29 September 2014

Day 14: Okonomiyaki, Osaka

Day 14: Osaka Castle

Tenjinbashi-suji Shopping Street
Osaka, as you know it, is famous with their seem-like endless markets and of course always-packed pachinko shops.  Besides those things, for me personally, in here is one of the culinary capital in Japan. From street snacks to main meals, abundant everywhere in Osaka.


We walked a long the small alley that night, not far from Tenjinbashi-suji Shopping Street. We saw this shop, looked tiny from the outside but they have a bigger dining space inside.  Packed with locals, surely it would be yummy.  We then take a seat not far from this cool lady where she managed to handle a few yakisoba okonomiyaki on her hotplate before serve it to the customer. 

Okonomiyaki is a Japanese savoury pancake containing a variety of ingredients, mixed in a bowl then grilled on the hot flat pan.  Traditionally, the ingredients are mixed on the bowl and then grilled on the hot pan in front of you by yourself, then when it is done, you can put the toppings like okonomiyaki sauce, seaweed flakes, bonito flakes and mayonnaise as you please. The name Okonomiyaki is derived from the word "okonomi", meaning "what you like" or "what you want", and yaki meaning "grilled" or "cooked". There are many version of Okonomiyaki all over Japan.  In Osaka or Kansai region, where most people believe is where okonomiyaki is originated, they normally mix the raw ingredients in a bowl then grilled both sides like pancake.

As this is our first time having this do-it-yourself okonomiyaki, the waiters helps us around and nicely explain how and what is the proper way of having okonomiyaki.

Step 1: Raw ingredients mixed on a bowl

Step 2: Pour all onto a flat-hot pan

Step 3: Flip it, cook both side  until it is cooked through

Step 4: Smeared okonomiyaki sauce on top and sprinkles some more toppings over it such as bonito flakes, seaweed flakes and mayonaisse as you like

Special Okonomiyaki - Pork in between with mayo, mustard, tomato sauce and poppyseed on top 900¥

Okonomiyaki - mix of pork, shrimp and egg 900¥

Step 5: Cut it into 4 slices or more
and the last step (which what we most looking forward of) enjoy it

The two of us only order 2 okonomiyaki, as the portion is very huge.  Okonomiyaki here in Osaka is really earn their popularity right.  Their Okonomiyaki is very plump and juicy, not dry and floury at all.  Very flavoursome and those each ingredients shine in its own way.  Plus we scattered heaps of sauce and toppings, that's bring this dish to next level.

These layered ring type cake or otherwise is called Baumkuchen is pretty popular in Japan as I have seen people sell this cake in a few different places.  However, we ended up buying this brulee cheesecake from one of the cake shop in Namba station, it is more like my cup of tea.

The Tenjinbashi-suji Shopping Street
Starts around Tenjimbashi-suji Rokuchome Station on the Tanimachi and Sakaisuji Subway Lines,
runs south and passes by Osaka Tenmangu Shrine before ending around the Tenjinbashi Bridge

Stay tuned for the next blog still in Japan:
Day 15: Hiroshima

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