Okonomiyaki (Japanese Cabbage Pancake) Party!

Ever since Ennlee had okonomiyaki at a friend’s house and raved about it, I’ve had a never-ending craving for the delightful dish otherwise known as “Japanese cabbage pancakes.” They are fast, quick and oh-my-hell-my-mouth-is-already-watering-just-talking-about-them delicious. And we made them last week.

Basically, a literal translation makes them “favorites grilled” in English. But I’ve mostly heard them referred to as a “cabbage pancake” or “Japanese pizza.” I prefer the former since it describes it better.

All it is: cabbage, flour (or okonomiyaki flour, which has extra spices), eggs, water and whatever else you want! Grill it. Then top it with the drool-inducing okonomiyaki sauce (as best as I can describe it… sort of tastes like a sweetened soy sauce with a fruity kick and a bit thicker or sort of a sweeter, less tangy tonkatsu sauce if that’s familiar at all), Kewpie mayonnaise, bonito flakes and seaweed.

This dish came from the olden days when food was pricey (or maybe scarce because of war) and times were rough, or something like that… So the cabbage makes the bulk of dish (I assume it was cheap). Cut the cabbage up so it cooks quickly, almost to a mince as Jenny does so below.

As a general rule, we used one egg per person. Beat up the eggs into a bowl. And add your flour and water. The consistency should be that of pancake batter. So use your best judgment… I’d say maybe one egg with 1/5 cup of flour? Maybe? And a scant bit of water, a tablespoon or two perhaps? Wild guess…

Toss in the cut up cabbage and whatever else you got. We used mushrooms, radishes, krab, fish cake and green onions. Make sure everything is sliced quite thin or cut up small so it all cooks quickly and all at the same time. Feel free to also use meats, seafood and what not (crab, shrimp, beef, pork, etc.).

Over a hot (okay, maybe medium heated) non-stick frying pan, plop the batter on like a pancake until it’s cooked. Use a lid to help cook it more thoroughly. Then flip and cook the other side. Both sides should be a bit golden-browned. Be sure that the middle is cooked through as well.

Dress with Otafuku Okonomiyaki Sauce, Kewpie mayo, bonito (dried fish) flakes and seaweed. Or don’t, up to you. The sauce definitely makes the dish though, in my opinion.

Then, enjoy! Tell me how your okonomiyaki experience goes! It’s definitely different from the norm but I love it. Alex was an okonomiyaki virgin til last week. He had 1.5 “pancakes” as they are quite filling. I downed two, because I loveeee them.

Share your experiences and recipe variations. I’m always excited to try someone else’s “favorites grilled.” Oh, there are also other versions of okonomiyaki. My friend told me that Kansai-style okonomiyaki is what’s typically made at home (because it’s quick and easy), but there is also Hiroshima-style… I want.

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2 responses to “Okonomiyaki (Japanese Cabbage Pancake) Party!

  1. he looks eeeeeeeeeeeevil in that photo.

  2. My favorite- yes, it MUST be kewpie mayonaizu
    and tonkatsu sauce, never tried it w/radishes though, what kine, diakon?

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