Okonomiyaki (literally means ‘grilled as you like it’) is a savory version of Japanese pancake, made with flour, eggs, shredded cabbage, meat/ protein and topped with a variety of condiments. Better known as ‘Japanese pizza’ in the US, you can definitely prepare the filling and toppings however you like it. A wonderful way to use up your leftovers!
There are variations in style of Okonomiyaki depending on the region or cities of Japan. I was born and grew up in Kansai region so Okonomiyaki that I make usually is Osaka okonomiyaki or Kansai style okonomiyaki.
Okonomiyaki is a very popular dish in Japanese restaurants, food court stores, and has even begun to pop up as street food at some markets. If you’ve been to the Eat Street Markets in Brisbane, you may have seen them selling there. The chefs will also often have the grill visible to customers so we can all see how they’re making it, and although it looks hard and requires skill, it’s actually quite easy and you can make it at home yourself for a much cheaper price. I bought an electric cooking plate in Japan and brought it back to Australia, but you can certainly cook it individually in a frying pan or even you can use a BBQ if your BBQ has a flat cook surface.
Okonomiyaki is a savoury pancake made primarily from shredded cabbage, flour, eggs, and water. It is a very versatile dish that has many adaptations and various topping options, which is why it get’s the name Okonomiyaki, “okonomi” meaning “what you like” and “yaki” meaning grilled. In Japan, the batter and toppings will differ from region to region, but the three main styles are Kansai (Osaka), Hiroshima, and Tokyo. My favourite is the Kansai style because that’s the area I grew up in, it is also the main version of Okonomiyaki and the most common around Japan; and most likely the kind that you see in Japanese restaurants in your city.
- 200 ml water
- 1 tsp konbu dashi stock powder
- 160 g plain flour
- 4 egg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- 480 g finely chopped cabbage
- 40 g chopped green shallot
- 40 g Tenkasu
- 160 g thinly sliced pork
- bonito flake to garnish
- pickled ginger to garnish
- Aonori to garnish
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1/4 cup okonomiyaki sauce
Dissolve the dashi powder into the water to make the dashi stock.
Place the flour in a large bowl and add salt, sugar, and pour the dashi stock in to mix. Set aside.
Divide the chopped cabbage, green shallots, and tenkasu into 4 small mixing bowls.
Add one egg each and 1/4 of flour and dashi mixture to each bowl.
Mix them well together with a fork.
Heat cooking plate to 200 degrees and pour the cabbage mixture onto the cooking plate to spread approximately 2cm thickness.
Place the thinly sliced pork and bonito flake on top of the cabbage mixture.
When the edge of the okonomiyaki has become firm and cooked, flip it over with two egg flippers.
Put the lid on and steam grill for a few minutes.
Turn the okonomiyaki over one more time to check whether the meat is cooked.
Brush the okonomiyaki with Okonomiyaki sauce and garnish with pickled ginger, more bonito and sprinkle aonori to serve.
*Aonori is also known as green laver. It is edible green seaweed, usually consumed as dried, finely flaked form. Often used for Okonomiyaki, Yakisoba, and takoyaki topping in Japanese cuisine.
*Check out The Shop if you don’t have Asian grocery stores nearby. I separated the mixture into 4 seperate bowls to already mix and prepare into 4 okonomiyaki, however, you can mix all the ingredients in 1 large bowl and then divide it into 4 servings on the hot plate