Yesterday for lunch we went to a Okonomiyaki restaurant on route 24 in Joyo. It's a small restaurant but cozy and the staff is very friendly. If you go in the evening it can be very noise with lots of young people having a blast. Here a little more about okonomiyake:
Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き) is a Japanese savoury pancake containing a variety of ingredients. The name is derived from the word okonomi, meaning "what you like" or "what you want", and yaki meaning "grilled" or "cooked". Okonomiyaki is mainly associated with Kansai or Hiroshima areas of Japan, but is widely available throughout the country.
Osaka-style okonomiyaki is the predominant version of the dish, found throughout most of Japan. The batter is made of flour, grated nagaimo (a type of yam), water or dashi, eggs and shredded cabbage, and usually contains other ingredients such as green onion, meat (generally thin pork belly), octopus, squid, shrimp, vegetables, kimchi, mochi or cheese. Okonomiyaki is sometimes compared to an omelette or a pancake and may be referred to as a "Japanese pizza" or "".
Some okonomiyaki restaurants are grill-it-yourself establishments, where the server produces a bowl of raw ingredients that the customer mixes and grills at tables fitted with teppan, or special hotplates. They may also have a diner-style counter where the cook prepares the dish in front of the customers.
In Osaka, where this dish is said to have originated, okonomiyaki is prepared much like a pancake. The batter and other ingredients are fried on both sides on either a teppan or a pan using metal spatulas that are later used to slice the dish when it has finished cooking. Cooked okonomiyaki is topped with ingredients that include otafuku/okonomiyaki sauce (similar to Worcestershire sauce but thicker and sweeter), aonori (seaweed flakes), katsuobushi (bonito flakes), Japanese mayonnaise, and pickled ginger (beni shoga).
Yakisoba (焼きそば), literally "fried noodles in sauce", is considered a Japanese dish but originated in China and is technically a derivative of Chinese chow mein. It first appeared in food stalls in Japan at some point during the early 20th century. Although soba usually refers to buckwheat noodles in mainland Japan, Yakisoba noodles are made from wheat flour similar to ramen. It is typically flavoured with a sweetened, thickened variant of Worcestershire sauce.
It is prepared by stir frying ramen-style noodles with bite-sized pork, vegetables (usually cabbage, onions or carrots) and flavored with yakisoba sauce, salt and pepper. It is served with a multitude of garnishes, such as aonori (seaweed powder), beni shoga (shredded pickled ginger), katsuobushi (fish flakes), and mayonnaise.
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