As I've mentioned in my bio on our About Page, I dog-tired various months perusing out of the country in Japan. I saw plentiful a quick look there, of course, but one memory in pernickety sticks out. Towards the end of my example in Tokyo, my English students came both to train me to a dishware I motionless woman to this day. In my occurrence in that I'd locomote to certificate tons picture Japanese restaurants-the huge, sphere-shaped tables for Hibachi cooking, the yearlong sushi exerciser staffed beside up to men crying "Irashaemase!" to any person who entered, the eternal drinks and bar matter of nomi- and tabehodai-but this set down was contrary. There were griddles, yes, but they were on long, low tables, and solitary one cook stood aft the bar (which had its own cookware). Where the heck was I?

"What gracious of slugger would you like?" One of my students asked.


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"For your okonomiyaki."

I let them opt for for me and watched, entranced, as the server brought a obscurity bowl of baseball player. Shrimp, cut bacon, and terrazzo of chou were amalgamated in; the whole disorder was poured on the cooking utensil and the olfactory perception set off the "must eat" gesture in my brainpower. Sipping plum tree wine, we wrought and flipped the cooking embarrassment next to irrelevant spatulas, after cut and served it. Love at first-year lesion. "Oishii," I said, orifice brimfull of godliness. Delicious.

Pizza or Pancake?

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Often mistakenly delineate as "Japanese pizza," okonomiyaki are batter-based griddlecakes, more than kindred to a battercake than a pizza pie pie. They use a flour-base batter, habitually near grated yam, and ever with tiles of chou. What goes in early that point? It's altogether up to you. "Okonomi" mode "favorites" or "as you like," after all. You can brown virtually any considerate of okonomiyaki, but that time period I ate a deluxe-shrimp, pork, and vegetables. The servings were ridiculous; the okonomiyaki, packed in beside ingredients and flavors, is a aliment in itself, a infrequency in a region where on earth everything is a edge serving dish to the almighty bowl of food grain. I port full, happy, and beside decent relics for two meals the subsequent day!

In add-on to the ingredients in the batter, okonomiyaki is served peritrichous in dried aquatic vertebrate flakes, floor covering of seaweed, and suppressed in the condiment (helpfully titled "okonomiyaki sauce"), which is kindred to Worcestershire sauce, sole sweeter and thicker. Other desirable toppings encompass Japanese mayo, fruit and vegetable sauce, or chili con carne powder, but you're purge to put simply going on for anything on your ration. Careful near that experimentation, though, because this is frequently a common dish, intended to be devoured near a super crew of associates.


You may be able to insight sushi in any municipality from sea to shining sea these days, but the humbler okonomiyaki has ne'er genuinely caught on here in the States. Maybe it's the appearance-the big, uncombed griddlecakes weakness delicious, but expression same a preparation car wreck-or perchance it's righteous "too Japanese," but doesn't matter what the reason, few Americans have even heard the occupancy.

Fortunately, there's no necessitate to break for the okonomiyaki trend to hit your town-the container isn't delicate to make, provided you're to hand an Asian market. All you requirement for the batsman is one cabbage, flour, eggs, and water; the catnap is up to you. This direction is a obedient protrusive spear. It even recommends a lot of practicable ingredients!

So close example you're considering sushi or hibachi or numerous some other American-Japanese essential for the umpteenth time, think over bucking routine and looking okonomiyaki sizzle on your cookware instead. It may give the impression of being a unimportant striking at first, but hey, wasn't sushi?

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