I love okonomiyaki, it’s probably my favourite Japanese food! How to describe it? Kind like a savoury pancake with stuff in and sauce on top? It’s great if you’re not really that in to fish (although I’ve found the majority of Japanese food to be fried & meaty…) or are vegetarian, but many okonomiyaki restaurants are self-cook which can be a little daunting as a tourist. With that in mind, here’s a quick guide to the art of okonomiyaki:
One: This is your basic set up – a hotplate in the middle of the table, and a load of mystery sauces. And mayonnaise.
Two: Get that hotplate greased up! The okonomiyaki mix will probably come in a little bowl, mash it all up together and pop it on to the hotplate.
Three: Try to shape in to a circle-ish. leave it for a wee bit to cook; you can check on it’s progress by lifting up the edge with the little spatulas.
Four: Flip it over, being careful not to drop in the floor/on anyone’s lap. Spread on some okonomiyaki/tonkastu sauce (the brown one).
Five: Pop some bonito flakes on top, as well as some of the green nori – these bits always look like wood shavings and dried grass to me!
Six: Get your creative hat on – it’s time to go mental with the mayo! We were boring & went with the traditional design, but why not try a smiley face, your name or any old obscenity!
Seven: The finished product! We had okonomiyaki with cabbage as standard, and added mushrooms and pork. There’s loads of different add-ons though, with squid & octopus being popular in the Kansai region.
Eight: All gone! I’m getting hungry just writing this… must dash to our local Japanese supermarket!
Thanks to Samuel for cooking, and Sakura Tei for letting us take loads of photos in their fab restaurant as well as providing all-you-can-eat (tabehoudai) okonomiyaki – yum!