Okonomiyaki

This is a popular dish in Japan known for it’s origins in the Kansai region, especially the city of Osaka. There are several things I should say about this recipe. First it is dead easy to make and of course delicious. Second, some of the true ingredients may be difficult to find like, the Okonomiyaki powder and sauce (pictured below for reference). Although the flour can be substituted with normal flour if you add grated yam and “dashi”, which may be easier to find in a Chinese or Japanese supermarket, and I am sure there are other ways to compromise. Thirdly, if you can’t find the proper ingredients, it does not matter, as “okonomi” simply means “what you like!”, meaning that you can experiment and put what ever you like in it, such as a range of sea foods, meats and toppings. You can maybe create an English twist to this originally Kansai delight by swapping tenkatsu with scraps from the local fish and chip shop and okonomi sauce with HP brown sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 a small cabbage
  • 1 or 2 spring onions
  • 2 eggs
  • Streaky bacon – 6-8 rashers
  • Shrimp- around 100g
  • Pickled ginger – around 2 Tbls
  • Tenkatsu (tempura scraps)
  • Okonomiyaki flour 100g
  • Water – 1/3 of a cup

Toppings:

  • Okonomi sauce
  • Mayonnaise (preferably in a squeezable bottle)
  • Aonori (dried seaweed flakes) (Optional)
  • Katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) (Optional)

Makes 2 large Okonomiyakis

  1. Put the flour in a bowl and slowly mix in the water until smooth. The consistency should not be too runny. If you have some tenkatsu mix this in, too.
  2. Finely chop the spring onions and slice up the cabbage into small thin strips. Add this to the bowl, along with the eggs and the ginger.
  3. Chop up the shrimp and add this to the bowl.
  4. Mix it all together with a wooden spoon, although do not mix it too much. Roughly as much so that you can see parts still vibrantly yellow from the egg yolks.
  5. Cook the bacon using the pan or griddle you will later cook the Okonomiyaki on. Only lightly cook the bacon through, do not make it go to crispy as it will have plenty of time later to crisp up. Once cooked take it out of the pan and place it to one side.
  6. Heat the pan you used to cook the bacon on to a low-medium heat and spoon on half of the Okonomiyaki mix, spreading it out into a neat pancake shape.
  7. Cook for around 3-4 minutes. If you feel the heat is too high turn it down a little bit. While this underside is cooking layer the cooked bacon on the top.
  8. With the aid of a massive spatula (or two), flip over, bacon side down, and cook for around another 3-4 minutes.
  9. Finally flip over once more so the bacon side is once again facing up, which should so be golden brown and nice and crispy. Turn down the heat a little a cook for another 3-4 minutes.
  10. Once cooked, place on a plate and squirt both the mayonnaise and Okonomi sauce in a lovely criss-cross pattern over the top. Then sprinkle on a helping of the aonori and katsuobushi, if you can.

Okonomiyaki

Okonomi Sauce (お好みソース)

Okonomi Sauce (お好みソース)

Okonomiyaki flour (お好み焼き粉)

Okonomiyaki flour (お好み焼き粉)

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