Sunday, April 09, 2006

On the Road to Japan #1: Okonowhathehellisthatshitmiyaki

Once again, I paid another visit to my new favorite restaurant, Musha in Torrance. This time, I sat at the 'bar' in front of the chefs and got to see what they were brewing. Chef totally knew I was trying to sneak out with some recipes haha. I was asking him questions left and right about each dish that we had. Each time, he would look over at his coworker, to make sure he wasn't listening in on the top-secret conversation. Anyway, I looked at the menu and saw that this dish was described as Musha's most popular dish. The chef said it was kind of like okonomiyaki, but served on top of soba buckwheat noodles, which he called Hiroshima Okonomiyaki. Hell yeah.

Okonomiyaki means 'as you like it' in Japanese and is a mixture between a pancake and pizza and includes shrimp, eggs, katsuoboshi (the bonito fish flakes that look like pencil shavings from a No.2 Ticonderoga pencil). And served with brown sauce or mayonnaise. Love Japanese mayonnaise.

Musha's adds sauteed octopus in their version. I love watching bonito flakes dissolve over hot food. Gives a feeling that it's alive haha. The dish was excellent and here's my version of it, which looks almost exactly like Musha's. Here are some other links regarding okonomiyaki:

Party time:

(1) Boil soba noodles till al dente and shock in cold water. Strain and set aside.
(2) In a pan, start boiling some chicken broth and add a little soy sauce, sake and some instant dashi stock powder (dashi no moto). Once it's hot, add 6 scrambled eggs in there and cook till they are done.
(3) In another pan, pan-fry the soba noodles in hot oil over medium heat. It's ok to get them crispy if you like that. That's how i cooked mine.
(4) Once the noodles are crispy on both sides, carefully slide the egg omelette on top of the noodles. Add a nice coating of teriyaki/brown sauce (recipe to follow) and throw it in the oven for about 10 minutes on 350.
(5) Garnish with red ginger, green onions and bonito flakes. Add more sauce if you like it to be tastier.

My Ghetto Teriyaki Sauce
(1) In a small pan, start reducing soy sauce and sake.
(2) Add a few drops of Worcestershire sauce and balance out the saltiness/tanginess with sugar.
(3) Add corn starch to thicken. If there are starch lumps, pour the sauce threw a small sieve or strainer.

If anyone knows where I can get good okonomiyaki, I'd love to try it out. Thanks for reading.


Ron Oda said...

hey dylan,

you can get really good okonomiyaki in.......... Osaka, Japan... lol... thats the best i've had... but its kinda like the thin crust vs thick crust debate with each city claiming victory...

i like Osaka's the best, cause it has Yamaimo (spelling?) in it for texture..

my cousin is a total food nazi and she loves the Okonomiyaki at Gaja , you can check it out yourself... i think pam's been there too..

StaceyBelle said...

ooo dat looks goood. it's like beefy tangy japanese taco good.

Daily Gluttony said...

Hey Dylan,

Ditto DCCF on Gaja in Lomita...

...except don't use my pics to judge the place...we totally messed it up! (at least it tasted good!)

Passionate Eater said...

Excellent re-creation Dylan! Your presentation looks amazing, but the graphic description of the "Ticonderoga No. 2 Pencil" was a little off-putting to my appetite... The picture more than compensated though!

Thanks for sharing the "secret" tips D! Take care.

Oishii Eats said...

I love this post! Hilarious!

It's too bad you guys don't have time to go to Hiroshima on your trip. Hiroshima vs. Osaka okonomiyaki is serious. It's up there with the dry rub vs. wet rub ribs. Crazy. But yea, make sure you hit up the okonomiyaki in Osaka!

Ron Oda said...


if you're going to Osaka, make sure you eat the Takoyaki there... its worth the plane fare alone..

seriously... you can't get good Takoyaki here and the ones that have it.. it sucks really bad...been having Takoyaki withdrawals for like 8 years...

oh.. my friends ate at both Iron Chef Michiba and Sakai's restaurants .. they said it was pretty good and it really wasn't as expensive as they thought it would be... maybe look it up on the net if you're nearby..

send me an email if you want me to get the addresses from my friend

e d b m said...

Pam, hey that's pretty cool that they let you cook your own okonomiyaki. I'll actually be down in the 310 area, so I can stop off in Lomita.

PE, hi buddy! Well, I'll have to say that they are the most delicious "No.2 Pencil Sharpenings" I've ever had, in addition to Elmer's glue haha.

Jeni, on Sunday Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations show was on the Travel Channel and they happened to be in Osaka. I got to see how they Okonomiyaki was made - I cannot wait. I'm going for that and the takoyaki octopus snack. My cholesterol is going up for sure.

DCCF, read above. I am definitely going for the takoyaki snack. I love any kind of street food. Last year when I was in Hong Kong, I must've eaten atleast twice everyday at the street stands - mainly skewered, deep-fried delights. I still dream about HK's food all the time. I'd love to find out the name of the Iron Chef restaurants in Japan - hopefully my friends don't mind paying more for haute cuisine.

Ron Oda said...


here's a link to the iron chef restaurants...

michiba has 3, not sure which though..

go for it man...

Ron Oda said...


the michiba restaurant at the bottom says lunch starting at 3000 yen...

that's probably the one slice of bread lunch, but that's still pretty reasonable for lunch anywhere in japan

Oishii Eats said...

Dylan...that place that Anthony and those comedians went to make their own takoyaki is called "Pizza Ball" and it's at Umeda Stn in Osaka. It's a fun place to eat. Making your own takoyaki is so fun...but they'll look like crap compared to the pro's.

Also, Kuidaore, that stupid clown is at the Namba station. Most eats are in Dotonbori, Namba Stn. :)

Daily Gluttony said...

i saw that tony bourdain episode too and i am soooo itching to go!!! you're so lucky--all that FOOD!

k said...

Hi Dylan

How lucky! I've yet to be back to the 'mother land' and I'm so itching to go! I expect lots of pix to be posted! :)

My brother said Gaja is great for okonomiyaki...a must try!

e d b m said...

Keri, hi thanks for stopping by. I will definitely try my best to keep the photos fresh while i'm in Japan, lost in translation.

As for Gaja, three recommendations sounds good enough for me to try it.

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