Crunchyroll #18: Okonomiyaki from Sweetness and Lightning

Learn how to make it here! 

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sweetness & lightning has been a consistently adorable show. I finish every episode feeling happy, content, and DYING FOR MORE. I’m going to have to start reading the manga because I sort of don’t think I can wait for the next season, if there is going to be one. The last dish they made, Okonomiyaki, is one of my favorite Japanese foods, so I thought it would be appropriate to recreate it here for you. 

 

The last time I had okonomiyaki was on my birthday, when I was in Hiroshima this summer. It was so amazing- the real fun of this dish is watching it be cooked right in front of you, or even getting to cook it yourself! I’ve done it both ways while in Japan, and both have their merits. The benefit of making it at home is that you get to control the fillings and the cooking entirely yourself, so you can have exactly what you want! If you’re lazy and hate cooking- I recommend trying to find a restaurant that will make this dish. It is #WORTH IT. 

 

In sweetness & lightning, Tsumugi’s okonomiyaki is squid and pork. I decided to go with shrimp and pork (read: BACON) because I am not a huge fan of squid and didn’t have an easy way to get my hands on it. That’s sort of the beauty about this dish though- you can put as much or as little in it as you want. As long as you get the base batter down, you can put any assortments of meats or veggies in, and can mix and match to please a crowd. 

 

This manga is great because it provides recipes at the end of each chapter. However, because the anime isn’t faithful to this recipe, and because I thought I could do one better, I very, VERY loosely followed the recipe for this dish. I wanted to improvise a little, and I also wasn’t interested in grating Chinese mountain yam into my batter (Where would I get such a yam in my small California town?!? As it turns out, I was too lazy to find the answer.). Having made this before for One Piece, I also knew that I could simplify the recipe for the average cook, so the recipe below is a mix of what the manga provides, what I saw in the anime, and what I thought would be easiest for the average home chef. 

 

 



The Ingredients

 

 
Makes 5-6 medium sized Okonomiyaki. I was cooking for 5 people- definitely size down if you’re by yourself! To see a recipe for one person, check out this similar recipe on my personal food blog. 

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  •  2 cups water
  • ~8 strips of bacon, cut in half
  • ~1/2 cabbage head, or 4 cups of chopped cabbage
  • 8-10 green onions, finely chopped
  • 6 eggs
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped raw shrimp, or fillling of your preference
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese cubes, or filling of your preference
  • Okonomiyaki sauce
  • Mayonaise 
 


Making the Okonomiyaki! 

 

First step is to mix the batter. Mix water and flour together with a healthy pinch of salt. Set aside.

 

 

Chop cabbage into cubes. First, half cabbage, and set the other half aside. Cut into strips, and then cut again on the opposite side to create cubes of cabbage. Set aside. 

 

 

Prepare the fillings. One kind of okonimyaki will be shrimp and bacon. The other kind will have cubes of cheese in the batter, with bacon fried on top. That means I needed to defrost and roughly chop the shrimp, and then cube my cheese.

 

 

Also, finely chop green onion while you’re at it. 

 

 

When you’re ready to start cooking, mix roughly half of your batter with half of your cabbage. Crack in half of your eggs, season with salt and pepper, and pour in the filling of your choice. For this one, I started with the shrimp. 

 

 

Turn your range onto medium heat, and oil the pan with olive oil. 

 

 

Ladle in a big scoop of the mixture, about 1/3 of the total batter, and push into a flat, round circle. Let cook for 3 minutes. While waiting, layer bacon slices on top. 

 

 

After 3-4 minutes, flip this sucker over. Get two spatulas and just go to town. I can guarantee you some of it is going to fall out- this is ok. Just gently push it back together, and you’ll be fine. Cover with a lid and let cook 4 minutes. 

 

 

 

 

Take the lid off, and flip back over, so bacon is up. Allow to cook for another 3 minutes. If all the cooking tires you, just remember that this is a very thick pancake, and you don’t want to serve up a meal that is raw inside. Even though it won’t look like anything is really changing, be patient, and wait it out for this meal.

