Okonomiyaki: Crispy Pancake, Cabbage, Bean Sprouts, and House-made Spam

Adapted by StarChefs.com
Yield: 6 to 8 Servings

INGREDIENTS:

House-made Spam
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup thinly sliced shallots
3 tablespoons minced garlic
2 ounces brandy
1 ounce sugar
2¼ ounces salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon tinted cure mix
3/4 teaspoon pâté spice (equal parts cumin, coriander, paprika, cayenne, clove, and fennel seeds)
4½ pounds pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes
2 pounds ham, cut into 2-inch cubes
½ cup heavy cream
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons potato starch
Okonomi Sauce
1 cup ketchup
½ cup Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
Batter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
Pinch sugar
21/3 cups dashi
½ cup onion, thinly sliced
1 quart loosely packed bean sprouts, green caps removed
1 quart thinly sliced and tightly packed cabbage
To Assemble and Serve
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup bonito flakes
2 anori (dried seaweed)
Kewpie mayonnaise

METHOD:

For the House-made Spam:
Heat vegetable oil in a pan, sweat the shallots and garlic, and deglaze with 1.5 ounces of brandy. Cool. Combine the sugar, salt, pepper, tinted cure mix, and pate spice. Combine the pork and ham cubes in a large bowl. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the pork mixture. In a meat grinder, grind the pork and ham through a large dye. Combine half of the ground mixture with the shallot-brandy mixture, and grind though a small dye.

Whisk together heavy cream, eggs, potato starch, and 0.5 ounces brandy. Transfer the ground meat to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Turn on the mixer, and slowly incorporate the cream mixture. When all the cream is incorporated, take a small amount of the meat, wrap it in a plastic wrap, and poach in simmering water. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Put the mixture in a plastic wrap-lined terrine mold, and cover with plastic wrap. Put another terrine mold on top of the meat, filled with 3 pounds of weight. Press overnight in a refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Remove the weight and cover the terrine with foil.
Cook in a bain-marie for about 2 hours, until the center reaches 147 ºF. Put the weighted terrine mold back on the cooked spam, and press overnight in the refrigerator.

Unmold the spam and cut it into ½-inch size cubes. Wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerated, the spam will last for a few weeks.

For the Okonomi Sauce:
Whisk together ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and honey.

For the Batter:
Whisk together the flour, rice flour, salt, and sugar. Pour in the dashi, and whisk until smooth. Stir in the onion, bean sprouts, and cabbage.

To Assemble and Serve:
Heat the vegetable oil on medium-high in a non-stick pan. Add 7 to 8 House-made Spam cubes. Pour in 1½ cups Batter on top of House-made Spam; gently press and shape the Batter to the size of the pan. Cook for 5 minutes or until the bottom of the okonomiyaki turns golden brown, adding more oil, if necessary. Flip the okonomiyaki to show off your pancake flipping skills (or use a spatula). Cook 5 minutes more, or until the other side browns. Cut into 6 or 8 pieces. Plate the okonomiyaki pieces and sauce generously with Okonomi Sauce and Kewpie mayonnaise. Garnish with scallions, bonito flakes, and dried seaweed. Serve immediately, as the bonito flakes moves with the heat from okonomiyaki.