Featured in Foodgawker.com on 20th Nov 2012
Featured in Tasteologie.notcot.org on 20th Nov 12
Featured in BitchinKitchen’s Twitter feed on 28th Nov 12
I must confess, I had never heard of this thing till my trip to Stuttgart this summer. I know Stuttgart and Japan are miles apart, but the story starts there. The co-resident’s friends, let’s call then D and E decided to make Okonomiyaki for dinner. Now E had travelled to Japan for her summer break and fell in love with this dish.
The dish being a savory omlette/ frittata/ pizza made out of flour, eggs, cabbage, veggies and pork and topped off with mayo, sweet sauce, fish flakes and seaweed. It’s so popular in Japan that there are more than 30,000 specialized Okonomiyaki restaurants. The restaurant provides you with ready okomomiyaki batter and you add in whatever your heart desires and proceed to grill it on the grill pan in front of you. Then you decorate it with the condiments of your choice and proceed to polish off your Japanese pizza! Unfortunately there are less than 100 restaurants outside Japan that serve this, so if you want to eat it, you’ve got to make it yourself!
So when E and D made this for me, I was intrigued but not entirely convinced of its merit. When I ate it though, I was hooked! Trust me the ingredient list might sound kooky but it tastes incredible! Now E is a converted vegetarian, so her version does not include pork or seafood but feel free to add it if you please. Literally, that’s what Okonomi means – “as you like” 🙂
Okonomiyaki – Japanese Pancake
Prep time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 20-30 minutes
Makes: 4 (6” pancakes)
What you need:
1 cup Flour
¾ cup Water/ Chicken Stock/ Dashi (Japanese stock)
½ Cabbage, (about 3 packed cups) shredded
3 Peppers (Red, Green, Yellow), chopped small
1 cup Sweet Corn, cooked
100 gms grated Cheese (I used Gouda)
3 slices bacon slices (optional)
Refined Oil (Sunflower, Safflower, Canola)
Okonomiyaki sauce/ Worcestershire sauce/ Kraft BBQ Sauce
Sea Weed garnish (Nori sprinkles) – available online (Can substitute with dried herbs)
Benito Flakes (dried fish flakes) – available online
Green Spring onions, chopped
What to do:
In a large bowl mix in the vegetables, bacon and flour. I used peppers and corn for my veggie mix, but you can use 2 cups of any of the following (peppers, corn, zucchini, carrots, shrimp, or bacon). Now add in the eggs and mix with your hands till well incorporated. Now slowly add the water or dashi till the mixture looks like an amalgamated blob. (Should not be runny as it needs to hold its shape while cooking, but not so tick that it resembles dough). You can add more water/ flour to get the desired consistency.
Set a thick bottomed, non-stick pan on medium heat. Spread the base evenly with some oil. Now spoon the okonomiyaki batter onto the pan and shape into a 6” diameter pancake with 3/4th inch thickness, using a wooden spatula and spoon. Cover the pan with a lid and let the pancake cook for 7-8 mins on low heat.
Now check on the pancake to see if the underside is almost cooked. (light brown colour). Using a fish spatuala and another wooden one, turn it over. If you have got the consistency of the batter right, this part should be a piece of cake. Another way to flip it over, is to loosen the edges of the pancake from the pan, then overturn the pancake onto a large plate. Then slide the pancake back onto the pan. (I think the uncooked side will stick to the plate – but that’s the technique some people use!) Cook the other side for 7-8 mins as well.
Now for the fun part. Place the pancake on a large plate. Spread mayo on it till it covers the whole pancake. Top with okonomiyaki sauce ( I used smokey BBQ sauce). Then sprinkle the seaweed and dried fish flakes. Finally garish with some chopped sping onions for some zing and colour. Dig in!!
P.S. The dish will not flop if you don’t have the benito flakes and the seaweed, but they DO add the whole Umami bit to the dish!
Here’s what was featured in Foodgawker.com
and in Tasteologie.notcot.org
and in BitchinKitchen.com