One of my favourite Japanese dishes has to be Okonomiyaki a savoury Japanese style pancake and luckily it is really easy to make at home so I can indulge whenever I want. Recipes for okonomiyaki vary from region to region in Japan and there are two main styles of okonimiyaki the Osaka style where all of the ingredients are mixed up into a batter and cooked and the Hiroshima style where the ingredients are layered as the pancake cooks. I normally make the Osaka style of okonomiyaki as it is by far the easier recipe but the Hiroshima style okonomiyaki is also really good and definitely worth the effort to make it every once in a while.
The Hiroshima style okonomiyaki starts out with a layer of the batter being poured onto the pan that is topped with a pile of shredded cabbage and bean sprouts and then some shrimp and bacon. The pancake is cooked until the batter in golden brown and then it is flipped and cooked until the bacon is nice and crispy. At this point some noodles are fried in a separate area and then topped with the rest of the okonomiyaki. Finally an egg is fried and the whole okonomiyaki is placed on top of it with the noodle side down. The okonomiyaki is then served with the egg side up and topped as you like.
The name okonomiyaki is derived from the word that means "what you like" or "what you want" so really this recipe is just the basis and you can change things up to make it the way you want. I like the cabbage and beasprout mixture for the base but I also like to play around and I often find myself adding things like grated zucchini, sweet potatoes or even pumpkin. I also like to add some seafood and shrimp is probably what I use most often but octopus, crab and scallops work just as well. For the toppings, I like to go with the usual okonomiyaki sauce, like a sweeter Worcestershire sauce, mayonnaise, katsuobushi, green onions and aonori.
Okonomiyaki (Hiroshima Style)
Okonomiyaki is Japanese comfort food also known as the Japanese pancake or the Japanese pizza where the base is made with vegetables and it is commonly topped with a sweet Worcestershire like sauce along with mayonnaise. This is the Hiroshima version of the okonomiyaki is made in a layered fashion.
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup dashi or water
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1 cup cabbage finely sliced
- 1 cup bean sprouts (optional)
- 1 cup shrimp, peeled, deviened and coarsely chopped (optional)
- 2 slices bacon, cut in half lengthwise
- 1 cup cooked yakisoba noodles
- 2 eggs
- Mix the flour and dashi until smooth.
- Heat the oil in a pan over medium-low heat.
- Pour 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan in the shape of a circle about 6 inches across and let it cook for a minute.
- Place half of the cabbage on top followed by half of the sprouts, shrimp and bacon and finally drizzle some more of the batter on top to hold everything together.
- Cook until the bottom is golden brown, about 6-10 minutes, flip and cook until the bacon is crisp, about 6-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile heat half of the noodles in another pan and form them int a circle about the same size as the okonomiyaki.
- Transfer the okonomiyaki on top of the noodles and press down firmly.
- Fry an egg in the other pan, breaking the yolk and when it is just about set, transfer the okonomiyaki on top and press down firmly.
- Repeat for a second okonomiyaki.
- Serve the okonomiyaki egg side up topped with okonomiyaki sauce, mayonnaise, katsuobushi (bonito shavings), green onions and aonori (dried seaweed powder).