- Main lore areas
Tsukishima area, all over Tokyo
- Main ingredients used
Flour, cabbage, red ginger, corn, sakura shrimp, tenkasu, bonito flakes, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce
- History/origin/related events
Monja is a dish in which ingredients are mixed with flour that has been loosely dissolved in water, baked on a griddle, and eaten hot with a spatula for each person.
The origin of monja dates back to the late Edo period (1603-1867), when it was sold as an affordable snack in front of a candy shop in Tsukishima. Around the 1950s, when food was scarce, simple monjayaki, made by dissolving udon flour and adding soy sauce and syrup, was widely popular among children. From the end of the Edo period to the Meiji era (1868-1912), when supplies were scarce, children who did not have easy access to paper and calligraphy tools would write letters on a griddle with dough made from wheat flour dissolved in water to teach and play with, hence the name "mojiyaki." The word "moji" turned to "monja" and changed to "monja . With the postwar economic growth, monja evolved by adding ingredients such as cabbage, corn and fried eggs, but at the same time, the number of dagashiya, which children had grown familiar with, declined dramatically. Several monjayaki stores sprang up in an attempt to preserve the taste familiar from childhood, and monjayaki has transformed into a snack for adults, and continues to this day.
The essential ingredients for monjayaki are a teppan and a spatula. Monjayaki is usually eaten by scooping a small amount from the outside of the dough and pressing it against the teppan to char it, but nowadays there are so many different variations of ingredients that one can enjoy a variety of tastes and monja textures.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
Originally eaten as a snack for children, monja has established Tsukishima as a town known for its monja, and is eaten on a daily basis, enjoyed with family and friends.
- How to eat
Coarsely chop cabbage and red ginger. Drain the whole corn well. Mix water, Worcestershire sauce, bonito flakes and soy sauce in a large bowl, sprinkle in flour and mix well. Add the sakura shrimps and fried egg and mix quickly. Heat salad oil on a griddle to 230℃ and add the ingredients after draining off the liquid. Fry lightly until the ingredients are slightly wilted. Gather the ingredients in the center and make a hole in the center with a spatula to form a donut-shaped bank. Pour the remaining batter from the bowl into the center and bake for about 2 minutes until the center is fluffy and cooked all the way through. Mix with a spatula to make a thin layer, bake for 3 to 4 minutes, and sprinkle with aonori (green laver). Can also be made at home on a hot plate.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
The "Tsukishima Monja Promotion Association Cooperative" was founded to promote monja-yaki, and currently 54 monja restaurants in the Tsukishima area are members. The association issues meal coupons that can be used at member stores, and manufactures and sells a wide range of products, including souvenirs decorated with the official character Tsukishima Ninja Monnyan, and monja-yaki sets that can be made at home.