Okonomiyaki; I very rarely write about food, but this Japanese dish, called sometimes Japanese pizza intrigued me. Well it was what we had out at the restaurant we went to after the exhibition, four of us sat round a table with a central hotplate or cooking plate in its centre. The dish is described as a sort of pancake to which you add as many ingredients as you want, or not. It reminded me of the Swiss rosti, Spanish omelette and potato cakes we eat, my favourite is the German potato cake. Grated raw potato with the water squeezed out then flour, finely chopped onion and an egg blended together then fried in spoonfuls, eaten with apple puree, delicious...
In Japan you can cook the Okonomiyaki yourself at the table, the ingredients are brought to the table, but at this restaurant the waitress cooked it. You choose from the menu, and then separate bowls for each person come to the table, topped with a raw egg. So we have within this bowl the batter, finely sliced cabbage, and in my case cheese and spinach (okay can't face squid!), this is beaten up by the waitress and then poured on to the hot plate where it fries gently, about 5 minutes on either side. It is then ladled onto your plate and a variety of sauces are squirted gently on top. There is a Japanese brown sauce, very similar to ours, Japanese mayonnaise (yes, well?) then the usual bonito flakes and dried seaweed.
Our Japanese expert, who as everyone knows I live with, turned his nose up at it, though luckily not in the restaurant, as not being authentic enough.... But what intrigued me is the cheapness of the dish, it would suit the grandchildren I know.
Apparently we even have a tepanyaki in the garage, which is the hot plate, so I shall be experimenting in the future.