Archive for pancakes

Grillin’

Cooking and eating still happen chez Yusuke, just not much blogging.

Our stovetop was out of commission for a while, so a new grill/griddle was acquired.

Here are some action shots.

Yum.

Okonomyaki  Raw vegGrilled veg

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Revamped okonomiyaki

This was an attempt at a new okonomiyaki recipe, and it was highly successful!

The basis was medium-firm tofu. Yusuke squeezed the tofu between paper towels to draw out excess water and then smashed it with a whisk until it made a smooth paste.

He then assembled the “dough” and filling:

  • the tofu paste
  • shredded cabbage
  • chopped spinach
  • a tiny bit of bonito flakes
  • dashi
  • sea salt
  • 3 tbsp of katakuriko powder (that is, potato starch, sort of)
  • 4 eggs

He mixed everything in a large bowl and then separated it into individual pancake portions, which were grilled in a frying pan with a bit of canola oil.

We dressed them as usual with okonomi sauce, bonito flakes, and for Yusuke: mayonnaise.

So what made this different? No flour! It worked out quite well, although they were rather more fragile than the typical specimen.

The original recipe called for tiny shrimp and green onions, but as these were lacking from our fridge, Yusuke subbed in spinach.

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Italian-style okonomiyaki

This dish can be described as Italian-style okonomiyaki—a.k.a. we need to use up food basket contents. With lots of stuff to use up, creativity ensued.

Yusuke followed his usual okonomiyaki recipe, but instead used whole wheat flour and the following vegetable array:

  • cabbage
  • zucchini
  • carrots
  • tomatoes
  • fantastically beautiful fresh basil

The inclusion of basil and tomato evoked Italian cuisine, so instead of the usual toppings, we used sea salt and tasty balsamic vinegar. Exceedingly yummy; highly recommended.

Note that Yusuke always includes a secret weapon in okonomiyaki batter: crumbled firm tofu, with Soyarie being the brand of choose here in Montreal. It makes the pancake texture extra smooth and savoury.

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Okonomiyaki redux

Okonomiyaki perfection

Okonomiyaki perfection

I wrote up Yusuke’s okonomiyaki creations before, but it definitely deserved a photo update.

This particular batch was also a little different. We had bought some fabulous Soyarie firm tofu, and Yusuke had the idea of crumbling it into the okonomiyaki batter. It made texture smoother and added a richness to the taste. The veggies included were carrots and cabbage. In addition to okonomi sauce, bonito flakes, and mayonnaise (for Yusuke), we added powdered nori (seaweed) to the okonomiyaki topping. Tasty.

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Korean-style crêpes

Korean-style crêpes

Korean-style crêpes

These Korean-style crêpes are sort of similar to Japanese okonomyaki, only flatter. Yusuke used the same type of batter, but instead of cabbage, their crunchiness comes from bean sprouts and green onions. The sauce of soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame seeds really made the dish fabulous.

Our accompanying miso soup was rather exotic, with okra and firm tofu. I’ve found that I really love okra in soup. I think the fact that I now use the adjective “slippery” as an attractive attribute of food is further evidence that I’m turning Japanese…

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Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki and soup

Okonomiyaki and soup

garnished

Okonomiyaki: garnished

Ah, the famous Okonomiyaki. Yusuke calls it Japanese fast food, or perhaps more properly, festival food. I first had it at the Montreal matsuri (festival) last year, and Yusuke has made it many times since then.

Basically, okonomiyaki is a pancake or crêpe with lots of stuff mixed into it. There are two main styles of okonomiyaki: Osaka (Kansai region) and Hiroshima. Yusuke makes the former, and his preferred ingredients are cabbage (chopped), shrimp, and green onions.

He uses a sort of assembly-line procedure whereby he separates the vegetables/shrimp for each okonomiyaki in a separate bowl, then breaks an egg on top of each, then adds the batter of flour and water. Then he mixes everything within each bowl before pouring it into the frying pan. (I’m the lucky one who gets to wash all the bowls and clean up the spilled flour…) I must say, this is a very effective way to ensure an equitable distribution of ingredients.

Yusuke found a lovely step-by-step illustration of how to make okonomiyaki. Click “Preparation” at the bottom of the page to get to it.

Okonomiyaki is eaten with okonomi sauce, which is thick and rather sweet-ish. You can even buy it on Amazon! Okonomiyaki is also garnished with dried bonito flakes, powdered nori, and mayonnaise (which I skip).

The soup with this meal was miso with mushrooms and bean sprouts.

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Banana pancakes

Real maple syrup

Real maple syrup

Poor Yusuke didn’t want me to post this meal, but sorry, honey, I did anyway. He was disappointed that the pancakes didn’t quite come out how he hoped. They tasted fine (very banana-y), but the texture was a bit on the spongy side. I think it was just a matter of having the proper ratio of ingredients. But it really didn’t matter, since we had some of the #1 grade light maple syrup that we bought last spring at a cabane à sucre (sugar shack) near Montreal: La Sucrerie de la Montagne. It was totally touristy, but also lots of fun to visit. They still collect the sap with traditional methods, and we even met the guy with the crazy beard whose picture is on the syrup bottle.

Maple syrup, despite what some might think, is not a vegetable, so we had a tasty vegetable soup on the side: potatoes, carrots, cabbage, and white onions in a chicken broth.

A pancake meal

A pancake meal

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