To ensure I don’t fall into a hermit-like existence that may eventually find me bottling my own urine and wearing kleenex boxes as shoes, I’ve decided to make more of an effort to get out, meet new people, and try new things.  As a result, several weeks ago, Akemi and I attended a macaron-making class.  And last night, it was an okonomiyaki-making gathering hosted by a local Japanese-Canadian social group.

For those of you who don’t know, okonomiyaki (sometimes erroneously referred to as “Japanese pizza”) is a savory Japanese pancake containing flour, eggs, cabbage, green onions, grated Japanese mountain potatoes, water, and dashi that is grilled, then topped with an special okonomiyaki sauce, mayo, dried seaweed, and bonito.  Extra ingredients include (but are not limited to): pork, octopus, shrimp, beef, chicken, squid, kimchi, mochi, cheese, veggies, and noodles.

Akemi and I were one of the first to arrive, promptly at 5:00 (per instructions in the email) without our chopsticks (contrary to instructions in the email).  Fortunately, someone brought extras and we were thus able to complete the Osaka experience rather than fake it with a knife and fork.

April 29, 2012: Okonomiyaki 101!
Some of the ingredients for that night's lesson - although Akemi doesn't really need the instructions. For the record, she makes a pretty terrific okonomiyaki all on her own.
April 29, 2012: Okonomiyaki 101!
While everyone set up and Akemi helped by chopping vegetables in the tiny kitchen, I stood by and made sure to keep the fire exit clear and unobstructed.
April 29, 2012: Okonomiyaki 101!
Shaun, the master of ceremonies, knows what he's doing.
April 29, 2012: Okonomiyaki 101!
The all-important batter, the glue that holds this culinary creation together. It helps that it actually has the consistency of glue.
April 29, 2012: Okonomiyaki 101!
Shaun demonstrates proper grilling technique.
April 29, 2012: Okonomiyaki 101!
April 29, 2012: Okonomiyaki 101!
We broke up into groups and made our own versions. I was partial to the cheese/mochi combo.
April 29, 2012: Okonomiyaki 101!
The flip is really the most challenging part of the process. A bad one can prove disastrous. And very messy.
April 29, 2012: Okonomiyaki 101!
The finished product is adorned with okonomiyaki sauce and mayo, usually in a cross-hatch pattern to discourage predatory birds.
April 29, 2012: Okonomiyaki 101!
Akemi shows the gang a thing or two.
April 29, 2012: Okonomiyaki 101!
For dessert = mochi, those glutinous rice cakes that cause more annual deaths in Japan than fugu poisoning.
April 29, 2012: Okonomiyaki 101!
Damn. Forgot to snap a pic of the home made chocolate chip cookies Akemi made for the event, so you'll have to settle for her adorable accompanying note.

After last night’s lesson, I feel confident enough to make my own emergency okonomiyaki should the need arrive.

Well, onto the next event!  Last month was macarons.  This month was okonomiyaki.  Next month, Akemi and I attend our first garroting instructional.  Can’t wait!


Tim Bullock writes: “Joe. did you here about the StarGate reboot to be announced at Com-con this Summer in some from?”

Answer: I’m aware of the project, but “reboot” is the wrong term.  It implies a new film or television series which isn’t the case here.

38 thoughts on “April 29, 2012: Okonomiyaki 101!

  1. Dang it. Your opening paragraph totally means I can’t use my planned similar line in my comments about “The Rocketeer” tomorrow!

    Those okonomiyaki sound intriguing, but boy they sure look messy. Myself, I’ve decided to actually try macarons, maybe this week. Or next.

    I thought surely I misremembered the meaning of the term garrotting. But… I guess not. Sounds like it could be quite fulfilling, if you invite the “right” people.

    Just got home (again) this time from my trip to New Hampshire. *tired*

  2. Very cool!!! You do a great job of explaining everything in the pictures, and it looks so good.

    Well, we are done with baseball season. Older son’s team lost their tournament game this afternoon. It has been a real learning experience having the losing season that we did, but I am proud of all of the boys. Looking forward to next year!

    Have a great night!!!!!

  3. Lets be honest here, if MGM were reviving Stargate they’d put a little more effort into it besides a cryptic comment here and there, a we’re working on a new Stargate series, even a reboot announcement to the public would be the most likely of actions. Not this.

    If they decide to not reuse the old talent(As in the staff who worked on the previous shows) they would announce a few names who will work on the project when ready.

    I’m expecting nothing.

    Besides, if anything should be revived, it should be Stargate Universe, the only Stargate show currently without a conclusion!

    Even if its just a blank screen with scrolling text Star Wars style saying blah blah everyone made it home, such and such died, discovered this, found out that this is destinys ultimate location, the end.

