Okonomiyaki means “whatever you like, grilled” in Japanese (Okonomi means “what you like” or “what you want”, and yaki means “grilled” or “cooked”). It is an interesting combination of frittata, a savory pancake & a pizza. The first time I came across Okonomiyaki is in 101 Cookbooks. Reading thru’ Heidi’s post, I found it really interesting & the different ways the recipe may be adapted, even when making at home.
“…there are two main variations of okonomiyaki; Kansai Style (also called Osaka Style), and Hiroshima Style. Thee cooking steps are for the Kansai Style, which is the style of okonomiyaki most commonly found in Japan.
When making okonomiyaki in the Hiroshima Style, the ingredients are not mixed together. Instead, the batter is cooked like a thin crepe and the ingredients are cooked separately. When everything is done the ingredients are placed on the crepe, the toppings are added, and the okonomiyaki is served. Yakisoba noodles are a distinctive ingredient of Hiroshima style okonomiyaki, and are usually included” ..I found some good information on this mysterious food in the Japan Guide.
While going thru’ the recipe in 101 Cookbooks, I had already decided that I was going to make this soon. Then I googled it & read some more. The traditional Okonomiyaki uses meat or seafood as toppings & after it is cooked, the “pizza” is then topped off with Japanese Mayonnaise & Fish Flakes (bonita flakes) before serving. Not a big fan of meat & seafood/seaweeds, I really liked the way Heidi made an almost vegetarian version of it. I followed her recipe & then made some of my own adaptations….
Ingredients: (serves 2)
- 1 cups cabbage, finely shredded
- 1 cup leeks,[the white & the tender greens] well washed and chopped fine
- 1 Carrots chopped into matchsticks
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/3 Teaspoon of baking soda
- Water or Dashi*
- A couple pinches of fine grain sea salt (regular salt will do too)
- Black Pepper
- 1 Egg, beaten
- Olive oil
To brush on the top: 1.5 Tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, 1.5 tablespoons ketchup, 1 teaspoon Ginger Juice
Garnish: toasted slivered almonds, finely chopped Green Onions.
*Dashi is Japanese stock.
(If you want your “pizza” with cheese, feel free to throw in a fistful of your favorite in the batter!
Other ingredients that may be used are some chopped seafood, meat, noodles…)
Mix the Worcestershire sauce, ketchup & ginger juice & set aside.
Mix the flour in the water/dashi. Add the baking soda. Add the salt & black pepper & whisk till smooth.
Add the shredded Leeks & Cabbage & half the amount of the carrots.
Make a hole in the middle of the batter and add an egg in the hole. Stir until everything is coated with a dusting of flour until everything is evenly coated.
Heat a large skillet ( I used my well seasoned cast iron skillet) over medium heat and add some olive oil generously.
Scoop the veggie mixture into the pan, and using a metal spatula press it into a round pancake shape, flat as you can get it. ( My suggestion here is to make smaller size.. makes it easier to flip it over )
Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the bottom is golden. Drizzle some olive oil on the top, & carefully flip it over. Again press down a bit with a spatula and cook until golden on this side – another 3 -5 minutes.
Transfer it to the serving plate. Brush on some of the sauce (ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, & ginger juice) on the top.
Garnish with toasted almonds, carrot sticks & green onions/scallions, and to cut into wedges.
Here’s a Slice….It tasted nothing like Pizza:-) It was different, but light, fresh & crunchy good! We had this for lunch.. but cut into thin wedges, it would be as good an appetizer. Sending this to In the Bag: March hosted by Julia of A Slice of Cherry Pie. The ingredients this time are Leeks, Egg & Cheese. This is also going to A.W.E.D Japan hosted Lavi, & started by DK of Culinary Bazaar.