Hello Everyone! Today I am going to introduce Okonomiyaki to you! I can’t believe that almost three years have gone by since the last time I ate this delicious dish! I never ate it at a restaurant but enjoyed it a few times while staying with Japanese families in Hokkaidō and near Ōsaka. Okonomiyaki can be described as a Japanese “Omelette” although I think the Italian Frittata is much closer to Okonomiyaki because of it’s thickness and heterogenous batter. The name Okonomiyaki is derived from the word okonomi, meaning “as desired” or “at one’s pleasure”, and yaki meaning “grilled”. The dish is popular throughout the whole country and it’s ingredients, toppings and batter vary from region to region.
The version I learned is without shrimps, octopus, Nagaimo (Japanese mountain yam) and other fancy stuff, but had mushrooms and no bacon. So I will call this version Okonomiyaki Nekochan style.
Okonomiyaki, no matter what ingredients you choose, is really easy to prepare! Here a list of what I used for this hearty meal:
– Water (or granulated Dashi dissolved in water)
– Eggs (2)
– Cabbage (1/2 medium-sized), onions (1), carrots (2 or 3) and ginger
– Bacon or ham
– Katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)
– Nori (powder or finely shredded)
– Mayonnaise (preferably the Japanese one called Kewpie)
– Okonomiyaki sauce (similar to Worcestershire sauce)
As the name says you can choose the ingerdients you prefer! Although it appears to me that Katsuobushi, Nori, mayonnaise and Okonomiyaki sauce (or a similar thick and sweet sauce) are essential not to say the soul of this dish!
1. Chop the vegetables and bacon or ham in medium-sized pieces
2. Mix the flour with the water or dissolved Dashi (and a pinch of baking powder if you have it) until the consistence is smooth but not too thick/dense or even cakey (and not too liquid either)! Don’t use too much flour. It is used as a binder but the eggs will act as a binder too.. Basically it’s no problem if you use too much/less flour, the Okonomiyaki will still taste good! But I can’t give the exact amount since I made it by instinct.. So trust your instinct and prepare a smooth batter!
3. Add the vegetables with the bacon/ham and two eggs and mix
4. Put the amount you want in a pan with a little vegetable oil. You can fry the whole batter at once but I think several smaller portions look and taste better (more fried surface!).
5. When one side is almost done flip them, place a slice of bacon or ham on their surface and cover the bacon/ham with just a little batter.
6. When the other side is done, turn them one last time to fry the bacon/ham and add the toppings such as Katsuobushi, Mayonnaise, Nori, and Okonomiyaki sauce. I didn’t have any Beni shōga (pickled, red colored ginger) but it is a classical topping too!
I for my part don’t like Okonomiyaki sauce but you can take any sweetish sauce that you like, for example Ketchup or Worchester sauce.
いただきます ~ Enjoy your meal!