Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pancake)

My love affair with Japanese food goes way back. Even as a kid I used to tuck into California rolls and tempura. Always challenging my brother to a wasabi-off.

But since visiting Japan last spring I’ve found a whole new appreciation for Japanese cooking. I’ve thoroughly upped my noodle game (anyone who knows me will attest to an unhealthy ramen addiction), perfected the most delicious Katsu and welcomed Okonomiyaki as a weeknight staple.

I mean what is better after a horrific day at work than a dinner that’s very own name gives you creative license to have ‘as you like it’. Which, given the famine and feasts that befall my fridge, always turns out to be a culinary adventure and a great way to use up leftovers.

Okonomiyaki is an Osaka favourite and is incredibly simple to make. There are a few things you’ll need to hunt for in an Asian supermarket but the base is made from flour, egg, cabbage, and any mix of meats, fish or vegetables.

When I was in Osaka the girls and I chowed down in the traditional way – at a restaurant where the tables had a built in teppan and the waiters simply brought the ingredients and let you get on with it. Luckily B was on hand to show A and I how it was done – having spent the past few months working in London’s only Okononyaki restaurant AbenoAfter seeing how easy and quick it was to create something so tasty how could I not bring this back to my kitchen!

Toppings

You can put pretty much anything you like on your okonomiyaki. My personal faves are pork and squid, Korean goucheang chicken or corned beef. Sometimes when I need something a little more filling I’ll add some noodles.

Other fillings can include steak, mushroom, butternut squash, prawns, scallops, salmon, sweet corn, tuna, kimchi, cheese. The options are endless!!

Okonomiyaki

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 25 minutes
  • Print
 

Ingredients 

  • 100g okonomiyaki flour (you can also use plain flour mixed with 1/4 tsp of baking powder although the traditional way is to use plain flour, dashi and Nagaimo)
  • 100ml water
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cabbage
  • 1 spring onion
  • pickled ginger
  • Kewpie mayo
  • okonomiyaki sauce
  • dried bonito flakes
  • aonori seaweed

Method

Mix the okonomiyaki flour and water together and set aside.
Chop the cabbage and spring onion into fine pieces and add to the batter.

Add a teaspoon of picked ginger and some tempura flakes.

Add the egg and mix until everything is evenly combined. Tip: Take care not to over-mix, or this will result in a tough and chewy pancake. 

Heat up a frying pan with a little oil on medium high heat. Pour the okonomiyaki batter into a round pancake shape in the centre of the pan.

If using meat, start cooking your meat strips separate from the pancake.

Cook the pancake for 3-4 minutes until the bottom is light brown.
Once the bottom of the pancake is cooked, add any toppings to the top and flip over to finish cooking. Do not press down with a spatula or the pancake will not be light and fluffy.

Cook for a further 3-4 minutes.
Dress with lashings of okonomiyaki sauce and kewpie mayo, sprinkle with bonito flakes, seaweed, and some pickled ginger.

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