Against Monotony

23/10/2014 § Leave a comment

After updating for consecutive days about what was happening to me – well not like many cares anyway – I had not spoken about myself for the past three days (?). Uh, let’s see…so it was on the 19th that I have updated about my life then.

I was still on night shift duty at work on 20th. I have already said before that I like doing night shifts. There were a few things that benefits me whenever I do this shift. Doing night shifts comes with allowance, although it was not much but hey, it is additional income for me. I get to work alone and I do not need to be bothered by office people who might be watching me working. I get to save on food expenses. And it is easier for me to lose weight because I only get to eat one decent meal a day. So the last one was not exactly healthy but I do not let myself get hungry anyway.

The day itself was uneventful as I was asleep the whole of the day. But on the night of 20th, I had okonomiyaki for dinner. It is a Japanese style pancake in which you can put anything you want. I find it easy to make and I like its taste. I like Japanese food in general but I do not like to eat anything raw. I will share the recipe of the Okonomiyaki here, my own simple, easy and cheap recipe, like how I have done with other dishes that I can cook.

Ingredients: (Half of the original recipe, single serving)

Okonomiyaki Batter:
Flour, 1/2 cup or 8 Tablespoons (I only use plain flour but you can also use the Okonomiyaki mix flour from Daiso)
Egg, 1
Water or Chicken Stock, 4 3/4 Tablespoons
Cabbage, 1/8 of the head, thinly sliced (You can try to crush it or cut in half so it will be easier to eat)
Onion, finely chopped
Chicken or Pork meat, cooked, cut into small pieces
Cheese, cut into small pieces (Optional, but it tasted better with cheese)
And anything else you want to add. Most okonomiyaki recipe comes with bacon but it makes the dish a bit too salty for me and it is a bit expensive as well. But if you decided you want it with bacon, you can add it in two different ways. Either cut it into small pieces and mix in the batter or cut it into strips and cook it before pouring the batter over it. The first makes it easier to eat.

Okonomi Sauce (Difficult to find, Cold Storage has it though)
Japanese mayo, (Kewpie is preferable)
Bonito Flakes (Katsubuoshi)
Seaweed Flakes (Aonori)

Note: I have taken out a lot of other items from the ingredients which I did not find in the market or I just did not want to buy.

1. Mix flour, water/chicken stock, and egg in a bowl. Do not mix thoroughly. Add cabbage, onion, cheese, and meat, and the other ingredients you want to put and mix until thr ingredients are evenly distributed. Heat the pan while doing this, to save time.

2. Add oil to the pan and spread to cover the surface. Make sure that the pan is hot enough or try using a non-stick pan so that the batter will not stick. Evenly pour okonomiyaki batter in the pan, and mold it into a circle. Cover and leave for a while.
If you plan to use bacon strips, place the bacon in the pan first and cook slightly. Evenly pour batter over the bacon, molding it into a circle. To cook the okonomiyaki better, I usually only use half of the batter and evenly spread it over the pan. It will make a thinner layer of okonomiyaki but it will be easier to cook.

3. Flip the okonomiyaki, and cover once again. If the pan looked dry, add a little bit of oil, heat up for a while before putting the uncooked side of okonomiyaki into the pan. This does not need to be done if you are using the non-stick pan.

4. Once both sides of the okonomiyaki has turned into a good brownish color, indication that it is cooked, remove from heat and place in a plate. Put okonomi sauce and mayo. Sprinkle with seaweed flakes, top with bonito flakes and serve!
The seaweed flakes tend to make the okonomiyaki taste salty if you put too much. So if you already have bacon in your okonomiyaki, be moderate in adding seaweed flakes. Same thing goes with bonito flakes, but since I like it I always put lots of it.

This dish is very flavorful due to the okonomi sauce, seaweed flakes and bonito flakes. Okay, the mayo as well. So even if you are on a very extremely tight budget, you can still afford to make this by leaving out everything else besides flour, egg, and cabbage. And c’mon, those ingredients are very cheap. To be honest, the most expensive ingredients I used in this recipe are the okonomi sauce and Japanese mayo. If you have noticed, the dishes I could cook are easy to make and cheap ones. I mainly cook to save on food expenses, and also because I think it’s fun.


20th October 2014
All photos were taken using Samsung Galaxy Note II

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