Sunday Up Market on Brick Lane is the perfect place to nip in for some street food from all over the world. My nose led me to a Japanese stall last weekend where I tried something completely new: okonomiyaki and onigiri. It was the only stall with an exceptionally long queue rather than a mass of people crowding to be served. And, it smelled absolutely delicious.
I’m not a fan of veggies, generally. I’m a carnivore. This afternoon, however, I went vegetarian and it was, admittedly, scrumptious.
Okonomiyaki is a savoury “pancake”. It can be made with a variety of ingredients, but these particular ones has cabbage and some other veggies like corn which were mixed together in a bowl (probably with something else I didn’t see). This mixture is scooped onto a grill in a plate-sized heap, covered with cheese and left under a lid to cook and brown slightly on the top. After a while, it is brushed with a “special” sauce, cooked a bit longer and then scooped onto a plate. It is then drizzled with mayo and seaweed flakes and handed to you with a fork.
On the side, you can order onigiri. Again, there are many ways to make these, but the one I had was a triangular rice “ball” cooked in sesame oil and smothered in garlic soy sauce. At the end, it is taken out of the pan and wrapped in a rectangular piece of seaweed.
My experience of Japanese food comes entirely from all sorts of sushi, so this was a great taste of something new.