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TokyoTreat Japanese Snacks BlogWhat is Okonomiyaki?

What is Okonomiyaki?

Jojo MorscheJojo Morsche
Published Time
Posted on 
September 07, 2018
Modified Time
Updated last 
June 21, 2022

Okonomiyaki is just like Takoyaki a popular pan fried food originally from West Japan, it's popular in the cities Osaka and Hiroshima. Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki have several similarities such as a similar sauce and ingredients used in the batter such as dashi, yet they are very different at the same time! Okonomiyaki is often described as a 'savory pancake' outside Japan, it mainly consists of batter and cabbage and some ingredients of choice! The original okonomiyaki is made with pork but also beef, squid and octopus are popular. Even though konomiyaki isn't vegan it can be made vegetarian by choosing mochi, cheese or kimchi instead of meat or fish! There are also plenty of other vegetarian options in Japan, did you check our blog post on Japanese vegetarian and vegan restaurants?

On this menu you also see 'Hiroshima style' okonomiyaki. In Japan the two most famous okonomiyaki are Osaka style and Hiroshima style. In Hiroshima you can enjoy your okonomiyaki on top of noodles and in Osaka without. It's possible to make okonomiyaki at home but most people like to go to okonomiyaki-specialized restaurants to enjoy the savory pancakes. At most restaurants you're allowed to make your own okonomiyaki, the tables are equipped with an iron griddle on which you can cook. Here are instructions on how to cook okonomiyaki:

Step 1. the batter, cabbage, egg and other ingredients are brought to your table in a bowl.

Step 2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl!

Step 3. Apply oil to the plate and pour the mixture onto the hot griddle. Make a round shape with the spatulas.

Step 4: Flip the Okonomiyaki with the spatulas once one side is finished.

Step 5: When both sides are cooked apply Okonomiyaki sauce with a brush. Okonomiyaki sauce is just like takoyaki sauce similar to Worcestershire sauce.

Step 6: Zigzag mayonnaise on the okonomiyaki.

Step 7: Add Bonito flakes (katsuobushi) to the okonomiyaki.

Step 8: Sprinkle dried seaweed (aonori) all over the okonomiyaki.

Step 9: Break off pieces of okonomiyaki with the spatula and enjoy!

Have you ever heard of okonomiyaki or have you tried it? Do you prefer takoyaki or okonomiyaki? What is your favorite topping? Let us know in the comments below!!

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