Osaka Style Okonomiyaki

Osaka Style Okonomiyaki

I have a recipe to share for one of my favourite Japanese dishes, Osaka Style Okonomiyaki.  Before I share the recipe I have a story to tell. My first trip to Japan was with my husband and 2 children in 2001.  Our family had been hosting Japanese students since 1995 and I wanted to experience Japan first hand.

Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Tower

The students had taught me how to make Japanese dishes at home but I wanted to be eating Japanese food in Japan. Mr GG has always been happy when I suggest a holiday, so I booked two weeks in Japan, and we commenced our whirlwind tour.

Kyoto Tower Japan

Kyoto Tower Japan

We arrived in Tokyo quite late but we were excited and ready to do some site seeing. Tokyo never sleeps so we were able to grab a meal before getting a train to our hotel. Thankfully all my children have always been good travellers and good sleepers.

Mani Asleep on the Train

Mani Asleep on the Train

Even before the Gourmet Getaways website travel was all about the food! We had so many delicious meals in Japan. Most of the time we just pointed to items on the menu, not really knowing what we would be eating.  The boys mastered the art of eating hot, noodle soup with chopsticks.

Boys Eatiing Noodles

Boys Eatiing Noodles

Then we flew to the island of Hokkaido, to meet up with a former student, Kaori.  Kaori had offered to show us around her home town of Asahikawa near Sapporo.  This is when we were first introduced to Osaka style Okonomiyaki. Kaori took us to a cute little Okonomiyaki restaurant for dinner which had hotplates on each table for cooking.

Oknomiyaki Restaurant

Oknomiyaki Restaurant Hokkaido, 2004

Each person ordered their Okonomiyaki with different meat items.  Pork is the most common meat to have in this dish but seafood is also popular. When the dishes came to the table each person was given a large bowl containing the raw ingredients.  I asked Kaori if she knew the recipe for the dish, but she said she had never made Okonomiyaki at home before.

Okonomiyaki Ingredients

Okonomiyaki Ingredients

Next an egg was broken into each of the bowls and a small amount of water added.  We were instructed by the waitress to mix the Okonomiyaki with the chopsticks and pour it onto the hotplate.

Osaka Style Okonomiyaki Recipe

Osaka Style Okonomiyaki Recipe

While the Okonomiyaki cooked we enjoyed some sashimi and Sapporo beer. The hotplate is only on a very low heat so as not to burn the thick pancake before it’s cooked through. This was something I had trouble with when I tried to replicate the dish at home.

Okonomiyaki Cooking on sandwich press

Okonomiyaki Cooking on sandwich press

Once the Okonomiyaki is cooked it’s time to add the toppings. A sauce which tastes similar to BBQ is drizzled over the pancake and then Japanese mayonnaise is drizzled over that. The final ingredient is the bonito flakes, which are sprinkled liberally over the top.

Seafood Osaka Style Okonomiyaki

Seafood Osaka Style Okonomiyaki

We all love the Osaka style Okonomiyaki so much I knew I needed to track down a recipe. I bought a Japanese cookbook while I was in Japan which included various homestyle recipes including Okonomiyaki.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Osaka Style Okonomiyaki
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Japanese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
One of my favourite Japanese dishes. Can be made into smaller circles for a picnic food or lunch box snack.
Ingredients
  • ½ head of cabbage shredded (about 6 cups)
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 t/s baking powder
  • 2 t/s dashi powder
  • 2 shallots chopped
  • ½ cup freeze dried anchovies or prawn (dehydrated)
  • 150gm peeled green prawn
  • 4 eggs
  • 2⅔ cup water
Topping
  • Japanese Mayonnaise
  • Okonomiyaki Sauce
  • Bonito Flakes
Instructions
  1. Place the cabbage, flour, baking powder, dashi powder, shallot and prawns in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the egg and water and mix to combine all ingredients. At this stage it will look like there isn't enough batter to form a pancake. Don't worry, this is how it should look.
  3. Heat a flat bottomed sandwich press and place a ladle of the mixture onto the hot base of the press.
  4. Gently arrange the Okonomiyaki filling into a flat circle as it is cooking.
  5. Allow the Okonomiyaki too cook for a few minutes then close the lid of the sandwich press to allow the top to cook. Do not open until the Okonomiyaki is ready.
  6. Use an egg flip to remove the Okonomiyaki and place it onto a serving plate.
Topping
  1. Squeeze the desired amount of Okonomiyaki Sauce over the pancake.
  2. Add Japanese mayonnaise to the pancake, then sprinkle with Bonito flakes.

I still wasn’t a very successful Okonomiyaki chef until Yuichi, our next long term student cooked the dish for me at home.  This time we used the sandwich maker instead of a frying pan and we had success. The press replicated the Japanese hotplate perfectly.  The recipe has altered with the assistance of our other Japanese students over the years and as a result I can now confidently give you my recipe for Osaka style Okonomiyaki.

Osaka Style Okonimiyaki

Osaka Style Okonimiyaki

So time moves on and the little children I first took to Japan as 4 and 5 year olds are all grown up and have left home. Looking at these photo’s it really only seems like yesterday.