    Btw. In all seriousness, if a Stargate project is done in the future, I hope they bring everyone back who has worked on the production/writing side if possible. It’s only right. You’ve made MGM untold millions after all in profit, not your fault that other projects lost MGM money and made them in debt to begin with 🙂

  4. “To ensure I don’t fall into a hermit-like existence that may eventually find me bottling my own urine and wearing kleenex boxes as shoes…”

    OMG that took me back! Nooooo, not the bottling my own urine!, but the wearing kleenex boxes as shoes. I had forgotten until you said that, but I use to do that when I was a kid. Who needed stinking shoes! Oh the memories you just provided! Thanks for that!

    The okonomiyaki looks delicious! You need to broaden your horizons even more and also take some art classes. I bet Akemi would be an excellent artists. (painter, drawing, potter)

  5. @ Shiningwit
    @ Deni – congrats to both of you gradma’s to be. Deni may your little grandson or grandaughter take after their Aunt Riley and never have a bad hair day, look naturally beautiful all the time and be ready to go anywhere at a moments notice. (and potty trained quicker) Where is our picture of the day?

  6. Hey, Joe!

    If you do decide to go for the kleenex box shoes.. be sure to think long term and go for the lotion kleenex brand.

  7. @ Randomness

    I think it was in 2009 that Dean Devlin & Roland Emmerich announced that Kurt Russell & James Spader were signed on to make 2 sequels to the 1994 Stargate movie after the Stargate franchises finished their television run. Since the storyline picks up 10-15 years after the end of the original movie and in no way resembles SG-1, SGA, or SGU story cannons MGM was going to wait until Stargate was well off the airwaves before green lighting the sequels. I have no idea if that’s what will be announced at Comic Con or not, but it wouldn’t surprise me since it has technically “been in the works” for a few years and the fact that MGM is in a better position financially nowadays to make a movie based off of one of its better known name brands.

  8. its an ipad app, which would be more prudent project than a new live show at the moment. Can’t say if its a game, but whatever it is, the company behind it sounds like it wants to give way to a new experience, something more visceral perhaps.

  9. @ Deni – That Riley is an adorable thing, even if I am a bit annoyed with dogs right now. See…I went over to a friend’s place today to help in their garden (imagine – I’m helping Mexicans with gardening! It’s kinda funny when you think about it…). Anyways…while I was on my hands and knees pulling weeds, their two male pups – an English bulldog and a Lab, took one look at my backside and said, “Woo! Doggy style!’ 😛

    No worries…my virtue is intact. But let me tell you, they both got a stern talking to.

    @ Tam Dixon – If it involves full make-up, and a hair brush…you bet! 😀

    @ Joe – Take out the fishy stuff, and okonomiyaki sounds very good! Much like a frittata, no?

    In other news, after I got gang jumped by the dogs, I went over to another friend’s house to watch a movie. They bought a home theater projector for cheap, hung a large (clean) dropcloth across their garage door, and made their very own home theater. They only use the garage for laundry and a kids’ playroom, so there was plenty of room. We watched Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocal, and it was excellent! Also, for some really weird reason I thought Cruise was superhawt. The man has never appealed to me, especially after the couch thing, along with some of his crazy comments. But he really had something in this film, and I liked it. Makes me feel kinda sullied, and unusual, especially seeing as how I have long put him in the ‘creap’ catagory. Anyway, for now I’m blaming hormones, it”s the only thing that makes sense.


  10. I love a good okonomiyaki and those look great! I’m just glad I’ve already got a dinner date lined up with friends to hit the best place in the LA area (in Lomita) 2 weeks from now. Also, they serve a great selection of sakes ad blueberry beer – which is way more awesome than it sounds.

    I also heard about the SG app, but not of any new film/tv projects.

  11. @ deni & shiningwit

    Congratulations to you and yours! I’m a Dec. 23 baby, and a dear friend was born on Dec. 18.

    Please pass on this morsel of wisdom to parents-to-be. My mother’s OB/GYN reommended she prepare early for the 1956 holidays, because she might give birth anywhere between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Mom said it was the only year she ever completed ALL Christmas preparations for my elder siblings.

    After 56 years of medical advances, though, your childrens’ docs probably can predict a more accurate due date…. 🙂

  12. Did you remember to bring your own “manly” apron this time? I saw that Akemi was very fashionable in her apron. I think that keeping the way clear for any possible fire is an important job. Looks like you did a good job. No fire injuries, right?

  13. Hey Joe, what is this new Stargate going to be then if not a reboot? Also, do you know if there are any plans to ever release SG-1 onto Blu-Ray?

  14. Your garroting instructional gave me images of Akemi distracting someone with her cute doe eyes, sliding a length of piano wire out of her belt, and slipping it over their head when they bend to examine one of her bento boxes. I clearly have watched too many assassin movies.

  15. The okonomiyaki looks fantastic! You’ve inspired me to make it tonight. I have everything but the okonomiyaki sauce and Japanese mayo. But I’ll make due.

