30th August 2016
My husband and I are headed to Japan this October so we’re currently in the midst of researching where to go and what to do – but most importantly what to eat!
One of our destinations is Osaka, Japan’s second largest city located in the Kansai region (also home to Kyoto). Known as the “nation’s kitchen” there is so much food to discover and taste! Koen and I were even more excited to visit once we learned of the saying “Kyotoites are financially ruined by overspending on clothing, Osakans are ruined by spending on food.” This is our kind of city.
Osaka is known for a lot of different dishes, but one of its most famous is okonomiyaki. It’s mostly described as a savory pancake and is so delicious! Of course I can only vouch for the okonomiyaki I’ve made at home, but it’s definitely worth trying if you want to venture further into Japanese cuisine! This recipe is a favorite of mine from Food 52.
The sauces: okonomiyaki sauce, Kewpie mayonnaise, and sriracha (extra hot!)
Okonomiyaki, makes 12 pancakes (perfect for dinner for 2 (4 pancakes each), and lunch the next day (2 pancakes each))
Traditionally it’s with okonomiyaki sauce and mayonnaise, and a spicy sauce if you like it hot. I’m lucky to have a great Asian supermarket closeby, but if you can’t find the sauces, you can make your own!
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sriracha, more or less to taste
- Whisk together the ingredients and your sauce is ready!
- 5 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/3 cup flour
- 2 cups cabbage, finely chopped
- 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and chopped
- 3/4 cup (roughly) chopped shrimp
- Oil for frying
- 1-2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs with the soy sauce, sesame oil, and salt. Gradually add the flour until incorporated. Fold in cabbage, scallions, and shrimp.
- Warm a couple glugs of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until glistening. Ladle the batter into the skillet as you would for regular pancakes, about the size of saucer. Cook on each side for about 3 minutes or until golden brown. Keep pancakes covered in a warm oven as you make the rest. Scatter sesame seeds on top of pancakes and serve with lots of sauce!
17th November 2015
I’ve mentioned it before, but I love pickling! It’s a great way to use up your leftover vegetables and the pickling process adds another dimension to the taste and texture.
This recipe for Japanese Pickled Cucumbers is what’s referred to as a “refrigerator pickle”. Refrigerator pickles are ready to eat in only a matter of days and the vegetables tend to stay crunchier. These cucumber slices will be ready in 3-4 days and stay good for up to a month.
And what can you do with these pickles? They’re a perfect compliment to sushi and rice or on sandwiches!
Japanese Pickled Cucumbers
- 1 English cucumber
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- Wash the cucumbers and slice in thin coins. Place in a bowl and sprinkle the 2 teaspoons of salt on them, and set aside for five minutes. Rinse off the salt and drain the cucumbers.
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Place in a lidded container and let sit in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, then they’re ready to eat!