Fans of Asian cooking will enjoy this kit for making okonomiyaki at home (Buy a kit on Amazon). It’s essentially a frittata made with batter, cabbage, plus whatever you want like shrimp, or pork, etc, kind of like different pizza toppings. (Okonomiyaki roughly means “grill what you want.”) We were introduced to these kits by one of our high school exchange students, Kazuki. His mom sent them to us from Japan, but you can get them at your local Asian food store or from Amazon.
Each kit comes with little bags of yam powder, batter mix, tempura crisps, seaweed flakes, and shaved bonita. (BTW – do not let your cat get a whiff or taste of the bonita flakes and then leave the package on the counter. Ask me how I know.) You add eggs, green onion, cabbage and bacon, as well as mayo and okonomi sauce (be sure to get some of this delicious sauce when you get the kit – it’s NOT included!). Each kit will make 2-3 okonomiyaki “pancakes.”
You’ll also get translated English instructions. I like the cute kawaii style Japanese instructions with a little boy and girl making their own okonomiyaki together. It’s like a free mini comic. But one thing puzzled me and I had to ask Kazuki what this part meant: “The little girl is saying ‘cook the bacon until it is the color of a fox!’”
Top the whole thing off with squiggles of mayo and okonomi sauce (kind of like tonkasu sauce – both sweet and savory). Then sprinkle on the seaweed and shaved bonita flakes (dried tuna). The thin flakes stand up on edge with a wriggling action: they “wave” at you from the heat rising up off of your skillet-fresh okinomiyaki! Look closely to see the waving action in this video I shot in Kyoto.
The total effect is an insanely rich and delicious flavor of sweet, salty, bacon-y, umami, and tangy… all at the same time. Your entire tongue’s taste buds fire at once!