|Noodle Shrimp Okonomiyaki|
I love Okonomiyaki! There are not alot of places in Vancouver that have them. Actually, I can only think of one. I don't know if it's because of the set up you may need with the grill or because it's out of style. Shame either way. I mean you can get the Korean version in most Korean restaurants. But even then you won't always get the variety that S serves up. I don't have the recipes for most of his dishes except for an approximation for his scrumptious Gomae (Sesame Spinach).
pre Phase 1: Steamed Edamame with Sea Salt and Yoshi Sake.
A yummy amuse bouche served as commonly as peanuts in most sushi restaurants and bars. MMMMM. The Yoshi Sake is available locally and it was quite nice for the price point. Soft, subtle with no harsh edges.
Phase 1: Okonomiyaki.
Okonomiyaki are pancakes made and served a la minute. They're a light Flour, Starch/Potato Flour and Egg based batter mixed with alot of shredded Cabbage as a base. They are normally topped with some Japanese Mayo, Okonomi sauce not too dissimilar to Hoisin sauce/Brown sauce. As well, often dressed with powdered Nori and Bonito flakes. From there, you can get as creative as one would with Crepes or Pizza. That said, S is a traditionalist so he makes the ones he has seen in Japan or his Japanese friends have made.
1. (my favourite) S calls, Ladies Favourite - Mochi - Top or mix in chopped firm Mochi (Rice Cake)
2. Noodles - Mix in once the batter is poured but still raw, cooked, drained and dried Rice Noodles.
3. Variations of the two above with Shrimp.
4. Smoked Ham or Bacon
5. Cheese - mild white Cheese
6. Italian - Cheese, Tomatoes and Fresh Basil
We easily went through 10. Alot of the fun of it is watching S make them and how much he loves to make them and finish them off, presenting them to us with the Bonito flakes fluttering in the heat waves. MMMMM
Phase 1b: Takoyaki
|Filling the Tako Yaki Pan|
|Tako Yaki - Cheese and Crab Turned Over|
Phase 2: Gomae (Sesame Spinach)
As we waited for the alchemy in the kitchen to happen, S insisted we top up our bevvies. He brought out a beautiful Sake he bought whilst in Japan. It had nice pillowy depth.
I don't often order this because it's more often than not, made with frozen Spinach and rather salty. But S's was amazing. I will definitely try to copy when I get a chance. It was fresh, bright and full of flavour.
SK's Gomae (Sesame Spinach)
1 bunch fresh Spinach, destemmed and steamed
Sorry, I did not ask for proportions. It was not very salty so there was very little Soy. Also, I would suggest you go easy on the Mirin to start with. Do not over dress. I would suggest starting with 1 teaspoon of each and the mix to taste. Top with a healthy amount of toasted Sesame seeds.
Phase 3: Home made Miso Soup
Japanese Miso is alot milder than Japanese food. It's funny that I'm even describing because the bulk of the mass market have more likely had the Japanese variety than the bold, stronger and spicy Korean version.
Japanese Miso done properly is gorgeous. In the lower end Sushi joints, they're normally using instant. The base for most Japanese broth is Kombu, large, thick sheet of Seaweed with Bonito Flakes and seasoning. The broth is drained to retain only the liquid. You would then whisk in good Miso Paste. S used to buy Japanese imported variety but now has started to use locally, fresh Miso paste. I would think this would mean there are less preservatives as well. The clear tubs with supermarket labels have a much shorter shelf life. He bought his at a Japanese market on Clarke.
He served his with Soft Tofu and cooked Seaweed. It was sooooo good!