Recipes

Simple Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki is a savory Japanese pancake that can be as basic or as complex as you like. In fact, the word okonomiyaki breaks down to: okonomi = “what you like/want” and yaki = “grilled.”

It starts with a simple batter made of flour, water, cabbage, and eggs. Then you can add your favorite protein: pork, beef, or seafood. With this basic recipe, you can use your creativity (and whatever is in your fridge) to create a delicious meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Okonomiyaki flour or all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup water (if using all-purpose flour, you can add dashi to the water for more flavor)
  • 3 large eggs
  • Cabbage (finely sliced) – I eyeball it to get the right consistency of the batter. This time, I used about 3/4 of a medium-sized head of cabbage
  • Bacon
  • Green onion, chopped
  • Pickled red ginger, chopped (optional)
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Toppings:

  • Okonomi Sauce
  • Kewpie Mayonnaise (Japanese mayo, slightly different than American mayo)
  • Aonori (dried seaweed powder)
  • Katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) – It’s fun to watch it dance around on your hot okonomiyaki!
  • Green Onions

Options:

  • Pork
  • Bacon
  • Thinly sliced beef
  • Shrimp
  • Scallops
  • Squid
  • Kim Chee
  • Mochi (I have read that you can put mochi squares directly on the pan, then pour the batter on top of it. My favorite okonomiyaki restaurant used to slice the mochi into thin sheets and place them in the middle of the pancake. Although this is one of my favorites when dining out, I have not personally tried to cook okonomiyaki with mochi.)
  • Cheese

Instructions:

  1. To a mixing bowl, add flour, water, and eggs. Mix to combine.
  2. Add vegetables (including pickled ginger if you are using it) and protein (if desired) to the batter and mix.
  3. Heat the oil to about 350-375º F. (I used an electric skillet, but you can use a frying pan with a cover.)
  4. Using a ladle, spoon the okonomiyaki mixture into the skillet and use a spatula to form round pancakes that are roughly 1/2-inch thick. Okonomiyaki you will find at restaurants are about 6 inches across, but I like to make my okonomiyaki a little smaller. Also, don’t make your okonomiyaki too thick because you want the middle to cook through. Doughy middles are not good!
  5. Add a slice of bacon on top. (Optional, of course! But bacon makes everything better!)
  6. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. When golden brown, flip, cover, and cook the other side for an additional 5 minutes.
  7. Top with your favorite toppings, but my favorites are Okonomi sauce, Kewpie mayo, aonori, and katsuobushi. Enjoy! Itadakimasu! Let’s eat!

Here are some photos of the process:

Some of the ingredients I picked up at Marukai and Don Quijote.
Kewpie Mayonnaise, Katsuobushi, Okonomiyaki flour (you can easily use all-purpose flour), Okonomi Sauce (this is a must! This is what makes it taste like okonomiyaki!)
This is what the batter looks like with the cabbage added.
Some people use pork belly, but I literally just cut pieces of bacon and place them on top of the okonomiyaki as I’m cooking it.
Just flipped and cooking the second side. Golden brown!

Disclaimer: I am a very simple cook. I don’t claim to be an expert, but I like to share easy recipes that my family has enjoyed. I hope you will enjoy it, too!

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