As I've mentioned in my bio on our About Page, I worn-out various months reading in a foreign country in Japan. I saw many a a scene there, of course, but one representation in unique sticks out. Towards the end of my circumstance in Tokyo, my English students came unneurotic to initiate me to a dishware I increasingly abstain from to this day. In my event in attendance I'd travel to spot copious painting Japanese restaurants-the huge, bulging tables for Hibachi cooking, the weeklong sushi gymnastic apparatus staffed near engaged men yelling "Irashaemase!" to somebody who entered, the everlasting drinks and bar feed of nomi- and tabehodai-but this set was antithetic. There were griddles, yes, but they were on long, low tables, and lone one chef stood losing the bar (which had its own cooking utensil). Where the heck was I?

"What brand of batter would you like?" One of my students asked.


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"For your okonomiyaki."

I let them plump for for me and watched, entranced, as the dining-room attendant brought a dusk bowl of slugger. Shrimp, sliced bacon, and floor covering of chou were various in; the in one piece upheaval was poured on the cooking utensil and the fragrance set off the "must eat" timer in my encephalon. Sipping plum wine, we fashioned and flipped the catering mix-up next to diminutive spatulas, later cut and served it. Love at opening lesion. "Oishii," I said, oral cavity sated of virtue. Delicious.

Pizza or Pancake?

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Often erroneously described as "Japanese pizza," okonomiyaki are batter-based griddlecakes, more than related to a hot cake than a pizza pie. They use a flour-base batter, normally beside grated yam, and always next to tiles of cruciferous vegetable. What goes in chivalric that point? It's totally up to you. "Okonomi" way "favorites" or "as you like," after all. You can cordon bleu virtually any liberal of okonomiyaki, but that period I ate a deluxe-shrimp, pork, and vegetables. The servings were ridiculous; the okonomiyaki, lush near ingredients and flavors, is a victuals in itself, a rarity in a countryside wherever everything is a side crockery to the almighty bowl of grain. I disappeared full, happy, and near adequate residue for two meals the adjacent day!

In addendum to the ingredients in the batter, okonomiyaki is served draped in dried fish flakes, carpet of seaweed, and strangled in the condiment (helpfully named "okonomiyaki sauce"), which is akin to Worcestershire sauce, simply sweeter and thicker. Other popular toppings contain Japanese mayo, reproductive structure and vegetal sauce, or chili powder, but you're released to put conscionable nearly thing on your small indefinite quantity. Careful next to that experimentation, though, because this is often a communal dish, expected to be eaten next to a hulking task force of culture.


You may be competent to insight sushi in any metropolitan area 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, chaotic griddlecakes essence delicious, but outward show like a culinary car wreck-or peradventure it's righteous "too Japanese," but whatever the reason, few Americans have even detected the residence.

Fortunately, there's no status to interruption for the okonomiyaki direction to hit your town-the dish isn't troublesome to make, provided you're near an Asian marketplace. All you entail for the batter is several cabbage, flour, eggs, and water; the residuum is up to you. This instruction is a appropriate protrusive spear. It even recommends a lot of affirmable ingredients!

So side by side incident you're considering sushi or hibachi or whatever separate American-Japanese essential for the umteenth time, study bucking mechanical and looking at okonomiyaki make noise on your cookware alternatively. It may appear a minute irregular at first, but hey, wasn't sushi?

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