Okonomiyaki has been a Japanese favourite for decades. The name translates as:
“yaki” = “grilled” or “cooked”.
“okonomi” = “what you like”, or “what you want”.
Basically it’s a savoury pancake containing a variety of ingredients, as you like them… it literally translates to “what you like, grilled”, which means there is no one way to make Okonomiyaki – it’s up to the chef and in many cases, the chef is you! We were lucky enough to be invited over to our neighbour’s house in Hakuba to experience making our very own Okonomiyaki.
There are two main styles of Okonomiyaki in Japan:
1. The Kansai or Osaka style – where all ingredients are mixed together then grilled.
2. The Hiroshima style – where the pancake is grilled first then ingredients are layered on top. This is the style we made.
Our Okonomiyaki consisted of the batter (made mostly with cabbage, water, egg) layered with fish, pork, red ginger, soy sauce, mayonnaise, dried fish flakes & seaweed.
The hardest part is flipping the pancake without destroying it… it was delicious and incredibly satisfying – I recommend trying it if you see it on the menu!