Monjayaki

6 Dec

ImageFirst of all, if my count is correct, this is my 50th post!  Hurray!  Thank you to everyone who has been following my blog.  I know my life isn’t that exciting, but I do have fun writing about it.  So I hope that I can make the next 50 posts interesting, also!

On to the subject of this post… on Monday, my coworkers at Showa Elementary School took me out for monjayaki for my birthday!  I really love everyone at Showa Elementary… they’re all wonderful teachers and very kind people who have been nothing but helpful, friendly, and understanding to me.  I asked two of the teachers if they wanted to get dinner for my birthday… and they proceeded to invite half the school!  I was surprised, but I had a lot of fun, and they taught me how to make monjayaki!

ImageMonjayaki is a type of Japanese food that I believe originated in the Kansai region of Japan (the area around Osaka and Kyoto). I’m a little unclear as to what all the ingredients are, but there’s some sort of watery batter-type thing, cabbage, small shrimp, and then other flavorings and ingredients– for example, we had one with kimchee, one with curry, and one with fried noodles.  Like other popular Japanese pancake-esque foods such as okonomiyakimonjayaki is cooked on a flat grill at the table by the diners.  One first uses metal spatulas to cut down the solid ingredients into small pieces, then adds the liquid and cooks it all together.    It’s then eaten while still incredibly hot with the diner’s own personal tiny metal spatula thing. This lends itself quite easily to the diner burning her mouth while eating, but it’s also quite delicious!  Apparently, the name of monjayaki comes from the fact that making it is sort of like writing a character (moji is Japanese for written character, eg a kanji, a katakana, an alphabet letter, a greek letter, etc), and somehow the name morphed to monja over time? And then yaki means to fry/cook in any way that isn’t boiling, basically.  

We also had okonomiyaki, but while konomu means “to like,” no one I’ve asked so far has been quite certain as to where the name came from.  I suppose the person who invented it really liked okonomiyaki.  

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2 Responses to “Monjayaki”

  1. Alicia December 6, 2012 at 4:47 am #

    Glassman always said that it was okonomiyaki because you yakied it as you’d like. Like to the taste. or something.

    • jetsetjoshu December 6, 2012 at 4:51 am #

      I see! You learn something new every day. None of my Japanese coworkers had any idea.

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