Okonomiyaki

Today’s recipe is for a popular Japanese treat called Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き), whose name derives from the words okonomi (what you like) and yaki (grill), so this will be a pretty versatile dish. In Japan this savory cabbage pancake is made in front of you, which is an exciting experience, but you too can make one at home with very little fuss. The main and essential ingredient is cabbage, but then you can add whatever you like to it. It’s perfect for a late breakfast, a quick dinner or a weekend treat. You can make it with very easily accessible ingredients but I will leave some notes in the end to help you through some if you need!

 

Preparation Time: 5 min | Cooking Time: 10 min per pancake | Serves: 2 | Spice level: 0

What you’ll need:

For the pancake

  • 1 cup (about 130g) plain flour
  • 5 cups of cabbage, cut in small pieces
  • 2 spring onions/scallions, chopped
  • About 1 cup (250ml) of Dashi stock (see notes)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • A splash of sesame oil
  • 2 eggs
  • A handful of mozzarella cheese
  • About 200g of raw prawns, cut into small pieces
  • A splash vegetable oil (for frying)

To serve (optional, you can play around with these, although the sauce is very important)

  • Okonomyaki sauce (see notes) and Japanese mayonnaise
  • Black sesame seeds
  • Chopped spring onion/scallion
  • Bonito flakes (see notes)

 

Method:

  • Start by adding the flour, the baking powder and the salt to one large bowl. Whisk in the Dashi stock until you have a runny batter.
  • Now add the cheese, the spring onions, the prawns and the cabbage, mixing it all together.
  • Add the splash of sesame oil and two eggs, combining everything together. (Feel free to add whatever ingredients you may like here!)
  • Drop a drizzle of vegetable oil (about a tablespoon) into a frying pan and let it heat up. Transfer half of your pancake batter into the pan. It should hold its shape, but press it a little to make it nice and round one.
  • Cover with a lid and let it fry for about 5 minutes. Once the time is up, flip it with a spatula, cover again and let it fry for another 5 minutes.
  • You are all done. Now serve it with the sauce, some mayonnaise if you want, black sesame seeds and then add the Bonito flakes if you have some. The heat will make them move around, it’s like your dish is coming to life!
  • Enjoy!

 


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Notes:

  • Dashi stock is made of kelp seaweed and Bonito fish flakes and easily found in big supermarkets (UK readers, you can find it on Waitrose). It’s also available in Japanese/Asian stores if you have access to them, or online. If you can’t find any, I recommend you use fish stock instead.
  • Okonomiyaki sauce and Bonito flakes can be found in Asian stores, but if you can’t find any sauce I offer a very close substitution: combine 4 Tbsp Ketchup, 3 and 1/2 Tbsp of Worcestershire sauce, 2 Tbsp Oyster sauce, and 1 and 1/2 Tbsp Sugar . If you can’t find any Bonito flakes, you can still make this recipe as they don’t change things dramatically.
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