Did you know? Local food in Tokyo: “Monjayaki” and how to make it

Have you heard of Japanese junk food, ‘Monja Yaki’? It was a popular and affordable food in Tokyo when Japan was poor. This article will show you how to cook and eat ‘Monja Yaki’.

Do you know a type of food named Monjayaki? You might know about Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki, but have never heard of Monjayaki before.

They are all made with flour. Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki are food from Osaka, but Monjayaki is from Tokyo.

After the war, Japan had little things left, and Monja was a very easy meal made with flour and cabbage that makes you full. They were snacks for poor children. But they are still loved by people in Tokyo, especially in Asakusa (famous for the Asakusa temple), and Tsukishima (they have a street named Monja Street).

Today we will show you how to make and eat Monjayaki!

How to make Monjayaki

Monjayaki is made with a mix of flour, water and sauce, and cabbage strips and other ingredients of your choice.

The most popular ingredients are mentaiko, cheese, and mochi!

First, spread the oil evenly on the griddle.

Next, put the cabbage and other ingredients on the griddle without pouring in the flour mixture.

After that, stir-fry the ingredients thoroughly until the cabbage is soft.

This is about it!

Next, use the two spatulas and cut the cabbage into pieces!

Rock them spatulas!!!!

It’s harder to eat if the cabbage isn’t cut enough, so try to chop them as much as you can.

Then, use the ingredients and create an open circle. Make sure to do it carefully without leaving any space open around the circle!

Looking pretty good!

After you’ve made the circle, pour the flour mixture you left out into the circle.

Pour slowly to avoid the circle to fall apart, maybe dividing them up three times.

The mixture is sometimes flavored already or without any flavors. It depends on the restaurant. They aren’t flavored if the mixture is white, so use the sauce on the table!

If done perfectly, it’s like this. Leave it like this for about three minutes over a medium heat.

When the surface starts boiling, use the spatula and destroy the circle!

Mix them up!

After mixing them, spread them out.

After putting the cheese topping on, wait for another three minutes.

If the surface is melted and shiny, it’s all done! Time to eat!

How to eat Monjayaki

We eat off directly from the griddle, stripping off small bits of them with miniature spatulas.

Let’s eat! The surface is still a little rare, so it’s very soft.

The crisp parts are called “okoge.” You have to tear them off from the griddle.

They taste good and different from the surface. There are some people who love the okoge part the most.

Monjayaki gets burnt very easily, so turn the heat to a low tempurature and eat them up quickly!

How was the article? Not many Japanese people can make the Monjayaki perfectly either.

Be sure to get the hang of it and enjoy this local food!

If you want to make this at home, use these ingredients as reference.

Monjayaki's Ingredients as Reference

Flour Mixture

  • Flour: 25g
  • Water: 3-4 cups
  • Cabbage strips: ⅓ cabbage
  • Soy Sauce: 2 tablespoons
  • Oyster Sauce: 3 tablespoons

Topping

  • 1 Mentaiko (the marinated roe of pollock and cod)
  • Mochi cut in 3x3 cm squares
  • Shreaded cheese used for pizza: 50g

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Written by y_a_j_i

This is Yaji that was born in Nagano and living Tokyo now. I love drinking, especially Japanese sake and Japanese tapas. I will introduce many great restaurants and bars all over Tokyo!

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