chinese recipe - it called for soy sauce, ginger, mirin, etc. to flavor the dumplings. The last was a Japanese recipe. I also grated 1/2 a carrot to put in, and nuked it with the chopped 1/4 huge onion in the microwave for 4 minutes before adding to the mixture. Ryu is NOT a raw onion guy. But, I forgot the salt and pepper. When eaten with soy sauce and karashi (hot mustard), they were alright. Ryu and Jun loved them. I was not satisfied. Try, try, again!

I found a graham cracker recipe to try. Maybe tomorrow?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Goma Ae - Sesamae Sauce

My friend, Sachiko, also taught me this "essential" recipe for use when feeding a Japanese husband. And, HEY! He likes it!

The word, "sauce", is used very loosely. It never turns into a sauce, but mixes nicely with the slight moisture left in the cooked veggies.

I made this last night after NOT having made it for awhile. Jun asked for a taste. I gave her one. I asked her to let me put it in the fridge to chill. She said "no". She asked for a spoon. I gave her one. She stood there eating spinach! A beautiful sight for this mother's eyes! After watching her shovel in carrots with her lunch curry - influenced, I am sure by Auntie Yoko-chan, who babysat yesterday morning while I was at "oshigoto" - work, I was a truly happy Mama!

This mixture is wonderful when mixed with boiled and squeezed spinach, and good with green beans, asparagas, sweet peas (in the pod kind), and...well, try it on whatever you like.

When I made this last night, I was making it from a poor memory. Jun's love for it showed that I had, indeed, put too much sugar in it, so here is a better version I came up with!

Goma Ae

2 Tbsp. roasted sesamae seeds ground up. You can buy them like this, you can roast them on your own and grind them with a pestal and motar, or you can use a handy dandy grinder on your blender, etc.
1/2 Tbsp. sugar - I used 1 Tbsp. last night. Daddy loved it too! Too sweet, though.
1 tsp. soy sauce
a dash of salt

Mix this all up in a bowl and add 100-200 gm of cooked veggies. Mix gently with a fork or chop sticks. Put in the fridge, and you have a nice semi-sweet salad for dinner.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Niku Miso - Meat and Soy Bean Paste Sauce

My friend, Kaoru S., made this for a potluck and it was so yummy, I asked her to show me how to make it. Of course, she doesn't use a recipe, so I stood next to her counting scoops and trying to get an estimate as to how much of what she put in it.

She put small spoonfuls of this sauce on sauteed eggplant, mixed some in with slivered cucumbers and somen (thin noodles) for a salad, and uses it as the sauce for pork and cabbage saute. It is also a great dip for raw cucumber and carrot sticks. So yummy!

Niku Miso

130 gms Akadashi Miso (see pic.)

130 gms ground meat - she used pork/beef mix this time.

2 1/2 Tbsp. Mirin (sweet rice wine)

2 1/2 Tbsp. Sake

7 large Tbsp. Sugar - REALLY!

1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce

She mixed the raw meat with the other ingredients in a small sauce pan. Turned the pan on low, and mixed till all was blended and cooked. Then it was ready for use.

I loved the taste of this, but mixing raw meat with the miso just doesn't sound all that safe to me, nor does it seem like it would last very long in the fridge, so, I kind of remade the recipe for us. I call it Niku Nuki Miso. Meat and Soy Bean Paste Sauce without the Meat! I figure you can always mix the sauce in with cooked meat later (or raw).

Niku Nuki Miso

50 gm. Akadashi Miso

1 Tbsp. Mirin

1 Tbsp. Sake

3 1/2 Tbsp. Sugar

1/2 Tbsp. Soy Sauce

Mix and cook till blended. I store it in the fridge and take out a Tbsp. when I need it. It doesn't make too much, and will last much longer, I think.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Taco Rice

This week, Abigail posted a copy of her mother's Mexican Meatloaf recipe. Abigail made it into burgers instead. I did too! Ohhhhh, so good! That recipe will be our winter version of this summer favorite.

One day my FIL and I were shopping at an imported food shop. He saw a package for Taco Rice from Okinawa. I looked at the picture and said, "We don't need that! I can make it myself!" And so I have - or my version of it anyway. Feel free to make up your version too!

