Tuesday, April 12, 2011

London street food: Okonomiyaki - Japanese pancakes

Headed to Columbia Road flower market on Sunday for a wander.  It turns out that 'wandering' was a bit ambitious - it was sooo busy that we barely managed a shuffle.  Still, it was nice to see all the colourful flower stalls and it looked like there were some great bargains to be had.

As it was lunchtime, we thought we'd investigate the food stalls on Brick Lane for a spot of lunch.  Just opposite the Truman Brewery, there's a whole hall filled with stands selling food from all over the world: Mexican, Ethiopian, Chinese, Mediterranean, Caribbean and lots more.  After two laps of the hall, we settled on some very interesting looking Japanese food.

Okonomiyaki, sometimes known as Japanese pancakes, translates as 'what you like'.  As you can imagine, this means there is a whole wealth of different recipes.  The version at Brick Lane was vegetarian, but many recipes add prawns or chicken.  The basic ingredients are shredded cabbage and spring onions in batter, topped with Japanese brown sauce, mayonnaise and seaweed flakes.  The stall at Brick Lane tops theirs with cheese - and melted cheese is a welcome addition to most dishes in my book!

The end result might not be the prettiest dish I've ever seen but it was absolutely delicious.  I like the sound of the recipe I found on the Las Vegas Food Adventures blog and will be trying it out sometime.

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