Let’s talk about okonomiyaki. I have the hardest time remembering that name, so I tend to refer to this food item as okiedokie pancakes. We had them last time we were in Japan, and on Sunday we went down to Tokyo Bay to a part of town know for its okonomiyaki restaurants. Even at 6:00 all the restaurants on the street were almost full, but we found one with a table for us.
At these restaurants you sit at a table with a cooking surface built into it. This pretty much requires serious amounts of beer be on hand, because it gets hot! The waitress brings out a small mixing bowl, mixes it all together and pours out onto the griddle, where the cooking gets going.
We decided to try a version that is thinner than the classic okiedokie, more like a crepe than a pancake. We chose the seafood version, and our gal brought out a bowl heaping with goodies, and shredded vegetables and the batter. Once mixed and on the grill she attached it with a pair of spatulas, chopping the seafood up and blending it all together. We then had to wait, watching, until it got all brown and lovely. We each had a big spatula and a small triangular spatula which were our utensils. We would scrape up pieces as the edges cooked – yummy!
Round two also started with a smaller bowl of beef, vegetables and a thicker batter. It was piled up and formed into a pancake. The trick is to cook it just right, then flip it over for finishing. When it is ready it gets a coating of barbque sauce, piles of Bonita flakes and a serious lashing of mayonnaise. I know, it sounds really weird. But it is so good!