Note: As "taco" means octopus in Japanese, I would like to clear up all misunderstandings before they start. This dish contains NO octopus! SMILE!

Taco Rice (Takosu Raisu)

Take big individual serving bowls. Ramen bowls or big pasta bowls are nice.

Crush a bag or two of tortilla chips - choose the flavor you like. Put a nice handful of tortilla chips in the bottom of each bowl.

Spoon a portion of hot white rice over the chips.

Next, top with taco seasoned ground meat. We use chicken. If we don't have seasoning, we just salt and pepper it. Still yummy.

Next comes grated cheese - if you have it.

Then lettuce and tomatoes. I love shiso in this dish. Ryu hates it.

Top with yogurt or a dressing of your choice. Our household loves Caesar Dressing on this.

Some people dig in with a fork and eat down through the layers. Others mix it all up and eat it. Japanese friends are shocked that one would pair lettuce and chips with hot rice, but they always love it.

I'm sure you could probably add refried beans or ???? to make it your very own dish. How about an avocado?? MMMM. Yum!

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Our fare these past few days has been humble at best. I need chocolate chips! Oh, I guess that doesn't solve the "what's for dinner tonight?" problem. Why do people want to eat every night, anyway???!!!!?!

So, I was intrigued by this wonderful menu that Amy sent from Africa. Actually, she wrote in her own beautiful handwriting, a personal letter, on the back of this menu. Amy is wonderful!

I wanted to introduce you to some of the food items, and googled the restaurant. Seems they are famous, so please check out their web page too!

For a Starter/Salad, they have

Manyaga Style Sashimi
Thin slices of fresh tuna or seafish creatively seared with a hot drizzle of olive and sesame oils and delicately flavoured with a hint of soya, ginger and garlic. (I WANT TO EAT THIS!)

Kenya's finest oysters Mambrui
Lightly gratinated with grated coconut, soy sauce, lime juice, ginger and breadcrumbs. (Gratinated basically means "A top crust consisting of browned crumbs and butter, often with grated cheese. " according to Yahoo dictionary.

Kachos - Kenya's own version of nachos
Freshly fried cassava, arrowroot and potato crisps with melted cheese, guacamole, tomato salsa, chillies, sour cream and coriander. (So, why COULDN'T you make nachos with potato chips? I want to try it!)

And, before I send you, again, to the web page itself, here is an amazing sounding soup:

Butternut pumpkin and coconut soup
Delightful homemade soup with a hit of Tamarind juice, ginger and fresh coriander (dhania).

Unfortunately, though I have enjoyed the menu, I still have nothing in mind for dinner TONIGHT! ARGH!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sweet Potato Casserole

This dish really needs a more splendid name. A more exotic one! One that those who HATE sweet potatoes will RUN to. Any ideas?

I got this recipe from my friend, Tracy, who doesn't cook. It is amazing how the recipes she has given me are not just good, but REALLY good. I guess she saves her strength up and GOES for it. She got the recipe from a friend who got it from her husband's cousin's wife. We think.

I love it because it uses vanilla to flavor the sweet potatoes. Not a flavoring I had ever had with those beasts. I taught my home stay wife, here in Japan, the recipe years ago. She makes her version of it each year and brings it to potlucks at church.

Here's the real McCoy! Sugar, butter, nuts and ALL!


3 c. sweet potatoes, cooked
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 c. milk
1/2 c. oleo, softened (In the beginning, man (woman?) created
margarine, and called it oleo.) You can use butter too!
1 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla

Beat sweet potatoes and eggs together well.
Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
Put into greased casserole dish.


1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. nuts (pecans)
1/4 c. flour
2 1/2 T. oleo, softened (margarine/butter)

Mix together, cutting oleo in until well-mixed.
Put on top of sweet potatoes.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

No marshmallows for me this Thanksgiving/Christmas! Bring on the pecans!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Dilly Casserole Bread

I should be a wonderful bread baker. Both of my grandmothers and my mom baked bread a lot. Unfortunately, I guess I wasn't around for the mixing, only the eating. So, while I know some of the basics, I have no confidence whatsoever in baking bread.

