Learning To Cook With ‘Cooking Guide’ – Part Two

squiggely-drawn-chefHello ladies and gentlemen and welcome back to Learning To Cook With Cooking Guide. Filmed in front of a live studio audience with me your host, The Squiggly Chef.

(Loud applaud and more woots)


squiggely-drawn-chefLet’s all welcome back our very own kitchen cereal killer, yes, the girl who can’t cook Corn Flakes: Fran Shergold.

(Loud boos, projectiles thrown)

squiggely-drawn-chefIn part one of Learning To Cook With Cooking Guide, Fran had just finished preparing the ingredients for the popular Japanese savoury pancake:  Okonomiyaki, with the aid of Cooking Guide – Cant Decide What To Eat? on Nintendo DS. Well, she is now ready to turn up the heat – but we fear it may be literally.

squiggely-drawn-chefLast time, Fran ran off to do some much needed safety preparations before she could continue to cook. She is now back in the kitchen, fully fire resistant and with her Nintendo DS and portable Squiggly Chef to guide her. Lets get started.

Start cooking - Eeeek!

Hi, I’m Fran. I can’t even cook a cat – even after it decided to jump on the hot plate of its own free accord (I’m looking after my sister’s naughty cat – Lacy Linguine – and don’t worry, no harm has come to any animals in the making of this Japanese pancake.  Except bits of a pig. And some squid. And maybe some discomfort for a hen) . Once again my portable squiggly chef talks in bold type and me, myself and Fran is in plain, Jacobs Cream Cracker type.

The next step is to fry the batter. Have a frying pan and soup ladle and a fish slice ready.

Oh eeek! This is the part that involves fire at the end of part one – maybe I need to go and get that second fire blanket from the, err, pre-cooked Okonomiyaki store…

(BOOO! HISSS! COOK IT YOURSELF! Raw fish thrown in disgust)

ARRRRGH! OK, OKAAYY!… I have, er, the um, frying pan and I guess a really big spoon… might work instead of a ladle. What is a fish slice?  Anyway, lets put some of this oil in the frying pan…

First heat 10ml of cooking oil in a frying pan over a moderate heat.

Moderate heat – so in between a big and a small flame. Now I suppose I should press the ignite button and turn the hob nob… yum, hobnobs… Oh eck, we have fire!!! Let me put on my Pyramex V2G fire resistant goggles. So now I just put the frying pan with the oil in it, on top of the potentially scarring and deadly yet moderate flame. I’m aware that nothing else is protected except my eyes.  Well, I would look weird without eyebrows.  Or eyes.  Continue.

Use the soup ladle to pour enough of the batter for one serving into the pan, spreading it out so it has an even thickness.

Well, my big spoon appears to be not big enough, I’m sure it will perfectly fine if I just tip the lot in… Into the frying pan it goes. It doesn’t seem to be doing a lot at the moment which is probably down to the fact I never heated the oil first. I am pretty sure it will have to heat up eventually, so whilst I wait, I think I will pop on an episode of Baywatch.

What was that?

Erika Eleniak running in slow motion!  I’m watching season one – now twenty years old!!! Ohh now look, the batter is starting to fry, well I think that’s what it’s doing. Continue!Lumps of pork

Place the sliced pork on top of the batter.

Oh! I had totally forgotten about the pork. It’s not sliced either, no one said it needed to be sliced! Although it looks like someone sliced Erika’s bikini.  Hussy!   So, like in the picture I had better chop it up nice and neat and not… into ghastly lumps! Why won’t the knife work?  Why can I only shred pork savagely by stabbing it with a spoon!? Damn you squiggly chef!  I bet David Hasselhoff never had to cut pork with a spoon! Well not when sober anyway… (Sigh)

Next arrange the squid evenly on top of the pork.squid

I really do have a lot of squid – more squid than there is on level -1 of Super Mario Bros. Let’s just throw it all on, and the squid heads too, they’ll make a rather attractive centre piece.

Once the edges of the batter have started to set, turn the pancake over using the fish slice. The ideal moment to turn the pancake over is when the side facing down has become firm and the other side is still not fully set. Put the fish slice right under the pancake and flip it over in one movement.

I’ll be ready (I’ll be reeeeeaady), Never you fear (no don’t you fear), I’ll be ready. Forever and always, I’m always heeeere… (Unfortunately, the cheap Australian DVD I bought from CDwow has substituted the theme tune, so I’m just singing this to myself to stave off disappointment.  God bless you, YouTube!)

Oh, did I miss something?

Once the edges of the batter have started to set, turn the pancake over using the fish slice. The ideal moment to turn the pancake over is when the side facing down has become firm and the other side is still not fully set. Put the fish slice right under the pancake and flip it over in one movement.

I… err… Go back…

Once the edges of the batter have started to set, turn the pancake over using the fish slice. The ideal moment to turn the pancake over is when the side facing down has become firm and the other side is still not fully set. Put the fish slice right under the pancake and flip it over in one movement.

