25 Aug 2009, 9:33pm

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Wiki describes “okonomiyaki” as Japanese style savory pancake, and that’s pretty much what it is. Literally meaning “fry it as you like it,” it’s one of the signature dishes from the city of Osaka, my honorary hometown. They have something similar in Hiroshima, but it’s piled high with noodles, which scared me a little.

The ‘pancake’ batter is pretty simple. A standard okonomiyaki has a base of cabbage (thinly shredded), flour, egg, water. Some people season the batter with salt and aji no moto (MSG, the source of all ‘umami’). Where you take it from there is “as you like it!”

This variant pictured above is made with squid, so it’s an ‘ikadama’ (ika=squid; tama=egg). Squid is the best kind, in my opinion, though pork works just as well! The key to making a good okonomiyaki is to be gentle with the batter. You don’t want to push it around too much. And once it’s on the grill, don’t press down on it, or you’ll flatten out all the texture.

There’s a special sauce that goes with it (called – surprise surprise, okonomiyaki sauce) that you can get at the Asian grocer, though you can mix up your own sauces if you like. Sprinkle on some ao-nori (dried seaweed seasoning) and katsuo (shaved bonito flakes) just before serving.

okonomiyaki prep

You can’t really see the squid in the finished photo, so here’s a photo while the batter was being prepped. That’s the sliced squid in the plate on the foreground.

okonomiyaki fry

The squid went down on the frying pan first. The batter was slid on top soon after. It fried for about 4~5 minutes on each side.

My mom was reminiscing about the okonomiyaki shops she visited back in the day, when they let you make your own on the grill top. I think nowadays, most places will prepare them for you. Next time I’m in Japan, I definitely wanna go to a shop specializing in okonomiyaki! ♥

Your okonomiyaki looks really tasty!!

It’s been a while I prepared it, though I use bacon and even when I got some ao-nori, couldn’t find bonito flakes. :(

But the best part is the sauce! :9


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