When I was a kid I helped Grandma Mary bake this no-knead bread. When she pulled the cottage cheese out of the fridge and heated it up on the stove, I thought she was crazy. And, what are dill seeds!!?!?!?!!

This is the first recipe in the yellow 25 Cent recipe pamphlet from Red Star Yeast titled Spring and Summer Fun with Yeast. Under the title of Dilly Casserole Bread is the phrase (Adapted by Ann Pillsbury). As the pamphlet is undated and I was curious, I looked around on the internet. It turns out that this recipe was the winner of the 1960 Pillsbury Bake-Off! Who knew?

Please click the link to get the recipe straight from Pillsbury's website!

Dilly Casserole Bread

NOTE: Cottage cheese is pretty spendy here and comes in tiny little containers, and is just ... different. So, I washed up Ryu's drip coffee pot, put a new filter in and filled it with plain yogurt. After draining it really well, I used it in place of the cottage cheese. Probably 1 1/2 cups of yogurt drains down to 1 cup. I'd let it sit longer than I did, so I recommend overnight - if your hubby or you don't NEED the coffee pot before then!

My Japanese friends thought the bread was "interesting". My husband begged me not to force him to finish his piece. I guess dill is an acquired taste. So, I am force feeding it to Jun. Just kidding. Kind of!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Molasses Crinkles a la Ginger

I just love molasses cookies! Years ago I worked in an office with a woman named Ginger. She has the best recipe for Molasses Crinkles! But, even better than HAVING the recipe, she would often go home on her lunch hour and whip up a batch and bring them back to the office! I can't eat just one!

But, the problem with these cookies, is getting molasses in Japan. I did find a bottle of it at an import shop years ago, but I tend to like to cook with what I can find locally. That way if I introduce it to my Japanese friends, they can make it easily too.

This brings me to the next part of my story. It seems my students visit Okinawa often. Basically I get two souvenirs from them. Sea salt and kuromitsu. Kuromitsu is a very dark brown sweet, but not only sweet, syrup. Doesn't work on pancakes for me. I have had it just sitting around wondering what to do with it. Finally I woke up. Basically, kuromitsu IS molasses! So, I used it to make these cookies, and they were wonderful!

Molasses Crinkles a la Ginger

3/4 cup. margarine or shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup molasses
2 1/4 cup flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger

Mix the first four ingredients well. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Put in the fridge for an hour or so to firm it up. Roll into 1" balls, and roll these in granulated sugar. Bake at 170 C. for 8 minutes. Let rest on the pan a bit before removing to a cookie rack. Try to keep your toddler from reaching the cookie rack and completely ruining her lunch! Put the toddler down for a nap. Gorge on the cookies while reading a good book with a cup of tea!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Ginger Pork

When my friend, Sachiko, heard I was getting married, quite a few moons ago, she was worried that I would not be able to cook satisfactorily for my Japanese husband. Somehow we decided that any decent bride worth her weight in soy sauce should be able to make shogayaki - ginger pork - for her groom. So, Sachiko called her Mom, long distance, got a recipe, and taught me. I must confess, I make a very SIMPLE version of the original recipe. Ryu seems to like it and we are going on 7 years, so...I guess I can recommend it to you too!

250-300 gm. pork (I have used everything from cheap thinly sliced meat to pork chop-like meat cut in thick strips. Whatever is handy really does work.)
1 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. cooking sake (I suppose white wine could be substituted?)
1/2 tsp. finely grated ginger (I confess, I use the grated ginger from the tube!)

Put the seasonings in a plastic bag. Mix a bit. Add the meat and massage the meat. I swear, meat gets more massages here in Japan that I ever will! Just kind of squeeze it to get the marinade all mixed in well. Then set it in the fridge for as long as you want, or on the counter for 30 min. or so. Then, I dump it in a fry pan and fry it up. I never use oil, because I almost never use oil. When the meat is cooked - it is done.

Simple and oh so yummy with white rice and the spinach dish I should introduce to you too - also from Sachiko. Tonight I decided to try out a recipe I found over at Abigail's Mamatouille blog for Pumpkin, instead. Mmmmmmm.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Cranberry Pudding

I have found that most of my favorite recipes were ones my Mom made when I was a kid. Maybe those food theories are right? This one is perfect for the fall holidays.

