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Enjoy the local flavors of Asakusa by trying ‘monjayaki’!



2021.10.07 (Thu)

By Charlotte, long-term Tokyo resident & history-loving traveler

Have you ever heard of the Japanese dish ‘monjayaki’? Said to have originated during the Edo period in what is now Asakusa, Taito City, ‘monjayaki’ is a dish made from a batter prepared by combining flour and water. This batter is then seasoned with sauce or dashi, mixed with ingredients such as cabbage, tempura flakes, and squid, before being grilled on an iron plate. For those of you who are familiar with ‘okonomiyaki,’ you may think that the two dishes are similar, but ‘monjayaki’ is made with a looser batter that contains more water than the batter for ‘okonomiyaki.’

When grilling ‘monjayaki,’ start by frying just the ingredients while chopping them into small pieces with the spatula. After the ingredients are cooked, gather them into a donut-shaped ring and pour the batter into the center of the ring. Once the batter starts to firm up, mix everything together. When the ‘monjayaki’ starts to reach your preferred level of doneness, scoop it up from the iron plate using a small spatula called ‘hagashi.’ The toppings for ‘monjayaki’ vary across different restaurants, but the most popular kinds of toppings seem to be pork, ‘mentaiko’ (spicy cod roe), ‘mochi’ (rice cakes), and cheese.

Tsurujiro in Asakusa, Taito City, serves delicious ‘monjayaki’ made with high-quality ingredients, including dashi stock using chicken and several kinds of vegetables and simmered over a three-day period to concentrate the flavors of the ingredients. At Tsurujiro, you can not only enjoy different kinds of ‘monjayaki’ such as “mentaiko, mochi, and cheese monjayaki” and “pork and kimchi monjayaki,” but even order ‘monjayaki’ that is customized with your favorite toppings. This restaurant also has an English menu and a video on how to cook ‘monjayaki’ with English subtitles that will make you feel very welcome indeed!

Since ‘monjayaki’ is said to have originated in Asakusa, why don't you try this dish at Tsurujiro in Asakusa? Click here for more information about Tsurujiro!

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