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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Japanese pancakes ... okonomiyaki

Eating street food in Japan is a great -- and safe -- experience, as everything is so fresh and clean.

The only problem for us was that it was so hard to find fruit and vegetables that had not been pickled.

A wonderful option was Okonomiyaki, which is a pancake filled with shredded fresh cabbage, plus thin slices of salt pork (or bacon), and everything you choose, with a thin omelette on the top.

Here are waiting after our orders had been taken, all seated around a horse-shoe-shaped grill.  The pancake mixture was measured out onto the grill, with each one spread out to make the shape of a thin pizza.  The bacon or pork was laid over it. Then the shredded cabbage was piled on top.

Here is the recipe for the pancake mixture, courtesy of Roti &Rice.

Take two and one-half cups of all-purpose flour, and mix it in a bowl with 1 teaspoon of salt.  Then add two large eggs, beaten, and then (gradually) 300 ml water.  This makes your batter.

As I said, pour it onto the not grill (or into a flat bottomed pan) after it has been greased with a little oil.  Cook for a couple of minutes, add the bacon or pork, then turn over, turn over again with the bacon or pork safely on top, and pile on lots of shredded cabbage.

Meantime, consult your phone or iPad, or drink beer (draft Kirin is recommended).

Then add whatever titbits the customer has ordered. Shrimp, or whatever. (We had ours plain, and were very happy.)

Turn over the pancake and cabbage, very carefully.  Press down with a spatula, so the cabbage cooks.

Make thin omelettes by breaking one egg per pancake, and swirling the egg around on the grill.

When the egg is cooked, turn the cabbage pancake over again, top with the omelette, turn over again, grill briefly, then turn right way up (omelette on top), and push each pancake over to each customer, so they can pick and enjoy with their chopsticks.

I think they cost about $5 New Zealand each.  Bon appetit!

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