It is called a pudding though it is really more like a cake with sauce. In other cookbooks, I have found similar recipes that call for the cake to be steamed. Probably if I actually did it some day, I would find it is not as impossible as it sounds. But, so far I have avoided that method of cooking cake. This is a regular bake-in-the-oven cake.

The recipe is from a cookbook my family tenderly and fondly calls the "Fall Apart Cookbook." Favorite Recipes of The Great Northwest published by Favorite Recipes Press, Inc in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1965. Yes, I was born and a big sister by then.

And, no, the eggs weren't forgotten. This recipe doesn't call for eggs.

Cranberry Pudding

1 cup sugar
2 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp. margarine, melted
2 1/2 cup whole cranberries uncooked (fresh/frozen) - I never have this many cranberries, living in Japan, so I divide the cranberries I have in two and make two batches.

Sift together first three ingredients. Add milk, margarine and cranberries. Pour into greased 8x10 inch pan and bake for 30 minutes at 350 F. Pour warm sauce over pudding.

Kim's note: I don't have an 8x10 inch pan, so make it in a deep single layer round cake pan. 350F is around 170 C. Watch the top so it doesn't get too brown.

The sauce is a MUST! - though you can adjust the sugar for taste.


1 cup sugar
1/2 cup margarine
3/4 cup evaporated milk - not available here - I use cheap or fake cream
1 tsp. vanilla

Heat sugar, margarine, and milk together just until blended. Add vanilla. Yield 12-16 servings.

Kim's note: While the cake is hot, I leave it in the pan, poke it all over and around the sides between the cake and the pan, with a nice chopstick. Then I pour the sauce slowly all over the cake, letting it seep in nicely. You could also pour the sauce over slices of the cake, I'm sure. The TARTNESS of the cranberries is set off nicely with the sauce. My Japanese friends love this cake too. It is a nice cake! HAHAHA!

FYI - Foreign Buyer's Club sells frozen cranberries in their Deli section on the Net.

This recipe was contributed by Carol Carson from Mill City, OR.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Spaghetti Boiler

It took this post by A and M's Mama over at Shinshu Life to make me think of getting off my duff to do something with the two tomatoes lounging in my produce basket. They were on their way south, but I was just so impressed at how well our new fridge keeps the produce (with the exception of carrots), that I kind of made it into an experiment.

But, when A and M's Mama posted about tomatoes again, I got motivated. I decided to cut them up and put them in the blender, as I hate to have tomato skins floating in my sauce, and I sure don't want to peel a tomato. It was a great success! The sauce turned out well, for once!

Then, I got out our handy dandy microwave spaghetti boiler. This is the most wonderful microwave accessory. Especially if you have a smaller family and only need to boil up to 200 gms. of pasta for a meal. I got it at our local department store for well under 1,000 yen. Here is a pic of a similar one I found on the net. It takes 8 minutes longer than the boiling time of your pasta to finish it (but no pre-boiling). It can be used for spaghetti or other pastas. It doesn't heat up your kitchen. It doesn't take up one of the 2-3 burners you may be working with in a Japanese kitchen. And, there isn't a pot of boiling water to boil over onto your toddler. Always a plus! So, if you are looking for a new kitchen toy, I recommend this one!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Yogurt Marmalade Cake sans Marmalade

We had a potluck at church last Sunday, and I decided to make a cake. A fall-like cake. I had some sweet potatoes I was planning to use in the Sweet Potato Fries, and a bag of apples from the yaoya (veggie/fruit shop) [NOTE: Jun gets ready to go. I ask where she is going. She is ALWAYS going to the yaoya. Hmmm.] I also had some new raisins (is this an oxymoron?) from Nagano, and some old walnuts in the fridge that I wanted to use up.

