Okonomiyaki: Japanese Comfort Food

When were picking up ingredients to make takoyaki at a nearby Japanese Market (Sanko Trading), the clerk thought that we were making okonomiyaki and suggested that we pick up a Japanese cabbage as it is milder and softer than its North American cousins.  Not being able to resist the temptation of trying something new, we grabbed the cabbage and proceeded to make the cabbage-based pancakes.  (This dish includes pork belly, how could we say no??  Especially because there was some left over chashu pork slices from a ramen soup making weekend last month. )

Chashu Pork in Package Chashu Pork

The rolled pork belly was sealed in a package with a braising solution of light soya sauce (usukuchi),  sake, mirin, water, sugar, ginger and scallions.  It was cooked for 72 hours at 60 C (140 F) for 3 days.  After cooling it was thinly sliced and repackaged into individual portions.  See recipe.

The Japanese cabbage was chopped up and added to a batter from Japanese Soul Cooking by Tadashi Ono.

Okonomiyaki Bater in Pamn

The batter is added to a very hot pan with a thin layer of sesame oil.

Okonmiyaki Pork Unflipped

Pork belly is placed on the top.

Okonmiyaki with Pork on Top Okonmiyaki Flipped

After cooking for a few mintues, the pancake is flipped and left for a few more minutes.

Okonomiyaki Fried Final

I flipped the pancakes a few more times until it felt like they were done.

Okonomiyaki Final

Okonomiyaki sauce, aonori (powdered seaweed) and bonito flakes were used to top off the pancakes before being devoured.  We were out of mayo or I would have added that on top as well!

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