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Japanese snack dishes - Okonomiyaki, Takoyaki

Okonomiyaki

Okonimiyaki is Japanese-style pancake containing mainly a lot of chopped cabbage and some other foods.
"Okonomi" means "what you like" or "what you want", and "yaki" means "grilled" or "cooked".

There are many small restaurants for Okonomiyaki in Japan.

And, we can find Okonomiyaki at the section for prepared dish or takeout dish in many big supermarkets or department stores.

In addition, when various festivals are held, we can certainly find the street stalls for Okonomiyaki.

Because Okonomiyaki is eaten while walking in such event, it is a nice snack food.

By the way, there are two types of Okonomiyaki.
They are Kansai-type and Hiroshima-type.

Kansai-style Okonomiyaki

Kansai is the name of the area around Osaka.
This is the standard style of Okonomiyaki throughout Japan.

First a batter is made by mixing flour, grated yam, dashi, eggs and a lot of shredded cabbage and stirring them in a bowl.

The batter is spread roundly like a pancake on a hot plate.

At this time, according to your taste, some ingredients are topped on it.
Popular ingredients are sliced pork, sliced beef, squid, chopped green onion, chopped beni-shoga (Picked ginger with red color) and so on.

When one side are fried, it is flipped with two metal spatulas and the other side are fried.

After both sides are fried, a lot of thick Worcestershire sauce are spread on it.
And the powder of katsuobushi and green laver are coated.

It is the Kansai-style Okonomiyaki.
You can eat it slicing with a metal spatula.

Generally the guest sits at the table with hot plate.
A chef makes it in front of you and serves it to you.
At some restaurants, a batter and ingredients which you ordered are served and you can make it for yourself.

Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki

Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki was born in Hiroshima city in the 1950s.
It is different from Kansai-style Okonomiyaki.

First, a batter is made by mixing only flour and dashi.

The batter is spread thinly and roundly like crape on a hot plate, and shredded cabbages and moyashi (soybean sprouts) are heaped up high on it.
And sliced pork or tempura of squid, and chopped green onion are put on it, then a little batter is poured on it.

With keeping this shape, it is flipped with two metal spatulas.
This is the difficult motion, because it is far thicker than Kansa-style okonomiyaki.

After this, it is pressed into the shape of a pancake.

In addition, Chinese noodle or udon noodle is fried on the side of the hot plate, then above okonomiyaki is put on the noodle.

Aside from this, a few eggs are fried sunny-side up. But the yokes are broken.

At the last, above okonomiyaki with noodle are put on the eggs, and thick Worcestershire sauce, katsuobushi and powder of green laver are coated.

Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki need more steps of cooking and skills than Kansai-style.
Therefore, there aren't many opportunities that Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki is made at home.

Takoyaki

Takoyaki is also a popular Japanese dumpling.

A piece is about the size of a table tennis ball, and we can commonly buy a pack containing 6 to 10 pieces of takoyaki.

Takoyaki is a takeout food, so you can get it at many big supermarkets or street stalls for takoyaki.

You can eat Takoyaki across the country, but the center of Takoyaki is Osaka.
There are many takotyaki shops in the city, and the citizens of Osaka make takoyaki at home.

"Tako" means octopus, so the focus ingredient is octopus.

When Takoyaki are cooked, a special frying pan is used.
It is made of cast iron, and it has many hemispherical molds.

First, a batter is made by mixing flour, egg, and water or dashi, then it is poured into each mold of the hot pan.

And a boiled and diced octopus, beni-shoga, chopped green onion and a few other foods are put on each batter of the molds.

When being fried in part, all batters are flipped with a tool like ice pick.
Then they are fried to the shape of ball.

Several takoyaki are served on a plate, and Worcestershire sauce, katsuobushi and the powder of green laver are put on them.

Like cream puff, the filling is very creamy, but your tooths touch a little hard octopus to chew.


Takoyaki


Octopus in Takoyaki

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