  16. Woke up to find the news of Joel Goldsmith’s passing. We’ve lost a good one, and although I never met the man, I’m very sad.

    @Ponytail and baterista9: Thank you! RPOTD (Riley picture of the day) coming up in a while, it was a crazy busy day yesterday. Today doesn’t promise to be much better – time to bathe and shave the Cocker and the Springer again. Oy. Riley will think this is BIG fun. 🙁

    @Das: Nothing wrong with Cruise’s looks, nothing at all….:) Poor you with the dogs! Training really is everything. 🙂

  17. Hey Joe… wondering if you heard the sad new of Joel Goldsmith’s passing yesterday. His score added so much to your stories on the various Stargate shows.

  18. Just adding my sadness on Joel’s passing. His music for Stargate was an inspiration.

  19. The okonomiyaki sounds good! I’ve always enjoyed cooking classes. It’s a good couple thing too. What cooking class are you planning next?

    Congratulations Deni & Shiningwit! It’s going to be a busy holiday season for both of you.

    R. I. P. to Mr. Joel Goldsmith 🙁

  20. Mochi! I bought some from T&T and was entirely disappointed with the soap-like taste. Nothing like the one I tried at the Sakura Festival at Van Dusen. Any recommendations on where I can purchase some decent ones?

  21. So sad to hear about Joel’s passing. 🙁 He, and his talent, will be missed.

    @ Deni – Remind me not to post late at night – it’s Protocol. 😛 I hate when I misspell stuff I know.

    Also, I still say Cruise has done something because he looks really good. Perhaps he’s lost some weight. I normally don’t look twice at old guys, so he had to do something different to catch my eye. He’s going to be in the upcoming Jack Reacher movie (a book series by Lee Child that I really need to look into), so maybe he’s been really working at keeping fit for these high action flicks.

    Also, LOVE the picture of Riley. The others look so thrilled with having a pesky kid around, too. 😆


  22. Am sure many have left a message on this blog already but…..

    R.I.P. Joel Goldsmith – your music will forever be in my heart and your genius live on forever….

    Carol xx

  23. Joe, my condolences to everyone who knew Joel Goldsmith. He certainly touched the rest of us.

    And on my previous post, that should be “do” and not “due”. I’m my own worst grammar nazi.

  24. What’s funny is I’d never tried okonomiyaki until a couple weeks ago. I was at Baconfest Chicago 2012, and there was a booth there from a restaurant in Chicago called Chizakaya (

    They made a “Baconomiyaki” that was really great.

    I shot a quick video of them building one that you can watch on YouTube here:

  25. Hi Mr M!

    Just heard about the sad news re: Joel.

    Before my Vancouver trip in 2008, I uploaded from my CDs, the available soundtracks to SG1 and SGA. I listened to them on the plane (8 hour flight) and again on the bus to The Bridge Studios.
    When we did the tour of the sets, I took the time to pop on the headphones, and listen to his theme, as I walked around “Atlantis”. It’s a special memory.

    Some 3 weeks previous to my trip, I was at a special Sci Fi Show in our National Concert Hall in Dublin. There, the National Symphony Orchestra played a host of Sci Fi themes, including Blade Runner, Total Recall, Star Wars etc. As a finale, they played David Arnold’s theme AND the SG1 theme!! Pure coincidence, however, at the time I felt it was *just* for me!!

    I can only assume that Don S Davis and himself are chatting about old times “on the other side”. Rest easy Joel, God Speed and Thank you.


  26. Quite a lot of reactions from Stargate cast and crew on twitter regarding Goldsmiths passing if people haven’t seen already.

    Might want to look at the Brian J Smith twitter later as he’s going to post some of his fav Goldsmith SGU stuff.

    Anyway sad day in Stargate land 🙁

  27. @PBMom: No kidding, you probably all think I’m lying through my teeth! Oh yeah, just when I thought it was safe to let her up on my bed, she peed in it again. Now I’m doing laundry till the cows come home. 🙁 Meanwhile, she’s off playing with all her toys, oblivious to the world!

  28. Shocked and saddened to hear about Joel Goldsmith’s death. His music on Stargate gave it a cinematic feel. It never walked over the scenes. It enhanced them. I loved all of the themes to the shows and don’t have one favourite, I have so many. I particularly remember the beautiful music to the final scenes of Stargate Universe Gauntlet and Stargate Atlantis’ Beyond the Night (although when I think of that I smile at the thought of Paul McGillion, James Bamford, Chris Heyerdahl, Chuck Campbell etc dancing at a con.

    For Joel:

    *standing ovation*


  29. I never used to like Okonomiyaki until I went to Hiroshima, the birth place of this dish. Wow! completely changed my opinion. They make it slightly differently than the standard okonomiyaki. Instead of mixing everything in a bowl, the make it layer by layer on a cooking plate. In Hiroshima there is this one building in town that has 5 or 6 floors full of Okonomiyaki restaurants. amazing! And it was huge!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.