This is ultimate Japanese comfort food. It would be really good with sake or beer, and I think that's why it is commonly served at Izakaya. In Tokyo, there are restaurants that specialize in Okonomiyaki (like my personal favorite, Chibo Okonomiyaki, in Ebisu). This is also good served with salad or daikon salad.

I was impressed that on my first try (see photo above)- it tasted better than the kinds I have had in the States. Still working on topping the specialized Okonomiyaki restaurants in Tokyo, but this is very very close.

Prepare the sauce ahead and cut/prep the fillings first before making the batter.

Tonkotsu/Okonomiyaki sauce

Feel free to double the sauce recipe!
Simmer on low boil for 3 minutes:
1/4 C ketchup
1.5 TB worcestershire sauce
1/4 Tea mustard
2 TB mirin
1 TB sugar
1 tea soy sauce

Prepare ¼ C mayonaise in a squeeze bottle or pastry bag fitted with a round hole tip. Set aside.

Cut veggies/fillings:
napa cabbage (or perhaps savoy might work), hand cut (don't use a shredder b/c it will be too thin and watery)- use 2-4 cups until the dough isn't soggy
2 TB beni shoga (picked ginger), diced or cut into strips
1/2 C thinly sliced green onion or Naganegi

Pick some optional fillings:
shiitake, button/cremini or chanterelle mushrooms

mochi (kiri mochi block type, cut into 1/4 inch cubes)
cheddar cheese (cut into 1/4 inch cubes or smaller)
thinly sliced beef, cut into strips
shrimp (deveined & sliced in half or chunks)

Make the batter
Mix together, beating out lumps, only adding as much water as is needed to form batter:
1 C cake flour
2 eggs
<= 1 C dashi (or water)
1/2 tea salt
4 - 5 TB grated yamaimo or nagaimo (strange root vegetable from japan, looks like hairy daikon) - grate using large box grater-- it will become gooey liquid.

Now mix in the fillings into the batter. You want to have a thick mass with the fillings, so it should not be liquidy. If it is still got liquid, add more cabbage or other fillings.

Preheat a pan on the stove to medium hot. Pour in just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Ladle in batter/filling mixture- make the size manageable for flipping (which can depend on the size of your spatula).

Flip to cook the other side and layer a couple slices Japanese thin sliced pork (buta bara usugiri type- looks like thin bacon) on top. Cover, cook until both sides and bacon is done.

Spread tonkatsu/okonomiyaki sauce generously over the top of the bacon side. Squeeze mayonnaise in squiggle lines across the top of the sauce. Then sprinkle katsuobushi (fish flakes) and aonori (green/blue seaweed powder) on top and enjoy!


Blistered Green Beans

Cook trimmed green beans in boiling or almost boiling water for 6-10 minutes, until tender and that squeaky texture is gone. At this point, you can stick in the fridge and finish preparing later -- this is a great way to do fresh veggies for a big meal like Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Heat a large skillet pan, then add butter/oil/bacon fat to coat the bottom of the pan.

Add parboiled green beans, searing/blistering the beans and stirring.

Add seasonings (pick one grouping), stir & cook a little longer, then serve.

Group A:
minced garlic
red pepper flakes

Group B:
drips of sesame oil
sesame seeds

Group C:
reduced balsamic vinegar
cracked black pepper

Banana Walnut Shake (Raw)

This is my favorite breakfast! This makes enough for two people.

Blend in a high speed blender (i.e. Vitamix) for about 30 seconds until combined:
1/4 C walnuts
1/4 C dates (pitted)
1 banana
1/4 vanilla bean (bark & all)
Add enough water for a total of 20 oz.


Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

Preheat oven to 500 F.

Meanwhile, wash fingerling potatoes, and cut into pieces if they are large (or leave as whole potatoes).

Put the potatoes on a pan, and add:
olive oil
crushed or diced garlic


Optional: rosemary, sage, other spices/herbs

Stick in oven, and decrease temperature to 425. Roast for about 20 minutes. Delicious with other veggies or with fish or steak.


Raw-ish Corn Chowder

Makes two servings. Inspired by this book. My husband liked it so much he went for seconds and finished it off! It is a great thing to make as a quick lunch- it can be blitzed together in less than 5 minutes.

Start a kettle going with a couple cups of distilled or filtered water. Once it gets hot but not quite boiling, pour 2 C hot water into blender, along with:

1 C frozen corn (Trader Joe's has some good sweet organic corn)
1/4 C + 1 TB walnuts
1/4 C olive oil
1/2 clove garlic
1/2 tea salt

Blend in high speed blender until smooth, adding more water as needed.

Garnish with a drizzle of hot chili oil, avocado slices, and chopped cilantro.

(Can also be made cold, but I think it is best hot!)

Alternatively, make the soup without the olive oil. Drizzle an herbed olive oil over the soup, gently stir to swirl into the surface of the soup. (I used my blender with rosemary, olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic to make the green oil in this photo)

Raw Pecan Praline "Milk"

Really tasty and actually filling vegan raw milkshake!

Blend in high powered blender on high until smooth:
1/4 C pecans
1/2 C pitted dates
<= 2 tea coconut oil
1/4 vanilla bean - bark & all
1/16 tea salt
2.5 C distilled water


Spinach Dal (chana palak)

This is a new favorite dal! It went together faster than my rice cooker did the rice. We make this quite often in our house- light and fresh indian food (so much different than typical restaurant indian!!)

I use the yellow chana dal for this curry. I've heard people substitute "moong" dal- any small yellow ish split and skinned lentil would work. Or if you're totally out of luck with indian foods, use yellow split peas which look really similar to chana but will turn out mushier.

Pressure cook for 5 minutes:
3 C water
1 C yellow chana dal (see head notes)
1 TB (or less) olive oil (to reduce/prevent foaming in the pressure cooker)
1/2 tea fenugreek seeds

Release pressure and lid, then add and stir over medium heat until water is reduced and spinach is cooked but still bright green:
1 tea salt
1/4 tea turmeric
1/4 tea asafoetida
4 - 6 oz spinach (washed and big stems removeD)

Meanwhile, in another pan, heat:
3 TB ghee or oil
1/2 - 1 shallot (sliced)
2-3 cloves garlic (sliced)
1/4 tea salt
1 tea cumin seeds
1 tea mustard seeds
1/4 tea paprika

Serve dal mixture over rice, spooning oil over the top. Goes well with Indian ginger cauliflower with peas.