What is Okonomiyaki
The glory that is Okonomiyaki お好み焼き! One of our favourite Japanese meals.. hence OkonomiNOMS!
Pronounced oko nomi yaki – Try saying it really fast ten times! It’s a tongue twister!
Okonomiyaki is often referred to as a Savoury Pancake; we very rarely use this description. The base ingredients are Cabbage and batter plus whatever you feel like which is then grilled on a hot plate (Teppan Grill) or pan. We say that the ingredients are whatever you feel like as お好み “Okonomi” literally means “what you like” or “how you like” and 焼き “Yaki” is “Grilled”.
There are typically two kinds of Okonomiyaki; the Kansai (also referred to as Osaka) style or Hiroshima style.
They are similar ingredients cooked differently – with one exception – Hiroshima Style has a layer of Yakisoba style grilled noodles.
Kansai style – the ingredients are all mixed in together with usually a thicker fluffier batter.
Hiroshima style – the ingredients are layered rather than mixed. There is the extra layer of Noodles and is typically topped with a fried egg (the yolk is still gooey so that once you cut into it the yolk it spills through all the layers) because the ingredients are layered the batter is thinly spread almost Crepe-like.
Tom cooks up a wicked Kansai style Okonomiyaki at home :D
What to expect
There are two types of Okonomiyaki restaurants the chef prepared or the Do-it-yourself restaurant. If you are trying Okonomiyaki for the first time then we suggest allowing a chef to show you how it is best prepared. (Hiroshima style Okonomiyaki I leave to the professionals.)
Some typical toppings that can be mixed and matched are: Bacon, Tempura bits, Squid, Cheese, Prawn, Mushroom, Pork, Potato, Scallops, Mochi, Sausage, Green Onion, etc.
Restaurants will all have their own special mixtures and top suggestions - Generally you can either pick one of their options or make up your own.
The Kansai style DIY restaurants are a fantastic experience. You’ll be seated at a table and cut into the middle is a grill plate. Pick from the menu for your preferred toppings.
Once you’ve ordered the waitstaff will set your grill for you and come back with your mixture.
Each restaurant has their own method and most places provide you with a ‘How to Okonomiyaki’ guide that provides you with a step by step process. If you tell the waitstaff this is your first time then they will generally help you out along the way and keep an eye on your progress.
The finishing touches - Don’t forget the sauces! Brush over Okonomiyaki Sauce, squeeze over a generous swirl of Kewpie Mayo and sprinkle on top Bonito and Dried Seaweed flakes. YUM
Okonomiyaki in Hiroshima
If you are travelling out to Hiroshima then why not venture to Okonomimura? Okonomimura is a building that consists of over 24 small Okonomiyaki specialty restaurants! You’ll be able to try so many different combinations and styles!
Address: 5-１３ Shintenchi, Naka Ward, Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture 730-0034, Japan
Depending on the restaurant and ingredients; you can generally get a serving for around ¥800~
Okonomiyaki is a cheap, filling, delicious and fun meal! We highly recommend.
Enjoy some photos of our last DIY Okonomiyaki experience in Shinjuku… Egg and Green onion with Bacon!