Let’s make the batter for okonomiyaki. Combine the cake flour and water in a bowl. Mix it with a balloon whisk until there are no pockets of dry flour. Let the batter sit for ten minutes in order for it to reach the correct consistency.
Meanwhile, remove the core of the cabbage. Take out the center part and then shred the leaves.
Let’s make Hiroshima Okonomiyaki. Preheat the griddle to a high heat. Coat a heated griddle with vegetable oil. Stir the batter and then pour it onto the griddle.
Spread the batter into a round shape using the back of the ladle. Make sure to leave a bit of batter in the bowl for later use.
Sprinkle on the bonito powder. Place the shredded cabbage onto the batter and sprinkle on more bonito powder.
Layer the moyashi bean sprouts on the cabbage. Crumble on the ikaten, deep-fried dried squid coated with batter.
Line up the pork belly slices on top and cook for about 5 minutes. Make sure the okonomiyaki isn’t stuck to the griddle.
Season the pork slices with the salt and the pepper. Stir the remaining batter and pour it onto the okonomiyaki. This will help to combine the vegetables and also prevent the pork from getting tough.
Flip the okonomiyaki with the turners. Gather the scattered vegetables and reshape the okonomiyaki.
Coat the griddle with vegetable oil and add the fresh yakisoba noodles. Sprinkle on the sake, salt and the pepper. Divide the noodles in half and stir-fry the yakisoba.
Add the okonomiyaki sauce, continue to stir-fry, distributing the sauce evenly. Shape the noodles into a circle, and brown the other side.
Lift the okonomiyaki with the turners and place it onto the noodles.
Clean the griddle with a dampened kitchen towel and then recoat it with oil. Add the egg, break the yolk and shape it into a circle.
Quickly place the okonomiyaki onto the fried egg and then flip it over.
Coat the okonomiyaki with a generous amount of okonomiyaki sauce. Sprinkle on the bonito powder and the aonori seaweed. Finally, top with the chopped spring onion leaves and now it is ready to serve.
Preheat the griddle to a high heat to fully cook the inside of the okonomiyaki.
You can also use udon, soba or pasta instead of yakisoba noodles.
Let's prepare the ingredients for Gyudon. Cut the onion into 1cm (0.4") wedges. Separate the layers with your fingers. Grate the ginger root. Cut the scallions into fine pieces.
Let’s make Onsen Tamago, which means hot spring egg in Japanese. Place 2 eggs in either a heavy pot or an earthen pot. Add enough boiling water to submerge the eggs. These eggs are often heated in Japanese hot springs.
Cover and let the eggs cook for 20 minutes. Remove the eggs, and let them cool in icy water.
Let's crack the eggs into a bowl and see how they look. The egg white will be softer than the yolk.
Let’s parboil the beef. This will bring out the flavor and remove unwanted smell along with the excess fat. Bring water just to a boil, turn off the burner and parboil the beef.
When the beef loses its red color, remove and drain well. Do not overcook the beef or it will lose its savory flavor.
Let's make Gyudon. Add sake, mirin, soy sauce and sugar to a skillet. Turn on the burner and stir the mixture on medium heat.
When it starts to sizzle, add the beef. Toss to coat evenly.
Before the liquid evaporates too much, turn off the burner and remove the beef.
Reheat the skillet and add the water, dashi stock powder, grated ginger and onion to the mixture. Stir lightly and cover.
When the liquid boils, reduce the heat to low and cook for about 5 more minutes. Remove the lid.
Mix in the beef. When the beef is cooked, put steamed rice in a bowl.
Spoon the beef and onion along with the juices on top of the rice.
Sprinkle on the spring onion leaves. Garnish with beni shoga, pickled ginger and Onsen Tamago. Finally, top with shichimi, seven flavored chili pepper.
A tip to making delicious Gyudon is using the thinnest possible beef slices and finding the right balance of sweetness and saltiness.
If sliced beef isn't available, partially freeze a block of beef and slice it as thin as possible.
Let’s make the dashi stock. Remove the heads and stomachs of the dried baby sardines. Soak the sardines and the kombu seaweed in water and let it sit in the fridge overnight. Pour the water along with the baby sardines and kombu seaweed into a pot. Gradually heat the dashi stock on medium low heat.
