Published: Jan 22, 2020
One of my favorite dining out experiences was at a Kobe beef restaurant. Seated at a table with a large flat-top grill in the middle, the kobe chef would prepare my meal right there at the table. Wonderful chunks of marbled Kobe beef, with onions, peppers and potatoes would sizzle and pop there before my eyes and the aroma! Oh, yeah! Especially when he'd get to the part where he tosses in the grated garlic! Amazing experience and delicious eatin'!
Another fun meal is okonomiyaki - something akin to a cross between a pancake and a fritter. Very savory and flavorful. My friend, Toshie, cooked some for me (2nd video) during my 2019 visit to Okinawa.
Well now, there's another delectable, flavorful savory dish that's sort of a cross between the two - monjayaki.
photo source: https://www.okinawa.org/blog/how-to-make-monjayaki-at-the-table.78/
A tasty meal of chopped up meat, fowl or seafood (or any combination) with vegetables and seasoned with a thick batter or with dashi.
Here's how the batter kind is made:
1. Mix the flour, water and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl and set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, prepare and mix all other solid ingredients.
3. Place the solid ingredients in the pan or on the hot plate. (A large frying pan will do just as well but the flat top is more fun at the table!)
4. Cook and cut the ingredients at the same time with two teppanyaki grill spatulas.
5. Once the ingredients are cooked, form the ingredients into a donut shape, creating a circle in the middle, and then pour the mixed batter in the middle of the donut and bring to a boil.
6. Mix everything up to form a pancake-like thing and let it cook thoroughly.
7. Remove the finished art with a broad spatula to a warmed plate - or eat it straight from the grill!
8. Add mayonnaise and tonkatsu sauce on top for extra flavor.
If you prefer a looser, wetter dish then skip the batter and use dashi broth. Follow the directions as above but instead of adding batter use the dashi. So, Load up a bowl containing whatever you want, much like you'd do at a Mongolian barbecue grill. Drown the contents with plenty of dashi broth. Then empty the contents of the bowl (except the dashi) onto a well-oiled flat-top grill. Keep the dashi in the bowl. You'll need it later.
Once your food is on the grill, chop it up with knives or spatulas being mindful to keep everything moving upon the grill so that nothing burns. After it's almost completely cooked form the food into a circle in the middle of the grill then form a hollow in the middle of the food.
Pour the dashi from the bowl into the middle where you've created the hollow. Let it just sit there for 30-45 seconds then start mixing it all together again.
Voila! Transfer to a warmed plate and dig in!
You see then, there's more than one way to skin a cat, eh? Pancake or loose, just don't skin a cat!
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