Pekopeko – Okonomiyaki

I know what you’re thinking: What is this strange heading supposed to mean? Is that a post…

1. about a new Pokemon?
2. about the effects of drugs on human eloquence?
3. about strange autofill mechanisms?

Nope, nope, nope. I will introduce something culinary to you, something I found at the Restaurant Day in Berlin on August 17th.
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The so called ‘Restaurant Day’ takes place once every three months in Europe. Every passionate cook or baker can open their own restaurant for this one day. There were 6 pops-up restaurants in Berlin and the offer of savory Japanese pancakes Pekopeko offered sounded the most appealing to me.

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You could try the delicacy at the former airport Tempelhof, which is now a kind of huge park. Okonomiyaki is the name of these savory pancakes made basically of cabbage, flour and fish stock (the vegetarian version I had was made with water). The dough is baked on a hot plate and garnished with special Japanese sauces.

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Okonomiyaki is traditionally served on festivals and makes a good snack to go in Europe, as well. The organizer of the event has imported the recipe from its origin and according to the many customers , I assume Okonomiyaki has potential to be a real competitor for sushi.

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Now let me tell you about the taste: Okonomiyaki is best when served warm. There is a nice bite to the dought and it tastes fresh, since it contains cabbage. The sauces are salty and add an aroma to the dish, which I personally associate with Asian food. it is not easy to find a word for that. A combination of fruity and savory maybe? You’d better try yourselves.

If you want to visit Pekopeko’s pop-up restaurant, you should come over to Berlin for the next restaurant day, if you’re around. By this, you will support the organizers, so they might be able to open a real restaurant, offering the snack throughout the whole year.

Peace.

White Chocolate Strawberry Triffle

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In summer, it is often too hot to bake. But I have never wanted to miss a homemade dessert at the weekend, so I always look for a lot of no-bake desserts in July and August. Trifles have always worked for me this far – especially since I discovered something really neat.

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You can melt a bar of white chocolate in Rama heavy cream and beat the cream until stiff. You get a kind of mousse then which tastes like white chocolate and fits perfectly the consictency and aroma of juicy berries or other fruit.

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After going to a strawberry field, we had picked a huge amount of strawberries which I did not want to transform into jam. That is why I made these gorgeous triffles. 4 ingredients and about 15 minutes prep time, do I need to say more? Go ahead and try yourself.

White Chocolate Strawberry Triffle

(makes about 3 servings)

100 g white chocolate
250 ml (1 cup) Rama heavy cream
90 g (3 oz.) strawberries
1/2 cup chocolate crispies (I used Nesquik ABC)

First, you should prepare the heavy cream.
Chop the white chocolate and dissolve it in the cream over low heat in a small saucepan. Let the mixture cool overnight in the fridge.

Cut the strawberries into small cubes. You might add a little vanilla to the pieces.

In a medium-sized bowl, beat the heavy cream until stiff.

Layer chocolate crispies, cream and strawberries in cups. Serve immediately.

Fried Ice Cream

I’m not kidding. This is a recipe telling you how to make a heavenly hot and cold, a crispy and creamy contrast in a dessert.

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Frying ice cream is actually easier than it sounds and I was glad to find that out, because I had had an exploding churro incident not long ago and had quite repulsion towards frying food. But this recipe requires just a little timing, then everything should be all right.

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Here we go, some fried vanilla ice ceam balls, which taste best served with fresh fruit.

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Fried Ice Cream:

6 scoops of vanilla ice cream
50 g shortbread cookies, crushed
1 egg
8 tbsp breadcrumbs

oil, for frying

Scoop out the ice cream, press it into the form of a ball with your hands, if necessary. Roll the ice cream spheres in the crushed cookies, then place in the freezer for at least an hour.

Pour oil into a medium-sized or a small, but deep pan, about 4 cm (1 1/2 inches) and heat it up. You know it has the right temperature, when small bubbles appear from a wooden skewer placed in the oil.
Prepare a plate with paper towels for the fried scoops of ice cream.
While the oil is getting hot, take out the ice cream and roll the balls first in blended egg, then in breadcrumbs.

Carefully place each ball into the hot oil (a large spoon works best for that) and fry until the crust turns from pale to gold, about 90 seconds to 2 minutes. Carefully place the fried ball on the paper towel, then transfer to a plate.

You should serve this dessert immediately after preparing it, so the difference in temperature between crust and ice cream is bigger.