Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Easy Okonomiyaki - お好み焼き


The American exchange student at my school went home this week. For his farewell party he wanted okonomiyaki, but we arrived at the chosen restaurant only to discover it had gone out of business mere weeks earlier. We had a great tempura meal instead, but I felt bad that he'd been cheated out of that one last taste. As he was somewhere in the skies between Tokyo and New York last night, I made a basic Osaka style okonomiyaki for dinner and wished him luck. (It was delicious Dillon. Sorry!)

Recipe: Okonomiyaki - お好み焼き
Makes 2 meal-sized pancakes.

1 cup flour*
1 egg
3/4 cup dashi
1/4 cabbage
1 carrot
1 bunch spring onions
sakura ebi (tiny dried shrimp)
any other vegetables or meat you like
(I used some mushrooms and chikuwa I had lying around)

For the topping:
okonomiyaki sauce (buy or make it)
bonito flakes (katsuo)
nori flakes (aonori)

  • In a bowl beat the egg well, then add the flour and dashi. Mix together until you have a thin batter.

  • Finely shred the cabbage, avoiding the hard white stem, and grate the carrot. Finely chop the spring onions.

  • Mix into the batter along with a small handful of sakura ebi.

  • Add any other fillings, chopped finely **, and stir.

  • Heat a splash of oil in a non-stick or well seasoned pan, then add half the mixture, flattening and shaping into a pancake.


  • Cook until underside is brown, then carefully flip and continue to cook until the other side is done and the edges are no longer runny.

  • Serve slathered with okonomiyaki sauce, drizzled with a little mayo and sprinkled with bonito and nori flakes.


Popular additions to okomiyaki include pork, bacon, cheese, mushrooms, kimchi, mochi, prawns, squid, octopus, natto, corn, beef, clams, balls of tempura batter, pickled ginger, ham and potatoes.

* If you're up for it, swap out some of the flour for grated yam. It gives the pancake a great sticky, starchy texture.

** If you add raw meat it can be tricky to make sure chunks inside the pancake have cooked through. One way around this is to give the meat a head start on the grill, then pour the rest of the batter on top of it. Otherwise, use very thin pieces and check carefully.


ilingc said...

nyum! I love okonomiyaki. Reading your post is making me crave for some . I should make them this weekend, we've got all the ingredients (you've used in yours) plus some tako in the fridge. It's a sign!

Cass said...

It's definitely a sign. Do it!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

That looks so good! Kind of like a Japanese frittata or omlette?

Cass said...

Thanks Jen :) It's more like a pancake with fillings, I think. You can't really taste the egg.

Give it a go next time you're at a Japanese restaurant - they're really delicious.