Japanese convenience cooking

This post isn’t actually a recipe or a review – it’s just about some new ingredients I decided to try out the other week when I was having a good browse through my nearby Japan Mart.  I love looking in food places and getting new things to try out at home.  The meal I cooked tonight was made up of a whole lot of “shortcut” ingredients which made the meal quick to cook.

The meal consisted of okonomiyaki pancakes, seasoned rice balls and miso soup.  I always have instant miso soup packets at home, so the two items I bought were these:

Left: seasoning powder for rice Right: okonomiyaki mix

Left: seasoning powder for rice
Right: okonomiyaki mix

 

The okonomiyaki pancake mix was more than just a mix of flours – the ingredients list included things such as bonito and kelp extract, dried squid and pickled ginger.  Unfortunately the instructions weren’t in English, but the pictures at the back seemed pretty obvious.

First you whisk the ingredients of the packet with 4 eggs and 200mL water.  After that you add 500g chopped cabbage and a mix of whatever else you want.  I included chopped prawns, but spring onions, squid, bacon etc would also be good.

Okonomiyaki batter

Okonomiyaki batter

I think my batter was a little wet but it still fried without too much mess, although my pancakes were definitely not round!

Frying the okonomiyaki

Frying the okonomiyaki

They are good served with Japanese mayonnaise and you can also put on some okonomiyaki sauce and katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) for the full experience.  Unfortunately I didn’t have any on hand, but it was still tasty.

 

Okonomiyaki pancakes with seasoned rice balls

 

I also thought I’d try out this variety packet of seasoning for rice.

Rice seasoning

Rice seasoning

Again, I wasn’t absolutely sure what everything was (all in Japanese!), but the pictures seemed to indicate different flavours like chicken, seafood and beef.  Each packet had a lot of ingredients including dried seaweed, bonito stock and sesame seeds.  All I did for these was make some rice and then mix in one of the packets.  I then rolled the mixture into balls.

Seasoned rice balls

Seasoned rice balls

Overall the meal was quick to cook and very tasty.  Perhaps if I wasn’t so heavily pregnant, I would try to cook the okonomiyaki from scratch, but convenience is really winning the battle at the moment!

Japanese convenience cooking

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