Ah, the summertime - here we are, can you believe it? There's something about the heat that makes me crave a gooey okonomiyaki, filled with cabbage and pork belly, oozing with Kewpie mayo and sauce. Crack open a cold beer or get a glass of shochu on ice, and you're set!
Okonomiyaki is a savory pancake from the streets of Osaka. Ah, Osaka - take me there now please! I love going into a grimy okonomiyaki pub in Osaka, ordering a pancake, a side of yakisoba, and a highball, and sitting back and watching the guy behind the counter make the food with a cigarette dangling from his mouth. But until we can travel to Japan again, here's an easy, lazyass recipe to make it at home yourself.
1 cup Okonomiyaki Mix
200ml (6.7 oz) of water
Veg + Protein
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 stalk chopped scallion
3 slices pork belly or bacon
3 shrimps (deveined and peeled; optional)
For the pan
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Okonomiyaki is surprisingly easy to make – made even easier thanks to the Okonomiyaki Mix. All you need to do is add an egg and water and your batter is good to go. Then, add the cabbage, protein of your choice, and all the oozy condiments of your dreams. We've put it altogether for you in our Okonomiyaki Pack - get cooking!
1. Make the batter by combining the batter ingredients listed above.
In all honesty, if you don't have the Okonomiyaki Mix, then just use flour. The batter for okonomiyaki is a bit different from regular pancake mix, but it will suffice.
2. Shred cabbage. If you have a Benriner, use it!
3. Add cabbage to the batter.
4. Add shrimp if you like. You can keep okonomiyaki vegetarian and add different vegetables (like carrots, or even cheese!) here if you would prefer. When I'm feeling decadent, I add oysters.
5. Add onions.
6. Add oil to a pan and put heat on high.
7. Pour okonomiyaki mixture into the hot pan.
8. Lay out the pork belly slices on top of the mixture. Flip!
9. Congratulations, you've made it through the hardest part – flipping the okonomiyaki! Once the pancake has nicely browned on both sides, plate it and move onto my favorite part: adding the toppings!
Okonomiyaki sauce is tangy and a bit sweet. It's a hybrid of bbq sauce and tonkatsu sauce. There's really no alternative to okonomiyaki sauce so I suggest you get a bottle for this occasion.
You can get really fancy with the okonomiyaki sauce and mayo design. Drizzle it all over back and forth, then take a toothpick or chopstick and drag it through from one end of the pancake to the other for a lacy pattern.
There's really no rulebook on how to plate your okonomiyaki. Do as you like – it will be delicious no matter what.
I personally like adding a lot of cabbage to my okonomiyaki for the texture, but it also means that the pancake gets pretty thick. If you like a thinner pancake, add less cabbage.
I love watching the katsuo bushi dance on the hot okonomiyaki – it's magical!