When you get the chance to visit Japan, be sure to indulge in the delicious flavors of Okonomiyaki! This Japanese culinary gem, particularly beloved in the Kansai region, is prepared on a sizzling iron plate. Often referred to as the "Japanese pancake," it's crafted from a flour-based batter typically mixed with cabbage and adorned with a special sauce, Japanese mayonnaise, dried aonori seaweed, and bonito flakes.
Japan boasts a multitude of Okonomiyaki specialty restaurants, but it's also a cherished dish for casual, home-cooked meals.
There are primarily two styles of Okonomiyaki: Osaka (Kansai)-style and Hiroshima-style. The major distinction between them lies in the handling of ingredients.
In Osaka (Kansai)-style Okonomiyaki, all the ingredients are combined with the batter before griddling, resulting in a finish akin to a pancake.
On the otherhand, Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki keeps the ingredients separate from the batter. Each component is cooked individually and then layered upon one another, often with the addition of Yakisoba (stir-fried noodles).
In this recipe, we're going to guide you through the creation of Osaka (Kansai)-style Okonomiyaki. Once you've mastered the fundamental Okonomiyaki batter, the creative possibilities are endless. Feel free to experiment with your favorite ingredients; in fact, the name "Okonomiyaki" itself suggests the freedom to craft it as you please ("Okonomi" means "as you like," and "yaki" means "griddle").
Here are some ingredient options to consider:
Pork, seafood, cheese, mochi (rice cake), mentaiko (spicy cod roe), kimchi, bacon, sausage, corn, chikuwa (tube-shaped fish sausage), bean sprouts, and more.
Due to its adaptability, it's also playfully referred to as the "Japanese Pizza," so don't hesitate to let your creativity flow and savor your homemade Okonomiyaki! After you've given it a try, we'd love to hear about your Okonomiyaki adventures in the comments below!
Prep time: 40 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 60 mins
Total servings: 2
- 80g All Purpose Flour
- *100ml Bonito Soup Stock (see recipe Step 1)
- 50g Grated Nagaimo (Chinese Yam)
- 200g Cabbage
- 20g Chopped Green Onion
- 2 Eggs
- 2 Tbsp Tempura Bits
- 10g~ Minced Red Colored Pickled Ginger (to your preference)
- 160g Sliced Pork Belly
- Okonomiyaki Sauce (topping)
- Japanese Mayonnaise (topping)
- Dried Aonori Seaweed (topping)
- Bonito Flakes (topping)
Finding it challenging to gather the ingredients for Okonomiyaki? Then, this is the perfect product to start with! This Okonomiyaki kit includes flour with Chinese yam powder, tempura bits, and dried aonori seaweed. All you'll need in addition is some cabbage and eggs. Moreover, you can customize your Okonomiyaki by adding your favorite extra ingredients or toppings. Have fun preparing your Okonomiyaki and savoring the taste of Japan!
1) Advanced Preparations
Let's start by showing you how to prepare bonito soup stock and grate Chinese Yam safely, as it can be quite slippery.
For the bonito soup stock, you'll need 500ml of water and 20g of bonito flakes, which will result in a thicker and richer stock. Begin by pouring the water into a pot and bringing it to a boil. Once it's boiling, add the bonito flakes, turn off the heat, and let it sit for 2-3 minutes. Then, strain the liquid as shown in the picture to obtain your bonito soup stock. Reserve 100ml of this stock for making Okonomiyaki.
When it comes to grating Chinese Yam, it's essential to be cautious due to its slippery nature. One useful tip for grating it is not to peel away all the skin. Just remove the amount you need, and then grip the skin as you grate it to ensure your fingers stay safe.
2) Gathering the Ingredients
Gather all of the ingredients together.
3) Making the Okonomiyaki Batter
Tip: if you have the time, refrigerate the mixture for at least 30 minutes.
4) Preparing the Okonomiyaki Fillings
While the batter is resting, prepare the ingredients. Dice the cabbage into 1cm-sized pieces, and cut the sliced pork belly into approximately 5cm portions, then season them with a pinch of salt and black pepper.
5) Putting the Okonomiyaki Batter Together
Once the batter has rested in the fridge, add eggs to the bowl and thoroughly mix. Then introduce the cabbage, pickled ginger, green onion, and Tempura bits to the mixture, gently combining them with a large spoon. This creates the foundation for your Okonomiyaki batter.
6) Cooking the Okonomiyaki
Get a frying pan ready and pour half a tablespoon of vegetable oil (not listed in the ingredients). Use a paper towel to evenly spread the oil. Heat the pan over medium heat, and when it's sufficiently hot, ladle half of the batter onto it, shaping it into a round. Reduce the heat from medium to low and cook for approximately 5 minutes.
7) Layering on the Sliced Pork Belly
After 4 minutes, lay the sliced pork belly on top without overlapping. Then, flip it over and cook for 3 more minutes with a lid on, using low heat. After these 3 minutes, remove the lid and continue cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes without the lid, now over medium heat.
8) Decorating the Okonomiyaki
Transfer the Okonomiyaki onto a plate, and remember to drizzle it with some Okonomiyaki sauce and Japanese mayonnaise on top. The Okonomiyaki sauce adds a delightful blend of tanginess and sweetness, while the mayonnaise contributes a creamy richness.
For an extra flavor boost, if you have dried aonori seaweed and bonito flakes, generously sprinkle them over the Okonomiyaki.
There are various creative ways to garnish Okonomiyaki with sauce and mayonnaise. Here's an example of how to artfully present your Okonomiyaki.