Literally translated as “fried stuff you like”, okonomiyaki is one of Japan’s favourite foods. There are regional variations of this recipe that contain noodles and I’ve even seen gourmet versions with foie gras, but this simple and original Osaka-style pancake is cheap, fast and absolutely delicious.
- ½ head (about 500 g) cabbage, finely shredded
- ½ cup tempura batter bits (tenkasu) (see note)
- 1 tbsp red pickled ginger (benishouga) (see note)
- toppings, such as raw prawns, cooked octopus, thinly sliced pork belly, grated cheese, to serve
- 1 cup Otafuku sauce (see note)
- ½ cup Japanese mayonnaise (see note)
- ½ cup finely sliced spring onion
- 1 cup loosely packed bonito flakes (katsuobushi) (see note)
- 300 g (2 cups) plain flour
- 75 g (½ cup) potato flour or cornflour
- ½ tsp powdered dashi stock or salt (optional)
- 2 eggs
- 375 ml (1½ cups) water
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling/freezing time 30 minutes
To make the okonomiyaki batter, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Stand in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Combine the cabbage, tempura batter bits and pickled ginger, and divide equally between four bowls or mixing jugs. Add any toppings you like to the bowls (it’s nice to make a few different kinds). Divide okonomiyaki batter between bowls and mix well.
Spoon the mixture from each bowl onto a lightly oiled, hot teppanyaki plate or large frying pan, and roughly spread out to a 15 cm circle. Cook on medium heat for about 6-7 minutes or until the base is browned. Turn and cook, poking a few holes in the top of the pancake to allow steam to escape, for a further 5 minutes or until the thick pancake is cooked through.
With a brush, brush the each pancake liberally with Otafuku sauce and drizzle lots of mayonnaise over the top. Scatter with spring onion and bonito flakes and serve.
• These ingredients can be purchased at Japanese grocers.