Ok I think I got it that time – turn fish over, facing firm side fully, slice under flip movement. Continue!

Reduce to a low heat and press down slightly with the fish slice so the pancake cooks throughBurnt.

Oh crap – flipping of the pancake didn’t go so well… Maybe all this pressing down slightly can be used to squash it all back together! Hmm, most of the squid has ended up on the floor. I can’t remember, is there still the 10 second rule or is it less these days?  One hand one bounce!

Once the pancake starts to brown, turn it over once again and continue frying.

Turn it over, AGAIN!!

To check how well cooked the pancake is, pierce the centre of the pancake with a skewer. If no batter sticks to the skewer, its ready. Turn off the heat.squashed back together

I seem to have failed in turning the pancake over again. Stupid spoon. Great for stabbing pork, rubbish for flipping pancakes!  Shame no one told me about some sort of  food turner with a broad blade.  Brilliant, what the Japanese call a fish slice, we call a spatula.  What we call a fish slice, they call a triangular knife.  And then give it to Taki to fight with in the Soul Blade/Calibur series.  I can’t find a skewer either so I will use this tooth pick to test if it’s cooked. But I will pretend I am Voldo while doing it.  What the?

(loud gasps, someone faints)

It’s actually cooked! And not just the burnt bits!! Continue!!covering the burnt parts

Coat the top of the pancake with the okonomiyaki sauce.

Just grabbing my, er okonomiyaki sauce which is not at all Chinese BBQ sauce which was on offer at Tesco’s. I’ll just whack it all over. AH HAA! This is obviously used to hide the burnt parts. Well played Japan, well played.

Next add mayonnaise on top of the sauce.

I’ve got some sort of Dreamcast swirl going on here. But I think if Sega see this mess, they may get offended.Mayo and Pika Pee!

Garnish with flakes of dried bonito, dried green seaweed and red pickled ginger and it’s ready to serve!

Will small bits of dried seaweed in the shape of Pikachu do?

Well done!

Holy dried seaweed shapes on fried eggy mess, Batman – it actually tastes like Japan!  Even without bonito flakes.  I managed not to burn my pancake, or my DS in frustration!  I can cook better than Mama! (Insert my face being transformed into Japanese smiley cartoon face here.  Super cooking happy time! Hai!!!)


squiggely-drawn-chefCongratulations Fran, you have (nearly) successfully made okonomiyaki! For your prize, you get the gift of over another 200 recipes to attempt. During which time, I will mistake a mouse sneezing 3 miles away as being the command ‘continue’. And any actual cooking preparation will sound, to my squiggly ears, exactly like ‘go back’.  But despite your desire to throw me on each and every hard cooking surface, when you use my timer during a recipe, I will reward you with the Game and Watch mini game ‘Chef’  to play… while you desire to throw me on each and every hard surface – whether it’s to do with cooking or not.

squiggely-drawn-chefBut let’s face it, no matter how frustrating it was, you cooked something tasty.  Which you never would have done with something as boring as a book. Give her a round of applause!

(A tumbleweed gently blows past)

squiggely-drawn-chefSee you next time on Learning To Cook With Cooking Guide!







7 responses to “Learning To Cook With ‘Cooking Guide’ – Part Two”

  1. arc14716 avatar

    Well, that didn’t turn out too bad. Well done.

  2. Carole avatar

    Well DOne! Did you eat it? How was it….?

  3. Fran avatar

    Thank you! I am actually shocked how well the dish did turn out. I never meant for it to turn out so well. Hahaha! I never cook anything from scratch. I really am a cooking loser.
    But some how even with the substitute ingredients and the classic Fran bodging together it somehow tasted just like the Okonomiyaki I had in Japan.
    I really do think that I would have never even tried to cook that had it not had been for the Cooking Guide . I’m looking forward to my next encounter with Mr squiggly chef! 😀

  4. Scott avatar

    Brilliant stuff, Fran; I’m glad it turned out great in the end! It’s great to see a real application of this after we (sort of) previewed it at EIF last year.

    “The girl who can’t cook Corn Flakes” made me burst out laughing. ;D

  5. Stacy K avatar
    Stacy K

    Mmmm, it looks very tasty! I’m a bit of a cooking freak. I used to be unable even to make a pot noodle but now I cook all the time. Always fancied Cooking Guide DS, I might go for it on payday.

  6. Claire avatar

    Fantastically written, and so very realistic with regards to the DS Squiggly chef commands… me bubbling water makes him Go Back!

    While my little boy squealing while he Throws the sloth of a cliff on the xBox game ice Age, makes Squiggly chef Continue!


  7. Lorna avatar

    Great article! I look forward to the end of the year by which time you will probably have DSed up a towering cake of brethtaking complexity 😀

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