I wanted a moist cake and remembered reading about this Yogurt Marmalade Cake on The Pioneer Woman Cooks blog. And I had yogurt! So, I just made the pound cake part of the recipe. Added 3/4 cup of diced steamed sweet potatoes - skin on, 1/2 apple peeled and chopped rather finely, 3/4 cup of broken walnut pieces, and a generous handful of those new raisins. I also reduced the sugar to an unpacked 1/2 cup of light brown sugar, per Abagail's suggestion. I baked it in a deep round single layer cake pan. For 45 minutes at 170C. It came out perfect and OH SO YUMMY! Next time I will add a shredded carrot for color and to get a few more vitamins in Jun. The ladies at church want the recipe. They would probably really love it if I had been able to make the marmalade topping. Check it out!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


It is sweet potato time in Japan. My husband dislikes sweet potatoes because - they are sweet. So, I was excited to find a savory (non-sweet) recipe for sweet potatoes on Abagail's food blog, Mamatouille.

Her recipe for Sweet Potato Fries uses cumin. I remembered seeing cumin in the back of my spice basket, and was so happy to find that I still had it. And surprised! It was a full spice jar of cumin. Never been opened. The expiration date was sometime in 2005. When did I buy this? Why did I buy this? How did it find itself into my spice basket?

Well, being raised on antique spices, I didn't hesitate to scoop out the teaspoon of cumin and make the Sweet Potato Fries. I forgot to weigh the sweet potatoes first, so, over seasoned them a bit, but I really liked them. I didn't know cumin was part of the curry family of spices. Ryu gave the potatoes a rating of "fushigi" (unusual), and Jun wanted "more".

The next evening I added the remaining cubed up fries to a chicken dish I made, added a tad bit more cumin, and it got the "omoi" (heavy) rating, which is the highest in our household. So fun to find a "new" spice for us!

NOTE: When making a bland curry-from-the-box for dinner the other night, I added 1/4 tsp. of cumin (I used 1/4 of the box roux) to the mixture and Ryu was SOOO impressed. Me too. It was pretty terrible before the cumin!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I was a teacher/missionary in Kansai in the mid-'80's, my roommate and I seldom got packages from the States. Then postage and phone calls were too expensive. Videos and computers were non-existent. Yes, we walked to and from church daily year-round in the snow - uphill both ways! HAHAHAH!

So, I will never forget two packages we did get. One was dried out used tea bags. We laughed and laughed. Made us feel like real missionaries from 100 years ago!

The other package was a Tupperware container filled with chocolate-chips and a cookie recipe! THE BEST gift I remember from those years.

That recipe is long gone, but I have another one to take its place. I tried to find the origin of this recipe today, but it is gone. I first made it because it makes a smaller batch of cookies and I can only cook 9 at a time in my oven, and don't want to be in the kitchen forever. I also don't want to EAT 5 dozen cookies. Ryu loves this recipe too, so I am saved from gluttony, oh, and Jun helps a lot too!

This recipe just tastes a bit different from other chocolate chip recipes. I did some comparison today and found three changes from the standard. First, it uses mostly brown sugar. Second, it uses more vanilla than the standard recipes and, third it uses more baking soda. I think the later is what gives it the taste that we love. Hmmm.

If you are still looking for THAT chocolate chip cookie recipe, give it a stir!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

100 gm butter (1/2 cup) - softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 Tblsp. white sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour
3/4 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Cream the butter, sugars, egg and vanilla together. Combine the flour, soda and salt, and then add to the butter mixture. Mix well and add the chocolate chips

Bake at 180 C. for 8-9 minutes. Cookies will puff up while baking, but settle down when out of the oven. This makes them nice and chewy and moist. My Japanese friends say, "like Country Ma'am." "Much better than she!" I say! Now I'm off to raid the cookie rack. I just made a batch this morning!

NOTE: I was weeding out my cook books and FOUND the source of this recipe. It is from More Gifts From Your Kitchen by Current Inc. 1989. It was originally a big 12" cookie to give as a Christmas gift. I wonder if that is why it has more soda? Hmm?

Friday, October 3, 2008


I so rarely used aprons while cooking, when growing up, that I think I could just about say I never used one.

I was so surprised and a little put off when I came to Japan and everyone HAD to wear an apron while cooking. I am not a messy cook!

Then, the housewives would wear their aprons with 10,000 yen bills, then worth about US$100, in their pockets to pick up cucumbers, croquet and other things each day on our shopping street. How could you WEAR an apron outside! How embarrassing!

