Try this Japanese soul food: Okonomiyaki pancakes

Okonomiyaki [お好み焼き] is a Japanese savoury, pan-fried dish, containing a variety of ingredients in a wheat-flour batter. The name is composed of two words: the first being okonomi, meaning “to one’s liking” and the second yaki meaning “cooked”. Okonomiyaki finds its origin in the regions of Osaka and Hiroshima, but is popular and available throughout the whole of Japan.

 

The Osaka-style okonomiyaki is the most common found in Japan. The batter is made of flour, water or dashi, eggs and shredded cabbage. The batter is mixed with different ingredients such as spring onion, meat, octopus, squid, shrimp, vegetables or cheese. Like the word okonomi implies, you can top it up with ‘what you like’. Okonomiyaki is sometimes compared to an omelette or pancake but it is also sometimes referred to as "Japanese pizza" or "Osaka soul food".

 

For the Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, the ingredients are more layered instead of mixed. The layers are typically batter, cabbage, pork and ‘what you like’ such as squid, octopus and cheese. Even noodles are used as a topping, with fried egg and a generous amount of okonomiyaki sauce.

 

We are making the Osaka-style okonomiyaki, and for this recipe we are keeping it vegetarian. But of course, you can top it with ‘okonomi’, so open your fridge and top it with what you like.

 

OKONOMIYAKI

 

Recipe for 4 people

Preparation time: 15 minutes + 30 minutes resting

 

INGREDIENTS

 

  • 300 grams okonomiyaki flour (Asian store or Toko)
  • 480 grams water (or dashi)
  • 6 eggs
  • Bunch of spring onions (green onions)
  • 300 gr kale
  • 10 gr salt
  • 2 tbsp finely sliced chives
  • 1 small carrot
  • Vegetable oil

 

TOPPING SUGGESTIONS

 

  • Kewpie mayonnaise (you can also use regular mayonnaise)
  • Kale
  • Shredded carrots
  • Spring onions (green onions)
  • Sriracha sauce

 

 

PREPARATION

 

  • Chop the kale and spring onions in chiffonade (long thin stripes)
  • Shred the carrot
  • Mix the eggs with the salt and flour, this is the base of your batter
  • Then slowly add the water to the base until you have a nice thick pancake batter
  • Add the sliced kale, the spring onions and the carrot to the batter (save some as toppings for later)
  • Let the batter rest in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes
  • Take a non-stick pan and bake the pancake on low heat
  • Flip the pancake to bake it on the other side

 

PLATING

 

  • Place the pancakes on plates, drizzle the different sauces on top and finish with the toppings.