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Tag Archives: Sauces Dips and Dressings

Last fall when Chris and I visited Japan, we discovered Okonomiyaki, a Japanese pancake/omelette hybrid topped with Okonomi Sauce and sometimes mayonnaise. We first had it in Hiroshima and then again in Osaka and I could not get enough of it. After being tipped off to a good recipe for Okonomiyaki, found on the back of the Otafuku Okonomi Sauce package, my adventure began.

I wanted to go to my local Japanese grocery store to pick up some Okonomiyaki flour and aonori-ko (seaweed flakes) before I made this last night, but we ended up going for a mountain bike ride instead. I ended up using all-purpose flour and skipping the aonori-ko. In retrospect, I could have just tried crumbling some nori into the batter. We always have nori on hand, you know, for all of those times that you need a sheet of seaweed in an emergency.

Since I didn’t make it to the Japanese grocery store, I decided to try my hand at making the Okonomi Sauce based on this recipe. Based on our memories of the sauce, it was a pretty good substitution. I’m interested in buying some to compare flavors.

The Okonomiyaki we ate varied widely between different cities and Okonomiyaki joints. Our experience was that either a restaurant specialized in it, and sold almost nothing except Okonomiyaki and beer or it did not have Okonomiyaki at all. It isn’t exactly like we were able to read the menu though, so this analysis could be way off. Because of the wide variety of ingredients we saw, I think this dish can be modified pretty dramatically without completely losing its authenticity.

The recipe below seems to most closely resemble the variety of Okonomiyaki that we ate in Osaka, while Hiroshima Okonomiyaki tended to have noodles (udon, ramen-looking, or soba) in it. In both cities, we were given the choice to include chicken, beef, pork, various types of seafood and number of eggs.

First, Okonomi Sauce:

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp rice wine
  • 1 tsp soy sauce

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and heat until bubbly.
  • Simmer about 30 seconds more, stirring constantly.
  • Remove from heat.

Servings ~ 2
Calories ~ 114, Fat ~ 0 g, Carbohydrates ~ 25 g, Protein ~ 0 g

Next, the Okonomiyaki:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Okonomiyaki flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 4 eggs*
  • 4 oz meat, chicken, beef, or pork (optional)
  • 1 3/4 cups shredded cabbage
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 4 oz. cooked shrimp or other shellfish (optional)
  • non-stick spray or 1 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • Okonomi sauce
  • Mayonnaise (optional)
  • Aonori-Ko (seaweed flakes) (optional)

Directions:

  • Mix flour with water.
  • Stir in eggs, meat and vegetable ingredients.
  • Heat oil in griddle or large skillet. (I am attempting to use olive oil spray instead.)
  • Pour batter to make single cake about 1/2″ thick.
  • Cook on both sides on medium heat until golden brown (about 5 min).
  • Transfer to serving plate and top with Okonomi Sauce, aonori-ko and/or mayonnaise if desired.

Note: I am amazed that I flipped this thing whole. It was huge, this is the biggest skillet that we have!

Servings ~ 3
Calories (using EVOO non-stick spray and leaving out meat/fish) ~ 273, Fat ~ 7.3 g, Carbohydrates ~ 37 g, Protein ~ 14 g

*Next time I will attempt to substitute 8 egg whites for the 4 eggs to lower the fat and calories and up the protein. The nutrition info for that (still w/non-stick spray w/o meat/fish) would be:
Servings ~ 3
Calories ~ 220, Fat ~ 1 g, Carbohydrates ~ 37 g, Protein ~ 19 g

Spinach dip, meet hummus. What better way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day than with green hummus?

This has been on my radar for a while, but I did not get around doing it until last night, when all of the stars aligned. I had some wilty looking spinach that I considered blending into a smoothie or pretty much any dish that would mutilate the wilty spinach leaves beyond recognition. As I sat down and polished off the rest of our hummus while trying to get up the motivation for my post-run shower, it occurred to me! We had spinach that had to go – like now, we were out of hummus, and this would make a perfect St. Patty’s Day treat in lieu of the standard corned beef and cabbage. That standard St. Patty’s Day fare just doesn’t appeal to me all that much.

I’m not sure if I did it “correctly” because I didn’t get to read any other recipes first (Chris had the computer), but it is pretty darn tasty! I simply blended huge amounts of spinach (I would estimate 6-8 cups)  into my normal hummus recipe. I also ended up adding an extra few splashes of lemon juice as the hummus seemed a bit thicker than normal. Voila! Green hummus!

It would be interesting to try sautéing the spinach before putting it in the food processor. Anything sautéed is automatically better, right? That will probably never happen at Duke’s House though because it takes extra time and gets an extra pan dirty. Nobody likes cleaning pots and pans.

Also of note, I bet canned or frozen spinach could be used instead if it was drained very well. I’m kind of canned and frozen spinach averse, so I will probably just stick with the fresh variety.