Wednesday, September 28, 2011


For the past year I have been hearing about this thing called Okonomiyaki. Apparently, if my boyfriend has anything to say about it, it is totally delicious, really yummy, sooo good, and also would be the perfect business venture (although let me tell you, just because we got around to making this stuff does not mean a business venture will be following anytime soon!)
                                    (-add in from him - ... yes it will follow and he'll be rich ;))

I never really understood what Okonomiyaki was, so as a good girlfriend I nodded a lot and said something to the effect of, yeah that sounds really good.

Apparently, the best part of Okonomiyaki is the sauce and while we were in California this past summer we were able to find it at an Asian grocery store in my hometown. So, with the sauce safely back in Germany and a lot of leftovers in the fridge which would be perfect for Okonomiyaki, we got down to business and I was taught what this stuff is all about. If you are worried now about the sauce - don't! - It can be easily found all over the world in Asian markets or if not cheaply through the internet... There is also a possibility to make the sauce by yourself - perhaps a recipe for the future :)

Okonomiyaki is a Japanese dish which (to the untrained eye --- aka me) is a mix between an omelet and a frittata. It starts with a base made of:
Adding water to get the right consistency (thick - but not too thick!)

400 g flour
10 g baking powder
4 eggs
~ 300 ml warm water

Mix all of these ingredients together, adding enough water that the batter is at a similar consistency as if you were making  pancakes.

Pour into a small pan so that the pancake is very thick

Pour into a small oiled pan already heated on a high temperature. It is important that you use a small pan so that the pancake becomes thick and there is space to mix your ingredients in later.

Cabbage to bind the pancake

To the batter add lots of chopped up cabbage and any other ingredients that you think would be tasty. Stripes or squared will do (This binds the pancake together and keeps it strong --> if you figured out the perfect consistency between batter and cabbage you don't need the small pan anymore - but for the first try - we suggest sticking to a small pan).

Tasty fillers - what to use is up to you

We used mushrooms, onion (duh!), corn, bell pepper, pickles, bamboo shoots, sprouts, and a little leftover stir fry from dinner the previous night. Other common additions for Okonomiyaki includes: Fish, ham, shrimp, and other common vegetables (broccoli, peas, carrots). Another possibility is to add Japanese noodles which would be the Hiroshima-style (a recipe can be found here).

Add your desired ingredients to the pancake and stir (enough that it is mixed in but not so much that your bottom crust is ruined). At this point you may want to lower the temperature so not to burn the outside of the pancake.

Start with a small pan, and then move to a larger pan to finish cooking

Once you are able to comfortably lift up the side of the Okonomiyaki without it falling apart it is time to flip it. We cheated and used a second, larger pan, for this. We flipped the Okonomiyaki into the new already heated and oiled pan and continued to cook it for another five or so minutes until it was fully cooked through.

Serve with a generous amount of mayo  and Okonomiyaki sauce (grid form tastes best!). It may look small but believe us when we say that this is a full meal. Both of us were stuffed after only eating one!

My thoughts? I am glad to finally try this famous dish I have heard so much about and I got to admit, it is pretty dang delicious.

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