Oko Party

Okonomiyaki is a classic Japanese dish, I’m told.  It’s essentially a savory pancake — batter usually cooked with some combination of shredded vegetables, pork, and seafood, then traditionally topped with fish flakes, seaweed flakes, mayonnaise, and okonomiyaki sauce.  I only had it once before this weekend, and that was the second night I arrived in Hong Kong.  But I used to eat loads of scallion pancake grease bombs as a child and I am always game for Korean seafood pancakes (pajun? pajeon?).  There’s also a thick, sesame-studded, more bread-like version of scallion pancakes that I really like eating at this Hunan place back home (perfect for sopping up pretty much anything).  So even though I am not too familiar with oko, Asian savory pancakes tend to do well in my book.

This past weekend, one of the other ETAs decided to host an okonomiyaki-making party.  People were free to bring their own stuff to put inside their pancakes, resulting in some very special pancakes indeed.  Broccoli and peppers ranked high among the unconventional additions, though several people stuck with the basics, including myself.

We started out with okonomiyaki mix from the store to concoct some batter:

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And then people pan-fried to their hearts’ content. Here are some shots of pancakes in-the-making:

Broccoli appears prominent in this one
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Peppers at the forefront here
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Pork, squid, broccoli: this is hardcore
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A plated okonomiyaki: this is why men should not be in the kitchen…though however painful it looks, it probably tasted delicious.
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I’m pretty sure this was mine: I went heavy on the scallions and pork, b/c those two always seem to complement each other well. Almost like the Asian equivalent of peanut butter & jelly.

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Plated, with some okonomiyaki sauce. Mine wasn’t the prettiest one in the bunch either, I’m sad to say.
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Although my second attempt, this one a Chinese-style scallion pancake, was a looker. Here it is on display:
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Look at that thinness!  Observe the char!  Admire the generous portion of scallions!  Sadly, though I attempted to crisp the exterior of the pancake, it remained unusually chewy. I’m pretty sure it was the type of batter mix I used (a Korean-style one), as pajun does have a chewier consistency than Chinese-style scallion pancakes. The scallion pancakes I know and love are crisp and flaky, and have a bit of a salty kick, so I unfortunately failed to replicate the experience, but twas all in the name of good fun.

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3 thoughts on “Oko Party

  1. LOOK AT THE CHAR!! hahaa. im so happy that you like korean food. KOREAN PRIDE!!!!!!!. hahaa. i remember when i went to korea after my sophomore year after williams, i went to this really sketch looking, but crowded pajun place. omgosh the pajun was madddddd oily, but it was sooooo popular!!! hahaa. yes, esp. with the korean mix, it is impossible to get a crispy outside b/c its supposed to be chewy all over. ( = LOVE YOU MISS YOU. CAN YOU COME BACK NOW?

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