Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pancake)

I've been venturing into Japanese food lately.

It's no secret that hubby and I love all things Japanese. We would eat sushi every week if it only weren't so expensive here!

I have a Japanese friend in Stuttgart from whom I picked up some tips for Japanese cooking, but she's more of a cooking-by-feeling person. Without any recipes, I've been too lazy to research for recipes to experiment.

Until now that is! 

I've been getting bored with my daily cooking, so I knew that I needed a breath of fresh air in my kitchen.

Hence, when I saw that the Asian store where I usually go to started to stock up on Japanese condiments, I knew that this was my sign to venture into unknown territory!

I've  been wanting to try out Okonomiyaki for the longest time. It's simply savoury Japanese pancake that one can top with anything one wants.

The basic ingredients for the toppings would be cabbage and pork slices.

The best part about this meal is that you can put a hot plate on the table and do the cooking while talking to your guests. You can make one pancake after the next, without actually leaving your table. That would ensure that your pancakes are always eaten warm and quickly.

I did some research online and came up with my own version of Okonomiyaki. As a disclaimer, I ain't Japanese and neither am I a connoisseur of Japanese food, so feel free to modify the recipe according to your taste!

I still need to work on the aesthetics of my pancake and my pancake flipping skills but other than that, hubby and I loved it so much that we did the same dish again one week later! My boys are still (unfortunately) not too impressed with it, probably because they are not used to the taste of Japanese food... yet.

Having said that, Sammy loves salmon nigiri, but he doesn't like the taste of seaweed whereas Gabriel seems to enjoy salmon maki, together with the seaweed! I'm sure that it is only a question of time before my boys become mini converts too!

(Serving size: About 4 huge pancakes. Enough for a family of 4 with 2 guests)

Ingredients for the pancake mix: -

- 250 grams flour
- 2 eggs
- 300 grams Water
- 2 tsp Dashi powder


- 1/2 a large Cabbage (chopped)  (I used Spitzkohl) 
- 500 grams Pork Fillet (thinly-sliced)
- 12 Shrimps (cut into small pieces)

- A bunch of Spring Onions (chopped)
- Katsuobushi (Fish flakes)
- Anori (Seaweed either sliced or in powdered form)
- Okonomiyaki Sauce
- Japanese Mayonaise (I used normal Mayo)

1. Make the pancake mix in a large bowl.

2. Add cabbage and shrimps to the pancake mix. Combine well. The final mixture should be viscous but still flow easily. This is to ensure that the pancake sticks

3. Heat some oil in a pan over medium heat. Pour the pancake mixture from step 2.

3. Place some slices of pork fillet on top of the pancake mix. Cover and cook until the pancake layer is done.

4. Flip the pancake carefully. I used a huge flat spoon. Let it cook uncovered for another 5 minutes or until done.

5. Serve on plate with toppings facing upwards. Spread Okonomiyaki sauce and Mayonaise generously on top. Sprinkle some Katsuobushi and Anori.


Adapted from recipe here

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