Okonomiyaki, “as-you-like-it” pancake, is one of Japan’s most popular dishes. The basic pancake base can be enjoyed with endless combinations of meat, seafood, and vegetables. It’s perfect for a quick mid-week meal, whether cooking for one or for many, and it’s adaptability makes it a great choice when dinner companions follow different diets.
Makes 1 okonomiyaki
30g okonomiyaki flour or plain wheat flour
1 medium egg
120g cabbage, coarsely diced into 5mm squares*
2 spring onions, chopped
10g tenkasu tempura crisps
60g Otafuku Okonomi Sauce
2 rashers of bacon
A handful of shredded cheese
Vegetable oil, for frying
Mayonnaise, aonori green nori flakes, katsuobushi dried bonito flakes (optional garnishes)
*See Tips for cutting cabbage *See Tips for vegetarian and vegan adaptations
Dice the bacon and fry until crispy, then set aside.
Add the flour and water to a bowl, followed by the egg, half the spring onion, the cabbage, and the tempura crisps. Combine well but do not overwork; keep air in the mixture.
Add 1 tbsp of vegetable oil to a frying pan and heat over a low flame. Add your mixture, forming it into a round approx. 15cm wide and 2cm deep (see image). Cook for 5 mins until the surface is crispy.
Flip the pancake over and cook for another 5 mins.
Place on a plate and smother generously with the Otafuku Okonomi Sauce. Sprinkle the crispy bacon, cheese, and remaining spring onion on top, along with garnishes as desired.
For vegans, we recommend using a plant-based bacon alternative. If avoiding egg in the pancake base, increase the amounts of flour (to 50g) and water (to 70ml). Use almond milk instead of water to recreate the stickiness that egg imparts.
Using the right cabbage is important; pointed or sweetheart cabbage have softer leaves which are ideal. If using a firmer type, such as white cabbage, be sure to dice finely and cook well.
The texture of okonomiyaki will change according to how the cabbage is prepared. Dicing into 5mm cubes as recommended above will retain the texture of cabbage. Alternatively, shred for a lighter, fluffier texture. Keeping your cabbage slices longer will make it easier to combine the batter and flip the pancake.
The recipe above is for Kansai-style okonomiyaki, where the vegetables and egg are pre-mixed into a batter before cooking. There’s also a Hiroshima-style way to cook okonomiyaki, where the ingredients are layered in turn, which you can find at the Otafuku Global Site: https://www.otafukusauce.com/e/recipes/okonomiyaki_hiroshima.php
Here are some delicious topping suggestions. (Left to right = seafood, tomatoes, corns and mushrooms, kimchi and pork, basic Kansai style with aonori green nori flakes)
About Otafuku Okonomi Sauce
This vegan-friendly Otafuku Okonomi Sauce is a unique blend of some 20 different spices, combined with an indulgent mixture of fruits and vegetables. This beautifully mellow sauce is characterised by a sweetness and richness that comes from the use of carefully sourced dates. Okonomiyaki aside, Otafuku Okonomi Sauce is highly versatile: use as a dipping sauce for chips and fried food, as a secret, depth-enhancing ingredient in bolognaise sauces and beef stews, as a steak sauce. In Japan, this is a much loved, family favourite condiment: try it and you’ll find your own ways of using it too.
In addition to Otafuku Okonomi Sauce, you can create more authentic okonomiyaki by incorporating other Otafuku brand items. Otafuku Okonomiyaki Flour is perfect for both okonomiyaki and takoyaki (battered octopus pieces). Otafuku Tenkasu Tempura Crisps are deliciously crunchy flakes of deep-fried tempura batter that will add texture to okonomiyaki. Okonomiyaki aside, vegan-friendly Otafuku Yakisoba Sauce is sweet, spice-rich, and deeply aromatic, and all you need to make flavoursome yakisoba.
Where to buy
Available at Japanese/Oriental online grocery stores.
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