Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き o-konomi-yaki) is the ultra popular Japanese style savoury pancake, aka Japanese Pizza! Okonomi translates to “as you like” and yaki to “grilled” giving you “grilled as you like” and as the name indicates, you can make these with your favourite filling ad toppings!
At their base okonomiyaki consist of flour, water, egg, and shredded cabbage which is mixed into a batter and cooked similar to a pancakes on a grill until both sides are golden brown, crispy and good! They are so easy to make! The pancakes are traditionally topped with okonomiyaki sauce (similar to Worcestershire sauce but thicker), mayonnaise, beni shoga (red pickled ginger), katsuobushi (bonito flakes), and aonori (seaweed flakes).
Authentic okonomiyaki includes grated nagaimo (similar to a yam) that adds a creamy texture to the batter and if you can’t find it, feel free to omit it! You can add whatever you like to the batter with common additions being pork belly, shrimp, octopus, calamari, oysters, soba noodles, udon noodles, veggies, cheese, smoked salmon, etc “as you like”!
My two favourite ingredients are bacon (rather than pork belly) and shrimp! I also like to add seasonal grated vegetables to the batter such as zucchini, carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, apples, etc.
Given that these pizzas are “as you like” there are many different versions with the two primary ones being these Kansai/Osaka-style okonomiyaki and the more layered Hiroshima-okonomi which differ in that they are made in layers and typically include yakisoba noodles.
No matter “how you like them” these Japanese style pancakes or pizzas are sure to please, and disappear quickly! It’s good that they only take 30 minutes to make, so you can make them often!
Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pancake)
Japanese “as you like” pancakes are savoury cabbage pancakes topped with bacon and grilled until golden brown before being topped with a tasty sauce and mayonnaise. aka Japanese Pancakes, aka Japanese Pizza!
- 1 cup flour (gluten-free for gluten-free)
- 3/4 cup dashi or water
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 cups cabbage, shredded
- 1/2 cup shrimp, coarsely chopped (omit for vegetarian)
- 3 slices bacon (omit for vegetarian)
- 1 green onion, sliced
- 1 tablespoon okonomiyaki sauce, (optional garnish)
- 1 teaspoon mayonnaise, (optional garnish)
- 1 teaspoon beni shoga (red pickled ginger), (optional garnish)
- 1 tablespoon katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes), (optional garnish)
- 1 teaspoon aonori, (dried seaweed flakes), (optional garnish)
- Mix the flour, dashi, egg, cabbage, and shrimp in a large bowl.
- Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat, pour in mixture, flatten, top with the bacon slices and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 10-15 minutes per side.
- Top with okonomiyaki sauce, mayonnaise, green onion slices, beni shoga, katsuobushi and, aonri.
Option: If you can get your hands on some nagaimo (a type of yam), add 4 tablespoons of grated nagaimo, a traditional ingredient!
Option: Add a cup of shredded seasonal vegetables like zucchini, sweet potato, butternut squash, carrots, etc. to the batter!
Option: Replace the shrimp with: squid, octopus, calamari, oysters, or other seafood!
Option: Make your own okonomiyaki sauce with the mixture of: 3 tablespoons ketchup, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon honey.
Note: I like to make one big pancake and slice it up like a pizza to share but you can also make two smaller pancakes.
Note: Pork belly is more authentic but I like to go with bacon!
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