But, somehow I got on the apron kick too. I slowly started a collection of aprons of different styles and colors and materials. I got some for gifts and bought others.

Now, I can't bear to cook without an apron on. A full shoulder down apron. Hopefully with pockets. And, I always eat with that apron on! A great substitute for the napkins in one of my former lives. Feeding Jun, an apron is essential for any semblance of cleanliness.

Jun has discovered Mama's aprons too. She loves the pockets. She uses them to climb up my front, one step at at time. She also uses them to store things.

Currently my apron pockets are housing a bunch of rocks from the park, a dessert fork and a red pen that Daddy was looking all over for. Oh well!

So, do you like aprons? What is in YOUR pockets?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Curry a la Flora

When I was a kid, my mom was a teacher at Child Evangelism Fellowship. Her teacher, Flora, taught her some wonderful recipes that have become family favorites.

Curry was one that we made yearly, with leftover turkey from Thanksgiving. Imagine my surprise when I moved to Japan and found that many many churches here have curry for lunch after service EVERY Sunday. I have to say that curry lost its glamour for many years.

Then I remembered what made Flora's curry so wonderful. It wasn't the curry, as we weren't the best curry makers in the world. It was the toppings!

Well, our church decided this week not to continue the curry tradition. Too many people in too small of a space and not enough room or pots to make enough, as our church has grown some this past year.

So, I bought some curry roux yesterday, and have a pot of it cooking on the stove right now. Now, for the toppings!!!

Today, I will top my Aussie-beef-on-a-good-sale curry with raisins, peanuts and hard boiled eggs. When I have it, I also add sliced bananas, sweetened shredded coconut and canned mandarin oranges.

This is so fun to do with lots of people. Japanese friends are SHOCKED that you would put anything on top of curry. But, even my husband and brother-in-law (both Japanese) like the toppings! YEAH!

Let me know if you try it and if you tried a new topping!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


A few weeks ago, Abagail at Mamatouille posted a new recipe for Okonomiyaki. One I had never heard of before. It takes instant ramen noodles, so I was eager to try it. I love to try things I have never even thought of before. I got a little too enthusiastic on chopping cabbage, so had to add another egg to keep it all together. I also substituted thinly sliced pork (cooked with some salt) for the bacon. It made about 6 okonomiyakis. Ryu really liked it. He said it was a lighter recipe than my traditional, so please check it out.

This is my "traditional" recipe. Unlike Abagail, I HAVE been taught countless times how to make Okonomiyaki. Unfortunately NO ONE has ever used a recipe nor measured ANYTHING! When it comes to Japanese cooking, I prefer to use recipes. So, finally, I decided to try to come up with a recipe that had the amounts written down. After trial and error, more watching a friend from Osaka "teach" me how to make it again, here is our recipe.


2 cups flour
3 eggs
2 tsp. dry dashi (could use consume granules or bouillon, I am sure.)
about 1/2 a small cabbage - chopped into 1.5 cm squares - more or less
water to mix.

The KEY to this recipe is to not add too much water. I mix the flour and dashi and eggs up first, add the cabbage and mix. Then I add water a little bit at a time, stirring after each addition. When you can dip the mixture out of the bowl with a ladle, it is wet enough.

We tend to use thinly sliced pork for our Okonomiyakis. I like to cook it first with a bit of salt so we don't die of food poisoning. Then I cut it up and mix it in the batter. You can use any seafood or...whatever you like.

I use my hot plate, and cook two or three (pancake-size) at a time. I put the lid on to get that cabbages steamed a bit too. When it is browned nicely, turn it over and cook the other side. My friend pushes down on the okonomiyaki as it cooks on the second side, so I do too. Hmmm. I'm sure there is a good reason for this.

To top it, we like Otafuku Okonomiyaki Sauce. The label has a lady with big cheeks - mump-like. Or, tonkatsu sauce. Jun and I like to sprinkle katsuobushi on top (dried bonito flakes that move in the steam from the okonomiyaki), and Ryu likes aonori (green seaweed flakes). It is also good with some hot mustard (karashi) in the sauce or mixed with a little mayo and put on top.