If there’s one thing you need to know about me, it’s that I love Japanese food. LOVE it. From sushi to teppanyaki, miso to bento, I loooooove me some Japanese food. Even the crappy instant ramen noodles. I’m ashamed to admit how many packages of those I’ve eaten in the last few months (I’ll give you a hint: More than 20 but less than 22).
In my defense, I’ve been doctoring them up quite nicely! Add a diced pork chop, some green onion, and some bean sprouts and it doesn’t taste half bad! Not to mention it adds something other than four days’ worth of salt to my diet.
Another, lesser known ramen noodle secret my best friend Meg gave me: Use sour cream. Sub out the butter or margarine or whatever fatty additive you use and use sour cream instead. It gives it this creamy, tangy zip that adds a depth of flavor I never would have thought of. Thanks, Meggy! ❤
But seriously… I was eating so much of it that my husband had an intervention. “Claire… you’re gonna die from that shit. Eat something else. Please. Or at least let me get another life insurance policy on you first.”
So I decided it was time I finally try my hand at making not just my own ramen noodles, but some other Japanese favorites that cost a f***-ton at the restaurants. Today, I tried making okonomiyaki.
For those of you who are less acquainted with Japanese cuisine, or have never seen Ukyo in action in Ranma 1/2, okonomiyaki is a savory Japanese cabbage pancake that has the likeness of a pizza, but a completely different flavor profile. In my pancakes, I used dashi (fish broth — suuuper easy to make), all-purpose flour, and an egg to create the batter, then threw in finely (or not so finely) chopped cabbage and green onions, and mixed it into a batter. Threw that business on a hot oiled pan and shaped it like a pancake, topped it with some BACON (thought that’d be an attention grabber!), and grilled it on both sides, 5-7 minutes. I then drizzled some okonomi sauce (essential ingredient) and some mayo (not the Japanese kind, sadly, but still good) and topped with bonito flakes. Aaaand presto! Okonomiyaki! It’s hella easy to make; the hardest part is getting all the ingredients. I bought the okonomi sauce and the bonito flakes off Amazon since I couldn’t find them in any of our lame-ass American stores.
Other hardest part: Cooking okonomiyaki in a kitchen with burning-out overhead lightbulbs and no windows. It was fun in a cliché horror movie, seizure-inducing kinda way for the first five minutes, but that got old real quick. Definitely need to put in a maintenance request. Cooking in the dark sucks donkey dick. At least I had the stove light! And yes, that’s just as romantic as it sounds.
The recipe I used is from my favorite Japanese cooking website, japanesecooking101.com. I love these gals, and they’ve never steered me wrong. They’re fabulous! Check ’em out if you wanna mix up your recipe rotation. Pics from my cooking venture are below!
On a non-food related note, I wrote a new poem today. I picked up my idea I had back in April ’16 of writing poems using the crossword puzzle clues. I think it turned out pretty awesome! I pump those out pretty quickly, too, so my plan is to write a slew of them and make a chapbook. The poem’s called “What’s More,” and I think I’ll be posting it either on here or on my Goodreads account as a teaser for my upcoming chapbook. I’m gonna sleep on it and see what I think.
Without further ado, pictures of my delicious okonomiyaki! Itadakimasu!