The First Rule of [Cook Club] (Cook-along Week 46: Okonomyaki)

SilverWindSilverWind Registered User regular
edited December 2020 in Social Entropy++
Hello! Want to try out new recipes and cook together with other people in SE++?

Because my friends group is not at all interested in the culinary arts, and a lot of people on these forums are (or want to be), I figured this would be a great place to run a cookbook/recipe club. We don't get to sample each others' cooking, but since we'll all make the same (or similar) dish, it'll be like we're eating together!

The process is as follows:

a) We choose a dish to make
b) Discuss alterations/substitutions
c) Make the recipe, discussing thoughts about the dish, posting pics, rating the recipe(s), etc.
d) Repeat

I figured we can do this on a weekly basis. It won't be super formal or require signups. We can coordinate for cooking/posting on a particular evening (Saturday?) but if you make it earlier or later than that particular day, that's more than fine too. :D



This week's writeup is by @Fearghaill!!!

Okonomyaki! The name translates roughly to “what you like, grilled” and while there is a traditional recipe the spirit of the dish is to start from there and add whatever you want.

In it’s most basic form it’s a vegetable pancake, usually made with cabbage and green onion, often with thinly sliced bacon or pork belly cooked into one side and then covered in one or more sauces and other toppings.


First, the recipes:

I want a traditional recipe, but I might not be able to find all the ingredients so suggestions on substitutions would be good too.
Okonomiyaki World is a fantastic resource dedicated to the dish and its many variations.
They also have a page detailing all the ingredients, common brands/packaging for each, and recommended substitutions.

J. Kenji Lopez-Alt’s recipe from Serious Eats

I still want to stay traditional, but do you have anything with a video demonstration?
I have two:
Binging with Babish’s Okonomiyaki from Sweetness & Lightning

Joshua Weissman’s Okonomiyaki (with shrimp)

A good recipe for someone looking for something a little bit more basic:
Budget Bytes' Savory Cabbage Pancakes (Okonomiyaki)

Ultimately though the fun of making okonomiyaki is putting your own spin on it. Don’t like or eat pork? I’ve done it with thinly sliced steak, either cooked into the surface, or cooked separately and used as a topping after. Don’t want to eat meat at all? I made a version last week that used shredded king oyster mushrooms instead. You can even just make it as a veggie pancake without anything else and that’s potentially delicious too!

A few things I’ve learned cooking and experimenting with this over the years:

You don’t really need to cook the bacon in the pancake. Getting a greasy bit of meat to stick to battered vegetables is not always easy, and it can feel very disappointing to have the bacon come loose as you try to flip it. It certainly looks neat when you manage it, but there’s no shame in cooking the bacon first, then the pancake (in the same pan, use that bacon fat) and then laying the bacon on top after. As a bonus, the bacon cooks on both sides and you get the full crispy surface of the pancake without the bacon in the way.

When adding different ingredients to the batter, consider moisture levels. Some vegetables release a lot of moisture when they cook, which can result in a soggy pancake if you don’t plan for it. Some things like mushrooms I’ll cook first to get some of the water out before adding it to the batter, while with stuff like zucchini I may reduce the liquid ingredients a bit to balance what the zucchini will add.

Thank you, Fearghaill, for the wonderful writeup!


Saturday, December 12

Want to join in? Have suggestions for the next cookalong? Chime in below!

Next few weeks:

Some dishes on the eventual to do list: mussels, tourtière, lobster bisque, paella, _ wellington, brisket, aspic???, scallion pancakes, groundnut soup, souffle, jollof rice, pasta, kugel, red beans and rice, congee, succotash, fish pie, stir fry

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