When small bubbles begin to form, remove the kombu seaweed. Simmer the baby sardines on low heat for 5 more minutes. Keep ladling out the foam thoroughly while simmering. This will help remove any unwanted flavor.
Remove the baby sardines. The used kombu and the sardines can be saved and used as the ingredients of kakiage, mixed vegetable tempura.
Turn off the burner and add the bonito flakes. Let it sit for 2 to 3 minutes.
Then, strain the dashi stock using a mesh strainer covered with a paper towel. Lightly squeeze the bonito flakes and now the clear dashi stock for the udon is ready!
Measure the dashi stock. If it is less than 600ml or about two and a half cups, add water to compensate.
Let’s make the broth. Pour 600ml (2.54 cups) of the dashi stock into a pot. Add the salt, soy sauce and mirin. Turn on the burner and mix it evenly. When it begins to boil, turn off the burner. Now, the broth is ready.
Let’s make the kitsune udon. Heat a bowl in a pot of hot water and remove. Place the frozen udon noodles into the boiling water.
When the noodles are completely separated, turn off the burner and quickly place them into a mesh strainer. Remove the excess water thoroughly and place the noodles into the preheated bowl.
Pour a generous amount of the hot udon broth over the noodles.
Top with the sweetened aburaage, thin deep-fried tofu, wakame seaweed and the kamaboko fish cake. Add the chopped spring onion leaves. Finally, sprinkle on the shichimi, seven flavor chili powder to taste.
To make the sweetened aburaage, please check our Inarizushi, fried tofu pouches filled with sushi rice.
You may think that making the dashi stock takes too much time but the homemade dashi is exceptionally delicious.
You can substitute dashi stock powder if the ingredients are not available.
Drain the rinsed sweet rice with a mesh strainer for 30 minutes. As for the dried shrimp, soak them in 2 tablespoons of lukewarm water for 30 minutes. Add the shrimp liquid to a measuring cup. Fill with water to equal 180ml (6.1 fl oz).
Place the sweet rice into the inner bowl of a rice cooker. Pour in the shrimp stock. Then, cook the rice in sweet rice mode on the rice cooker. If your rice cooker doesn't have a sweet rice mode, select the white rice mode instead.
Meanwhile, let's prepare the ingredients. Coarsely chop the rehydrated shrimp into smaller pieces. As for the shimeji mushrooms, remove the stem ends and tear them into individual pieces.
Let's make the seasoning. Combine the soy sauce, oyster sauce, sake, sugar, pepper and water. Mix thoroughly.
Cut the pork shoulder into 1cm (0.4") cubes and pour the sake and soy sauce over it. Thoroughly rub the pork with the seasoning until all the liquid is absorbed.
Next, heat a small amount of vegetable oil in a pan. Place the pork in the pan. The diced pork cubes are visually appealing but you can also use ground pork. Brown the pork cubes and flip them over.
When both sides of the pork turn golden brown, place onto a tray. You don't need to cook the pork completely at this stage.
Clean the pan with a paper towel. Add the vegetable oil again and reheat the pan. Add the minced ginger root and rehydrated shrimp. Stir-fry the ingredients.
When the aroma grows stronger, add the shimeji mushrooms. Distribute the oil and stir-fry until the mushrooms are slightly softened. Stir the seasoning and add it to the ingredients. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
Then, add the shelled amaguri chestnuts. Now, add the pork shoulder. Continue to stir-fry and reduce the seasoning until most of the liquid is reduced.
Finally, add a small amount of sesame oil and distribute. This will help to bring out the aroma and the flavor. Turn off the burner and the ingredients are ready.
When the sweet rice is ready, lightly loosen up the rice with a rice paddle. Then, add the seasoned ingredients to the inner bowl. Using the steaming hot rice will make it easy to combine the ingredients.
Distribute the ingredients evenly but be careful not to crush the rice grains. Close the rice cooker and let it sit for 5 minutes to even out the flavor.
Now, the Chuka Okowa is ready. Place the mixed rice into a bowl. Finally, garnish with the chopped spring onion leaves to taste.
This recipe doesn't require soaking the sweet rice in water or steaming the rice so you can easily make Chuka Okowa.