 

 

Finally, after the last cook, plate your okonomiyaki! 

 

 

Spread the top with okonomiyaki sauce, and then drizle mayo over in thin strips. 

 

 

Using a toothpick, drag the tip through to create cool patterns in your topping. I think my mayo wasn’t warm enough to melt into the sauce, which made it hard to drag, so the lines didn’t come out perfectly. At this point, though, I was practically savage with hunger, so I gave up a good looking meal to prioritize eating…and cooking the next 5 okonomiyaki for my friends who were over for dinner. If this is important to you, though, and you mess up, just scrape, very carefully, the sauce up and away, pour more out, and try again. I promise, though, it’ll taste great no matter what. 

 

 

And now it’s done! 

 

 

I really hope you can give this dish a try. Okonomiyaki is really good, and the sauce that goes on top is killer. If you stink at cooking, this is the sauce that will save your dish. If you’re great at cooking, this sauce will elevate it to new heights. The only problem is getting your hands on it- I would suggest visiting an Asian supermarket. This is, incidentally, also where I got my Kewpie Japanese mayo, which is a bit sweeter and thinner than American mayo. If you don’t want to buy the special mayo, just spoon some regular mayo into a plastic baggie, snip the tip, and drizzle mayo to your heart’s content. Most notably, enjoy as much as you possibly can, because this stuff is delicious. Better yet, with all the extra cabbage, you could eat this for days. 

 

I hope you enjoyed this post! To check out more anime food recipes, visit my blog for more anime and manga themed food. If you have any questions or comments, leave them below! I recently got a twitter, so you can follow me at @yumpenguinsnack if you would like, and DEFINITELY feel free to send me food requests! My tumblr is yumpenguinsnacks.tumblr.com. Enjoy the food, and if you decide to recreate this dish, show me pics! 😀 

 

In case you missed it, check out our last dish: Cookie Cream Puffs from “Amanchu”. What other famous anime dishes would you like to see Emily make on COOKING WITH ANIME?

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Gohei Mochi from Sweetness and Lightning

Read all about how to make it here. 

**

Have you ever wanted to play around with open flames? No? Just me? When I was little, I used to be fascinated with fire. I still kind of am. I have a bit of a history with fires. I remember trying to set leaves on fire with magnifying glasses, but I was always very careful (Hi, Mom) to not let open flames get out of hand. Once I made muffins and one of them accidentally set on fire in the oven (Hi, Mom). Then, at a party a few years ago, we actually did set a cupboard on fire (Hi, Mom). We caught it before it got out of hand. The cupboard is still charred to this day. Good times. So, when I saw this week’s recipe in sweetness & lightning, I was fascinated! I could use an open flame to make this dish? Perfect. Right up my alley.

 

Fortunately, this recipe factors nicely into my current life. The struggle bus now has a card carying member (me) because apparently I can’t stop riding it. If last week wasn’t enough with starting work and teaching full time, this week I had to move apartments, throwing my entire life into shambles. Cue the crying, sweating, and groaning of frustration as I packed everything up, struggled to move it across town, and then had to clean both my old and new apartment. My roommate’s desk got stolen, I had to scrub mold, and, perhaps worst of all… I had to carry my KitchenAid stand mixer up a flight of stairs. Do you know how heavy those things are??? CRIPPLINGLY heavy. 

 

Anyway, I was desperately in need of a simple recipe to put together this week, using minimal kitchen tools and appliances and, preferably, with few ingredients. So, I settled on a recipe that I’d never made before, but was easy to recreate with few kitchen tools- Gohei Mochi from sweetness & lightning. When I saw them making this recipe, I was really intrigued! I’d always thought about making s’mores over the kitchen stove burner, but, not being a huge fan of marshmallow, never got around to it. I’d never thought about roasting anything over the open flame, though, and it seemed appropriately simplistic for my desperate circumstances, so I decided to give it a go. 

