Mizuame is a sweetener from Japan, translated to "water candy". A clear, sticky liquid, it is made by converting starch to sugars. Mizuame is added to wagashi to give them a sheen, eaten in ways similar to honey, can be a main ingredient in sweets. Mizuame is produced in a similar fashion to corn syrup and is similar in taste. Two methods are used to convert the starches to sugars; the traditional method is to take glutinous rice mixed with malt and let the natural enzymatic process take place, converting the starch to syrup. The second and more common method uses potatoes or sweet potatoes as the starch source, added acid, such as hydrochloric, sulfuric or nitric acids. If done by the first method, the final product, known as mugi mizuame, is considered more flavorful than the potato version. Barley malt syrup Corn syrup List of syrups Davidson, Alan. Oxford Companion to Food. "Mizuame", p. 510 ISBN 0-19-211579-0 Media related to Mizuame at Wikimedia Commons
Okonomiyaki is a Japanese savory pancake containing a variety of ingredients. The name is derived from the word okonomi, meaning "how you like" or "what you like", yaki meaning "cooked". Okonomiyaki is associated with the Kansai or Hiroshima areas of Japan, but is available throughout the country. Toppings and batters tend to vary according to region. In Tokyo, there is a semi-liquid okonomiyaki called'monjayaki.' Kansai- or Osaka-style okonomiyaki is the predominant version of the dish, found throughout most of Japan. The batter is made of flour, grated nagaimo, water or dashi and shredded cabbage, contains other ingredients such as green onion, octopus, shrimp, konjac, mochi or cheese. Okonomiyaki is sometimes compared to an omelette or a pancake and may be referred to as a "Japanese pizza" or "Osaka soul food"; some okonomiyaki restaurants are grill-it-yourself establishments, where the server produces a bowl of raw ingredients that the customer mixes and grills at tables fitted with teppan, or special hotplates.
They may have a diner-style counter where the cook prepares the dish in front of the customers. In Osaka, where this dish is said to have originated, okonomiyaki is prepared much like a pancake; the batter and other ingredients are pan-fried on both sides on either a teppan or a pan using metal spatulas that are used to slice the dish when it has finished cooking. Cooked okonomiyaki is topped with ingredients that include otafuku/okonomiyaki sauce, katsuobushi, Japanese mayonnaise, pickled ginger; when served with a layer of fried noodles, the resulting dish is called modan-yaki, the name of which may be derived from the English word "modern" or as a contraction of mori dakusan, meaning "a lot" or "piled high" signifying the volume of food from having both noodles and okonomiyaki. Negiyaki is a thinner variation of okonomiyaki made with a great deal of scallions, comparable to Korean pajeon and Chinese green onion pancakes. In Hiroshima, the ingredients are layered rather than mixed; the layers are batter, cabbage and optional items such as squid and cheese.
Noodles are used as a topping with fried egg and a generous amount of okonomiyaki sauce. The amount of cabbage used is three to four times the amount used in the Osaka style, it starts out piled high and is pushed down as the cabbage cooks. The order of the layers may vary depending on the chef's style and preference, ingredients vary depending on the preference of the customer; this style is called Hiroshima-yaki or Hiroshima-okonomi. Okonomi-mura, in Naka-ku in Hiroshima, was the top food theme park destination for families in Japan according to an April 2004 poll. Tsukishima district in Tokyo is popular for both monjayaki. Monjayaki is a runny variant of okonomiyaki; the main street of this town is called "Monja Street". In Hamamatsu, takuan is mixed in okonomiyaki. In Okinawa, okonomiyaki is thinner than in other areas. People cook it at home, so there are few okonomiyaki restaurants in Okinawa, with none of them serving hirayachi. In Hinase, oysters are mixed in okonomi-yaki, to make kaki-oko.
In Kishiwada, Osaka, a variation of okonomiyaki called kashimin-yaki is made of chicken and tallow instead of pork. In Fuchū, okonomiyaki is made with ground meat instead of bacon. In Tokushima Prefecture, kintoki-mame is mixed in okonomiyaki. Food researcher Tekishū Motoyama has pointed out that a sort of thin crepe-like confection called funoyaki may be an early precursor, though it hardly includes the bare elements that makes it identifiable as okonomiyaki. Records of the word funoyaki occurs as far back as the 16th century, Sen no Rikyū writes about it, but what it was can only be speculated, may have involved the use of fu, though by the late Edo period, funoyaki referred to a thin crepe baked on a cooking pot, with miso basted on one side. This, Motoyama writes, was modified into a form using nerian and came to be called gintsuba in Kyoto and Osaka moved to Edo where it was named kintsuba, of which Sukesōyaki, a specialty of Kōjimachi, was one variant. In the Meiji Era, the confection was taken up by the dagashiya trade.
After the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake when people lacked amenities it became sort of a pastime to cook these crepes. This fad gained great popularity, soon, besides the sweet types, savory types using fish and various meat began appearing. A simpler version of okonomiyaki, made with available ingredients, became popular in Japan during World War II when there was a short supply of rice; the wheat pancake was nutritious and inexpensive and was served as a snack to children. The issen yōshoku of Kyoto, started around the Taishō era may have been the primitive form of okonomiyaki, as it uses Worcestershire sauce and chopped scallion. Okonomiyaki and takoyaki are popular street fare in Asia, such as in Taipei and Jakarta. What is Okonomiyaki? - Okonomiyaki, an Overview. The history of Okonomiyaki and Okonomiyaki sauce in Hiroshima. "As-you-like-it Pancake" – Okonomiyaki. Dohtonbori