This is a great bento ingredient since sweet rice is tender even when cold.
You can also make onigiri rice balls and keep them in the freezer on standby.
Let’s make the takoyaki batter. Add the salt to the cake flour in a bowl. And thoroughly mix the powder with a balloon whisk.
Gradually pour in the cold dashi stock. Mix in the flour from the center to the outside to help avoid pockets of dry flour. Using the cold dashi stock will help avoid developing the gluten and create a soft and light texture. Add the soy sauce.
Thoroughly beat the egg in a bowl and add it to the batter. Mix to combine.
Pour the batter into a pitcher.
Let’s prepare the fillings. Cut the boiled octopus into 1cm (0.4”) pieces. Squid or scallops can also be used but then it would not be called takoyaki since tako means octopus.
Cut the shrimp in half. These shrimp are already peeled and deveined. If you’re interested in how to clean shrimp, heck out our ebi chili video.
Heat a takoyaki pan to about 240°C (464°F). Pour in a generous amount of oil. Make sure to distribute the oil outside of the holes too. Stir the batter and drop in a bit to check if the pan is hot enough. Then, pour the batter into the holes.
Immediately place the octopus and shrimp into each hole.
Sprinkle on the chopped cabbage leaves, bonito powder, spring onion leaves and the beni shoga also known as pickled ginger.
When the batter around the edges of the holes begins to cook, separate each takoyaki from the pan with bamboo sticks and tilt it 90 degrees.
When all the takoyaki are tilted, fill the holes with the batter again.
Turn the takoyaki a little at a time and shape them into balls.
Now, the takoyaki are golden brown and turn smoothly with a light flick. Place each takoyaki onto a plate as soon as it is ready.
Brush them with the okonomiyaki sauce. And sprinkle on the aonori seaweed. Finally, garnish with the bonito flakes. You can also top with mayonnaise to taste.
You can also use mochi, cheese, kimchi, sausage, or bacon for fillings and enjoy a variety of flavors.
There is a much heated debate whether cabbage leaves can be used in takoyaki. If your guests are Japanese, make sure to get permission so that nobody gets upset.
Let’s cut the ingredients. Cut the yaki dofu, grilled firm tofu into bite-size pieces. Remove the stems of the shiitake mushrooms and cut the caps into bite-size pieces. Remove the stem ends of the enoki mushrooms. Then, tear the enoki into small pieces.
Slice the white part of the spring onion leaves using diagonal cuts. Cut the green part into 5cm (2") pieces. Slice the onion perpendicular to the grain into 1.5cm (0.6") slices.
Cut the ito konnyaku noodles in half. Heat a pot of water and place the konnyaku into it. Lightly simmer the ito konnyaku for about 30 seconds. This will help to remove the excess water and absorb the broth later. Remove and strain the konnyaku in a mesh strainer.
Let’s cook the sukiyaki. Heat the beef fat in a pan on medium heat and coat the bottom with the oil. Reduce the heat and add the sugar.
Distribute the thin beef slices. When the beef is half cooked, drizzle on the soy sauce. Then, quickly beat the egg in a bowl.
Flip the beef slices over and combine the sugar and soy sauce. The meat is the most delicious state now so make sure to enjoy it. Dip the beef into the egg and enjoy the meat!
Place the beef on the edges of the pan. The caramelized sugar makes the additional ingredients more delicious. Add the yaki dofu, ito konnyaku, shiitake, enoki mushrooms, onion and spring onion leaves.
Add more beef slices. Adjust the heat frequently and keep it below medium heat. If the ingredients come close to burning, pour in a little sake to cool things off.
Sprinkle some sugar onto each ingredient. Drizzle on the soy sauce. Pour the sake over the ingredients.
Turn the heat to medium and occasionally flip the ingredients over to cook evenly. It’s ready to serve. As soon as each ingredient is cooked dip them in the egg and enjoy the sukiyaki.
We will show you how to add the ingredients to the sukiyaki. For example, adding the spring onion leaves. When you place new ingredients into the sukiyaki, add the seasonings for them. Sprinkle on the sugar. And add the soy sauce. Combine the seasonings, and the spring onion leaves are ready.
