The word okonomiyaki can be translated as: grilled ‘whatever you like’. Japanese comfort food at it’s best, these savoury pancakes can be whipped up easily for a nice weekday meal with the do-it-yourself component of adding the toppings at the table. There are several versions of Okonomiyaki, originating in different areas of Japan. Most famous are the Kansai (Osaka region) and Hiroshima variations of the dish. My version is easy and leaves lots of room for creativity. The possibilities are endless. As long as you hold on to the cabbage, the batter and the basic condiments, you can switch the other ingredients up and add filling and toppings as you like.
• 1 cup flour
• salt, to taste
• 1 cup dashi (Japanese broth, homemade or from dashi powder)
• 1/4 tsp baking powder
• 1 small green cabbage, shredded
• 1 cup raw shrimp, chopped
• 4 slices bacon, cut in half inch strips
• 3 eggs
• Spring onion, finely sliced
• Katsuobushi (Bonito flakes)
• Japanese Mayo
• Okonomi sauce (homemade or store bought)
• Shredded nori
1. Mix the ingredients for the batter together: flour, salt, baking powder, and dashi. Place the mixture in
2. Then, chop the shrimp and shred the cabbage. Green or Chinese cabbage will work well. Cut the bacon into strips.
3. Mix the cabbage, bacon, eggs and shrimp into the batter.
4. Heat up a lightly oiled non-stick frying pan to medium and scoop about one ladle of the mixture into it, flattening the okonomiyaki a little bit.
5. Cook on one side covered for about 5 minutes, then flip and cook uncovered until golden brown on both sides and cooked through.
6. While the okonomiyaki are cooking (you can fry off several at a time, depending on the size of your pan), prepare the toppings. Chop the spring onion into slices. Let everyone choose their own toppings for their okonomiyaki, place them on the table.
7. Serve warm and top with the ingredients of your choice. Itadakimasu!