Strangely, one of posts that I most often get emails and comments about is the one on making Okonomiyaki. It's quite interesting, I'd get stuff telling me that you don't need the yamaimo, saying it doesn't make any difference in the texture, always from folks that had never even tried using it for making okonomiyaki(I have tried not using yamaimo - the result is fine, but it ain't the same)...so if you've never even tried using it, how would you know if it makes any difference? But hey, okonomi means "what you like", so whatever floats your boat.....I know what floats mine...a couple of tablespoons of gooey, grated yamaimo. Secondly, it's about the folks who tell me to use a non-stick.......I've never gotten the kind of wonderful caramelization you get with my cast iron pan on any non-stick...even the new expensive non-stick pan I have is basically for crepes and items that don't need a nice crust. Personally, I prefer mine to look something like this.
The Missus had been looking through a couple of recipes in Elizabeth Andoh's new cookbook Kansha. The one She found most interesting used this.....
It was the recipe for Natto Okyaki, a natto pancake of sorts. The reason I'm not linking to the cookbook is that the recipe really didn't work out...it uses soy milk and only two tablespoons of soba flour. Needless to say it really never really firmed up. It tasted pretty good...maybe a bit bland, but really made a mess and looked, well not very attractive. But the seed had been planted....plus, I still had a good amount of Soba-ko left over. I decided to use my base okonomiyaki recipe, replacing cake flour with Soba Flour and using natto as the main filling. I liked the idea of using zucchini in Ms Andoh's recipe so I cut back on the cabbage. I didn't think dashi and natto would make such a great combination, so I used plain water. I had thoughts of making and incorporating mustard paste, but had the idea of using wasabi instead. I also added some soy sauce to add another layer of flavor. It tuned out pretty well. It's also a nice way of having natto if you've never had it before or want to eat it, but find the look, smell, or sight of it rather unsavory.
I used a half recipe, but made two smaller okonomiyaki. After doing the first with the standard katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes), okonomi sauce, furikake, etc...the Missus found She preferred it unadorned using a simple wasabi-soy sauce mixture for dipping......as the name says, "as you like it"......
1/2 Cup Soba flour, sifted
1/2 Cup water or Dashi
2 TB grated Yamaimo/Nagaimo(Japanese Mountain Yam)
1 tsp salt
1 - Sift Flour into a bowl.
2 - Add Water, yamaimo, and salt.
3 - Mix to a pancake batter consistency(do not over-mix). The batter will be sort of a gluey pancake batter
2/3 Cup finely shredded cabbage
1/2 Cup finely julienned zucchini
2 scallions green parts only finely sliced
1/4 Cup finely sliced red onion
1-2 Tb Benishoga
2 - 1 1/2 oz portions (usually styrofoam trays) of natto
1 Tb prepared wasabi
1 Tb soy sauce
1 - Add natto to batter and using chopsticks stir in a figure eight motion to separate the sticky beans and incorporate into batter
2 - Add the cabbage, zucchini, scallions, onions, and benishoga. Crack an egg on top and stir to mix.
3 - Add wasabi and soy sauce and gently incorporate.
4 - Oil up your pan and your ready to go.....
My original okonomiyki recipe can be found here. Have fun and make it "your way"! Just don't tell me not to use yamaimo, or to use a non-stick pan.....
I think this is the Missus' new favorite...........