Hiroshima-Style Okonomiyaki is one of the most famous and popular Japanese foods among the tourists who visit Japan. It’s a crepe-based layered savoury pancake, and I have never cooked it at home until recently. Because I believed that it was too hard to cook without a large hotplate.
Since I watched a BBC video about Hiroshima-Style Okonomiyaki, I have been desperate for it. So, I have created my own recipe using substitute ingredients. It is not hard if you have two frying pans.
50g Plain Flour *about 1/3 cup
Oil for cooking
*You must save 2 tablespoons batter.
1 tablespoon Katsuobushi (Bonito Flakes) *optional, crumbled
2 handfuls thinly sliced Cabbage
1 handful Bean Sprouts
2 tablespoons ‘Tenkasu’ *also called ‘Agedama’
*Note: ‘Tenkasu’ is Deep-fried Tempura Batter Chips and it can be impossible to find for many of us. The best substitutes are ‘Fried Shallots’, ‘Shrimp Crackers’ or Indian ‘Boondi’.
50g thinly sliced Pork
1 serving (100g) Yakisoba Noodles OR Stir-fry Noodles
Salt & Finely Ground Pepper
1 Spring Onion *finely chopped
Aonori (finely shredded green seaweed) *optional
Benishoga (Red Pickled Ginger) OR Pink Pickled Ginger *optional
- Make the crepe batter by mixing Flour and Water, and set aside. Prepare the vegetables.
- Heat a large frying pan over high heat, apply a small amount of Oil, and reduce the heat to medium low. *Note: If you use a not-stick frying pan, simply heat over medium low heat and apply a small amount of Oil.
- Spread the batter to create a crepe about 18cm in diameter. (The larger the crepe is, the harder to flip over.) *You must save 2 tablespoons batter.
- Sprinkle with the crumbled Katsuobushi (Bonito Flakes). Place thinly sliced Cabbage, Bean Sprouts and ‘Tenkasu’ (OR the substitute), drizzle the saved batter over, and cover with Pork slices. Sprinkle with Salt & Pepper.
- When the crepe is nicely browned, carefully flip the whole thing over using 2 turners so that the Pork slices are now touching the frying pan. FIGHT against the temptation that you want to press it down, and let it cook slowly for 4 to 5 minutes. (Slow steam-cooking makes the Cabbage sweet.) Then you may press it down.
- *Tips: Some vegetable pieces would fly off all over the frying pan when you flip it over. Just gather them back to the pancake.
- Meanwhile, cook Yakisoba Noodles in another frying pan, with a small amount of Oil. Season with Salt & Pepper, OR/AND Okonomiyaki Sauce. Carefully transfer the whole pancake, as Pork slices are facing down, onto the Noodles.
- Crack an Egg onto the emptied frying pan and spread it out into the same size as the crepe. Carefully transfer the whole pancake with the Noodles onto the Egg. Cook for another 1 minute until the Egg is cooked.
- Flip over the completed Okonomiyaki, and transfer to the serving plate.
- Spread a generous amount of Okonomiyaki Sauce on the top, sprinkle with Aonori (*optional) and finely chopped Spring Onion, and enjoy with Pickled Ginger (*optional). Hiroshima-Style Okonomiyaki is traditionally served WITHOUT mayonnaise.