okonomiyaki recipe japanese food cooking

What is Okonomiyaki?

Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き) is a savory Japanese pancake that is popular throughout Japan. The name “okonomiyaki” can be roughly translated to “grilled as you like it” or “cooked to your preference,” which reflects the dish’s customizable nature. It is a beloved street food and a common item on the menu at specialized okonomiyaki restaurants, known as “okonomiyaki-ya.”

The main ingredients of okonomiyaki include:

  1. Batter: The base of okonomiyaki is a batter made from flour, grated yam, water or broth, eggs, and shredded cabbage. The batter provides the pancake with its structure and texture.
  2. Fillings: Okonomiyaki can be customized with various fillings and ingredients, depending on personal preferences and regional variations. Common fillings include pork belly slices, shrimp, squid, thinly sliced beef, cheese, kimchi, and more.
  3. Toppings: The pancake is usually topped with a variety of condiments and sauces, giving it additional flavor and visual appeal. Common toppings include okonomiyaki sauce (a sweet and savory sauce similar to Worcestershire sauce), mayonnaise, bonito flakes (dried fish flakes), aonori (dried seaweed flakes), and pickled ginger.

The preparation of okonomiyaki is a fun and interactive process. It is often cooked on a hot iron griddle called a “teppan.” Here’s a general overview of how it’s made:

  1. The batter is mixed with the chosen fillings and ingredients.
  2. The mixture is then poured onto the hot teppan, forming a thick pancake.
  3. Once one side is cooked and lightly browned, it is flipped over using spatulas.
  4. The cooked side is now facing up, and the toppings are added. This includes drizzling okonomiyaki sauce and mayonnaise in a criss-cross pattern, sprinkling bonito flakes and aonori, and adding pickled ginger.
  5. The pancake is then cooked until both sides are golden brown and the fillings are cooked through.
  6. Okonomiyaki is often served on a plate, sliced into wedges, and enjoyed with chopsticks.

The combination of textures and flavors in okonomiyaki makes it a delightful and comforting dish. It’s a favorite among locals and tourists alike, and trying it at an authentic okonomiyaki restaurant is a must-do culinary experience in Japan.

How to make Okonomiyaki

Click on the thumbnail or https://youtu.be/VgWCCiLCdKw to watch my cooking video.