Delicious Japanese Pizza – Okonomiyaki

by ebazaar 26 June 2010 One Comment

Ever tried a Japanese style pizza? Or more commonly known as ‘Okonomiyaki’. Okonomiyaki when directly translated into English from the Kanji reading, it literally brought the meaning of ‘as you like it’ and ‘fried’. This Japanese food cooking dish got its name since basically, you can add anything into the main mixture of batter and cabbage and also have a wide selection of toppings before frying it on a pan. Selected toppings and ingredients that can be added including meat, poultry, seafood , wasabi, cheese, chopped vegetables and even kimchi (pickled vegetables – a very popular Korean side dish).

Okonomiyaki and Japan

Okonomiyaki is a dish so renowned in Japan that it’s a miss if you didn’t get the chance to try it while you’re staying in Japan. This dish is available all over Japan, but it’s more popular in western side of Japan, particularly cities like Hiroshima and Osaka, or around the Kansai region. The sauce used on top of Okonomiyaki resembles a thick mixture of Worcestershire sauce and it’s rather sweet. For your point of information, Kansai style okonomiyaki is much milder and sweeter than those from other regions.

Famous types of Okonomiyaki

As mentioned earlier, normally, there are two main variations of Okonomiyaki that’s available in Japan, that is the Kansai style (Osaka style) and Hiroshima style. However, the Kansai style Okonomiyaki is the type that is more commonly served in Japan and known. The Kansai style Okonimiyaki has all the ingredients mixed with cabbage and batter and fried on the pan, whereby the Hiroshima style, the batter is cooked like a think crepe separately from the other ingredients. Then later, the ingredients are placed on the crepe and served with desired toppings which is usually Okonomiyaki sauce, mayonnaise, katsuobushi (or bonito flakes) and aonori (or dried seeweed). Another distinction of Hiroshima style Okonomiyaki is in the use of Yakisoba noodle which is sometimes used as part of it ingredients.

How to make Okonomiyaki

The Japanese people usually enjoy their Okonomiyaki at restaurants that specialized in selling Okonomiyaki. These restaurants sets Japanese style dinner tables, equipped with an iron griddle like those in Teppanyaki restaurants and customers are given the ingredients to cook the meal themselves, although there are some restaurant that served it ready-to-eat.

However, it is not impossible at all to cook it home and enjoy the dish with your whole family. Okonomiyaki, by right is rather easy to make if you have the batter mixed up right and all other ingredients handy.

• For the batter you need about 2 cup all purpose flour, 1 1/4 cup dashi soup stock or water and 4-6 eggs. Then add in finely chopped cabbage and mix well.

• Put in together the ingredients and pan fried it till both sides of the okonomiyaki are cooked. You should not make it too thick to avoid uncooked portion of the Japanese pizza. You can either make it one big round or in small sizes. The thickness should be about 1 inch.

• When it’s cooked, the toppings are added. The first layer is the sauce which is applied to the Okonomiyaki with a brush. Then squeeze mayonnaise on the okonomiyaki in a zigzagging line. However, since mayonnaise is a new addition in Okonomiyaki toppings some restaurants may not have it. Guess you can say that this is part of modernization and evolution of food in Japan.

• Then, bonito flakes are placed on the dish using wooden pincer and due to the heat, you probably see the flakes or fish shaving to move and contort a little. After that came the aonori, this final touch will definitely bring colors to the dish. Sometimes, they even put other toppings like chopped spring onions and sprinkle some cheese powder on it.

The process of making Okonomiyaki is rather simple and it’s a great dish to enjoy with friends and family alike. Okonomiyaki can also be referred as a dish with personal signature taste since it can be customized to each person’s liking, so what’s your flavor of Okonomiyaki?

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