 

 

By the way, who else thought that Tsumugi was so cute in this episode? Her poor dad was so worried when he found her, but I LOVED her little song about sharks. Absolutely adorable. And let me tell you, if anything can mend a relationship between father and daughter, making gohei mochi and eating it together will certainly go a long way to doing this. The recipe is really simple, and is actually a great thing to make with kids, since it’s simple and hands-on. Better yet, the only thing you REALLY need to make this recipe is a gas stove that can produce a flame. I took the recipe directly from the manga, so what’s below is just what you can see there, but modified to make a smaller amount. Let’s get cooking! 

 



The Ingredients


 

  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 100 grams walnuts
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp mirin
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp white miso paste
  • 1 tbs sugar
 
You will also need some disposable chopsticks and an open flame to cook over. I used a gas stove. Makes about 2.5 sticks. Double for 5-6 sticks. 
 


Making the Gohei Mochi! 

 

Pour walnuts and sesame seeds into either a food processor or a mortar. I recommend the latter, or a bowl and a blunt bashing object if you don’t have a mortar. It does a better job of releasing walnut and seed oils, making the end product more tasty. However, either method will do. Crush nuts up into fine crumbs. You really want to avoid big chunks of walnuts. 

 

 

Then, add in the miso, mirin, soy sauce, and sugar. Keep grinding until you have a paste. 

 

  

Scoop this out and set aside. Then, put the rice in the mortar and smash that up until it’s really, really sticky. I mean it, it should be obnoxiously sticky. It needs to be this way to stick to the chopsticks properly. I had to rework the rice because I didn’t pound it enough at first to develop the stickiness. 

 

  

Then, form your rice into patties. Pack them together tightly! 

 

 

Then, spear rice patties through with chopsticks, and pack the rice around the stick, making sure it sticks well. Wrap foil around the end to make sure iti doesn’t burn over the open flame.

 

 

Then, the fun part! Turn on your gas stove to a high flame. Lightly toast each side, about 30 seconds to 1 minute per side, or until you see toasty brown/charred bits. If you don’t pack the rice on tightly enough, it will fall off at this stage, potentially causing severe fire damage. Do not recommend. Make sure it’s securely on before you do this! 

 

 

Then, taking the paste you made earlier, spread a thin layer over the surface of the rice. You might have to use your hands to spread it out. Like the rice, don’t be afraid to pack this in tight around the rice ball/stick. Make sure you get full coverage. I have no excuse here- I just got really lazy and left some parts uncovered. 

 

 

Then, again, toast this coating over the open flame, a few minutes on each side. I thought it would melt or slide off, but it stayed put surprisingly well! When done, plate up and get ready to eat.

 

 

That’s it! Very easy to make, you don’t need a lot of tools, and most of the ingredients needed are easy to find around the house (if you’re used to cooking Japanese recipes).

 

 

This is really tasty. The paste on the outside is salty-sweet, and the walnuts provide a nice mellow undertone that ties everything together, and elevates the rice so that it’s a nice combination of flavors. I was really surprised at how easy this was to make by hand, and even if you don’t have a mortar and pestle, I think this could still be accomplished with a bowl and something to pound the nuts and rice. I once used a hatchet to make something, so I’m all for being creative in your cooking tools. 


I hope you enjoyed this post! To check out more anime food recipes, visit my blog for more anime and manga themed food. If you have any questions or comments, leave them below! I recently got a twitter, so you can follow me at @yumpenguinsnack if you would like, and DEFINITELY feel free to send me food requests! My tumblr is yumpenguinsnacks.tumblr.com. Enjoy the food, and if you decide to recreate this dish, show me pics! 😀 

 

In case you missed it, check out our last dish: Strawberry Milk from “Gintama”What other famous anime dishes would you like to see Emily make on COOKING WITH ANIME?