When you’ve fully enjoyed the vegetables, add the udon noodles at the end. Add a small amount of sake, sugar and soy sauce. Allow the udon to absorb the remaining sauce and enjoy it with the egg.
You might think that seasoning each ingredient with the sugar and soy sauce is a cumbersome process but it will make it easy to achieve the best flavor.
If you can’t use sake, reduce the heat to as low as possible and avoid adding water to keep the ingredients from getting watery.
Slice the chunk of bacon into 7mm (0.28") square strips. This is a cut from the belly or side of the pork and also known as slab bacon.
Combine the whole egg, grated Parmesan cheese, milk and black pepper. Thoroughly mix the the ingredients in a bowl.
Place the crushed garlic into a pan. And pour in the extra virgin olive oil. Heat the pan on medium heat. When it begins to sizzle, reduce the heat to low and saute the garlic until aromatic.
Add the bacon. Continue sauting until the bacon is browned and it starts to grow more fragrant.
Pour in the white wine and swirl the pan. When the sauce is slightly thickened, turn off the burner.
Let’s cook the pasta. Boil about 0.7 percent of a large amount of salt water. The bacon and cheese both contain salt so a little less salt was added to the water. Submerge the spaghetti in the pot. Cook the pasta for 30 seconds less cooking time than shown on the package.
Now, the pasta is ready. Using tongs, place it into the pan. Turn off the burner of the pot and begin heating the pan again. Toss to coat the pasta with the sauce.
When the pasta is heated, place it into the bowl of the egg mixture. Toss to coat again. If the egg mixture doesn’t have the desired consistency, heat the bowl in the remaining hot water. Now it is ready.
Place the carbonara onto a plate. Top with the chopped spring onion leaves. Finally, sprinkle on the grated Parmesan cheese and black pepper.
This recipe will help to avoid overcooking the egg since the sauce is not heated in the pan.
If you like a richer version of the carbonara, use whipping cream and egg yolks instead of the milk and the whole egg.
Let's prepare the ingredients. Cut the onion in half lengthwise and then slice into 1cm (0.4") slices across the grain. Slice the carrot into 4cm (1.6") slices and cut into 2mm (0.1") strips. Tear the shimeji mushrooms into small pieces. And slice the long green onion into 2cm (0.8") pieces.
Let's make the curry sauce for udon noodles. Add a small amount of vegetable oil to a pot and turn on the burner. Add in the white part of the long green onion sliced diagonally. Saute the onion to make it sweet and tender. When the onion is deliciously browned, remove and save it on a plate.
Add the vegetable oil again and reheat the pot. Add the onion, carrot and shimeji mushrooms. Lightly cook the ingredients. When the oil is distributed evenly, add in the beef slices. Continue to saute the ingredients.
When the redness in the meat has disappeared, reduce the heat to low. Then, add the curry powder. Stir-fry and bring out the aroma. The curry powder will easily burn so turn the heat off or maintain the lowest possible heat.
Now, pour the dashi stock into the pot. The curry has a strong flavor so you should use a relatively rich and savory broth to compensate. Add the sugar and usukuchi soy sauce. Combine the sauce. The usukuchi soy sauce helps to retain the presentable color of curry sauce but you can also use regular soy sauce.
Bring it to a boil on medium heat. Then, remove the foam. When the vegetables soften, reduce the heat to low. Thoroughly stir the diluted potato starch and add it to the broth a little at a time. If the heat is too strong, the starch will instantly clump up before it can be distributed.
Now, the sauce slightly thickens. Bring it to a boil on medium heat. Then, add the long green onion. Now, the curry sauce is ready.
Let's make the curry udon. Place the frozen udon noodles into a pot of boiling water. Loosen up the noodles. Then, boil for 30 seconds.
Remove the pot and quickly place the udon into a mesh strainer. Remove the excess water thoroughly and place the noodles into a bowl.
Pour the hot curry sauce over the udon along with the ingredients. Finally, top with the chopped spring onion leaves.
Usukuchi soy sauce is both saltier and lighter in color than regular soy sauce. It is often used in dishes that feature the colors of ingredients to help keep them from darkening.
Some people may have difficulties to find mirin so we intentionally made this recipe without using it. Hope more people can enjoy this delicious curry udon noodles!