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<Trip to Osaka/Kobe> Go Deep into Konamon World : Hatsuse & NagataTank Suji

Tako-yaki, Ika-yaki, Okonomi-yaki, Yakisoba, etc.etc... Osaka locals' favourites are mostly made of flour. They are categorized as Konamon' varieties, literally meaning 'made of flour powder'. Every Konamon dish is cooked through a standard process, baked on a pan ('Yaki' means 'baked').

Okonomi-yaki is the most popular dish of all the above. Virtually all Osakans can cook Okonomi-yaki by themselves, because they almost certainly have the experience of cooking it at home.

Tourists normally take a role of just sitting at a counter and watching a chef cooking. Whereas, for some who desire to act like locals, Hatsuse offers them the opportunity to cook for themselves.

FYI, detailed instructions are on the wall of each room. Just in case, in order to enhance your imagination, let me tell you HOW TO COOK OKONOMI-YAKI.

Flour dough and raw ingredients are separately delivered to your table.

Mix the dough thoroughly with egg, shredded cabbage and fried batter particles.

Firstly, place raw ingredients (pork, squid, shrimp or others) on the pan and bake them.

Put the heated ingredients back into the dough and mix them.

Next, drop the dough on the pan and form a circle. Wait for 5 min.

When the dough gets light brown, FLIP IT.

Timing is key. If it's too early, the ingredients fall apart, if too late, the surface gets burned. When you believe it's time, with two flat spoons on your hands, without hesitation, FLIP IT QUICKLY.

After another 10 min, your Okonomi-yaki is ready to eat. Add savoury sauce, sprinkle bonito flakes and aonori seaweed powder or spread mayonnaise if you like.

When you get the one crisp outside and fluffy inside, it is the perfect Okonomi-yaki. How's yours?

Locals are so fond of Konamon foods that even in fried rice, they add short Yakisoba noodles to mix. The dish is called 'Soba-meshi (Noodle-rice), which is particularly favoured by Kobe citizens, half an hour west of Osaka city.

At Nagata Tank Suji in the basement of the city centre shopping mall, guests sit at a counter with a five-yard-long pan.

Soba-meshi is cooked in the backyard and served on a pan in front of you. As the pan gets hotter, the Soba-meshi sizzling gets louder. When you splash savoury sauce on it, the sound increases even more.

Grab a morsel of rice and noodles with a flat spoon, and pop it in your mouth. The short noodles bring a crunchy texture while sauce-soaked fried rice gives out a pleasant smell.

Such a mouth-watering dish is definitely something that Osaka/Kobe citizens are proud of.

<JUNE 2023 ©Larry_Tak>


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