Kaori & Our Family 2004

Kaori & Our Family 2004

Over the years we have made a few more trips to Japan, although not with the “new” little children.  We have been to Hiroshima and tried the Hiroshima style Okonomiyaki and it’s so good!!! The Hiroshima Style Okonomiyaki includes loads of noodles in the pancake.

Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Dome

Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Dome

Perhaps I will learn how to cook that dish and share it with you also…

Universal Studios

Universal Studios

I will definitely need to pack Anais & Locky off to Japan with us soon.  They always tell me their older siblings got to do all the good things, I better not show them the pictures of Tokyo Disney and Universal Studios!

Comments

  1. Yum!!!! This is one of my favourite foods! There’s a great little Japanese place near us that makes awesome okonomiyaki, but I think I will have to try your recipe now instead! xx

  2. I can’t wait to go to Japan one day. Your photos are making me want to get on an airplane right now. This dish is new to me but I love cabbage so I know I’d love it.

    • Please try this recipe Nancy… but halve the ingredients unless you are feeding a lot of people… when I make it just for my teenage son I use 1 egg and about 1 cup of cabbage.

  3. Looks like you’ve mastered okonomiyaki, Julie! Love to visit Ashikawa some day – soon!

  4. Japan is definitely on my list of places to visit. This dish looks so impressive Julie; it looks so traditional I would have thought it was made in Japan!

    Krissie x – http://pearlsofstyle.blogspot.com.au
    Krissie – Pearls of Style recently posted..One Day. A day in the lifeMy Profile

  5. Mm, I love okonomiyaki. That reminds me that I haven’t had it in… well, it must be more than a year now. It’s not the same without bonito flakes so I need to try and find some of these!
    Charles recently posted..Beetroot and Potato CroquettesMy Profile

  6. Ohhh that does look good. And you’re right, you’d better keep those Disney pictures under wraps for a bit. lol!
    Rosey recently posted..The Rebirth of Dino Earth (Children’s Book Review)My Profile

  7. Lovely story. I’ve enjoyed these at our local market – slurpalicious. I’ve never been to Japan, would love to go there on January to go skiing and check out the cities.
    Seana – Sydney, Kids, Food + Travel recently posted..In Search Of The Perfect Washing Basket – A Rant!!My Profile

  8. Love the little story behind your Okonomiyaki. It looks delicious. And your trip sounds so much fun!
    Sugar et al recently posted..Spicy Asian Eggplant CurryMy Profile

  9. I just love Japan. Osaka was one of our favourite cities1

  10. What a cute family you have!
    Your okonomiyaki looks so authentic. I love bringing home new recipe inspiration after travelling.
    Sophia @fashimi recently posted..A weekend in MelbourneMy Profile

  11. Wow, I didn’t know you have several older children, as well, who have moved out of home! I have a sandwich press machine which I haven’t used for years. You’ve now given me an idea of what to use it for!
    Fran @ G’day Souffle’ recently posted..Red Velvet Valentine’s CakeMy Profile

  12. I am jealous, visiting Japan would have been such an amazing experience :D
    Love how you were inspired to make this delicious dish!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru
    Choc Chip Uru recently posted..Risky BusinessMy Profile

  13. I’m a fan of Japanese food, Julie, but have never been… nor have I tried okonomiyaki… but it looks great! Aren’t your children fortunate to travel so well xo
    Lizzy (Good Things) recently posted..Postcards and morsels – a short breakMy Profile

  14. Love your recipe for Okonomiyaki! The idea of the sandwich press is genius — truly. Good stuff — thankns.
    John@Kitchen Riffs recently posted..Celery, Corn, and Bacon ChowderMy Profile

  15. I love okonomiyaki, but have never used a sandwich press. Seriously going to have to give that method a go!
    Sara | Belly Rumbles recently posted..Prawn BallsMy Profile

  16. I hope to make it to Japan one day!
    I’ve only ever had okonomiyaki that I’ve made, so i have no idea how authentic it is, but it’s just another reason to go to Japan one day ;) x
    Iron Chef Shellie recently posted..Chicken Soba NoodlesMy Profile

  17. I’d never even heard of this dish! Japan is high on my list of place to visit (I’ve never been) so I appreciated your insight into your travels and this dish too :)
    Kari @ bite-sized thoughts recently posted..Heavenly Plate Cafe RestaurantMy Profile

  18. What a fantastic time you must have had exploring Japan! Love the alternate use for the sandwich press. Great recipe Julie :)
    Tandy | Lavender and Lime recently posted..Command Authority, Tom ClancyMy Profile

  19. Littlej learns Japanese at school and they’re doing some Japanese cooking in class as well, I’m looking forward to some yumminess coming home- if she’ll save any for me! I’ll have to show her this post, maybe she can make this for me instead :) xox
    InTolerant Chef recently posted..Steamed Chinese Pork Buns- Char Siu BaoMy Profile

  20. What a lovely and special holiday. My little guy always tells me his older siblings got to do all the cool stuff too! I learned to speak Japanese at school but I have never been there. I would love to go. That pancake looks really yummy and I love how it is cooked in the centre of the table xx
    Hotly Spiced recently posted..Cranky Fins Holidae Inn, Palm BeachMy Profile

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