Vegan Okonomiyaki

16 05 2009

Tonight we made vegan okonomiyaki (savory pancake). It doesn’t look fantastic but it tasted great.

Our homemade vegan okonomiyaki.

Our homemade vegan okonomiyaki.

Here’s how we did it:

2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vegie stock powder
1 tablespoon miso paste
1 cup water (or more).

1/4 red cabbage, chopped
1/2 brown onion, diced
5 spring onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, diced
1/4 cauliflower, cut into small florets

1. Mix up batter by putting the flour, baking powder, stock and miso in a large mixing bowl. Add water until a pancake-like batter consistency has been reached.

2. Add the fillings (we used cabbage, onion and cauliflower but you could use any vegetables) and mix through the batter.

3. Heat vegetable oil in a saucepan and spoon batter into the pan. Cook on both sides until slightly golden (about 2 minutes both sides).

4. Serve with ketchup and mayo and cucumber on the side.

This recipe makes enough for 4 savory pancakes and they are very filling so that was all we needed for dinner. You could also try other fillings and toppings such as corn, nori, v.tonkatsu sauce etc.

Indicator Time

16 05 2009

We’ve now been in Japan for 2 months! Time has gone by so quickly.

This week we experimented with miso in our cooking with some awesome miso eggplant and tofu. I entered our average daily food into and we seem to have almost ‘by the book’ nutrition – we consume 60% of our 1800 calories from carbohydrates, 30% from fat and 10% from protein.

At school we had 2 groups of prospectives come view lessons. On Thursday 40 5th and 6th grade elementary students came to watch my Senior High School lesson (on electromagnetism) as there were no Junior high lessons when they came – talk about bad timing! So my classroom was invaded and no work or teaching could be done for 10 minutes while noisy children gathered and looked around the rather boring room. Then on Saturday the 5th grade parents came. We had been told that they would come in block 4. So they came in block 3. My students were stunned into silence by the 20 parents in the room staring at them and with all the complicated science vocab on the board I’m sure they looked like the most diligent students that have ever graced this planet. How far from the truth!

I managed several experiments this week- an acid and base reactions practical; red cabbage, litmus and UI paper tests (where the students all brought something from the dorm like milk, soda, shampoo, washing liquid etc to test its acidity); density practical and lighting a bunsen burner with the J-1 kids. It’s more effort as I have to set up the prac and clean it up myself, but the students have so much fun it’s worth it.

The students have mid-term tests/exams next week so the teachers are busy with revision, supervising after school study sessions, writing test papers and preparing for reports. Also this week I had Day Duty for the first time- one teacher each day has to write in a school diary the weather and absentees then lock up the two high school buildings after 5.30pm, ensuring that windows are shut and lights are off.

There seems to be a desire to shorten English words that can’t be shortened. for example, a supermarket and home centre was called “Super and Home”. If you look at a hairdressers you will often find prices for a “sham and cut”. Also in Japanese is a tendency to use English words in ways that we don’t – for examples dresses are called a one-piece.