Okonomiyaki: with kimchi/ with natto and mochi

Okonomiyaki always has shredded cabbage in it so it’s a great way to use up your leftover shredded cabbage from sauerkraut making, or to cut up the outer leaves you don't use. 

Okonomiyaki translates to ‘fry what you like’, and is kind of like taco night, or fry up -  a leftover dish in Japanese homes. Similar to how we enjoy Temakizushi (roll your own sushi). It's one of those dishes you place the ingredients on the table and the family can help themselves, mixing and waiting to fry what they like and eat together, warm around the cooker. I love this way of eating.  Read more here. 

This is often thought of as a Japanese pancake but it is more substantial than that, and never sweet. It is a true leftover fry-up akin to Bubble and Squeak or a frittata. If you have the ingredients on hand, you’ve got a great dinner to either cook together on a tabletop cooker or quickly sort at the stove. Kewpie mayo and Okonomiyaki sauce is a must. 

 

Ingredients

Some of the ingredients won’t be in your regular store, so you may need to buy up when you see them (we also stock some of these in our store). If Okonomiyaki didn’t taste so good - the  Katsuoboshi might be the main attraction. You can find it in little packets pre-shredded - or if you’d like to bring it up a level - get the impressive whole fish and the wooden grater to shave over the top to watch it come alive and dance, a kind of drama that brings this easy dish up a level in foodie land.

Batter

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour*
  • ¼ teaspooon salt
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 180ml dashi **
  • ½ - 1 cabbage (or any leftovers from kraut making)
  • 4 large eggs
  • Vegetable oil

Filling Ideas

  • kimchi - chopped and you could use the juice in the dashi
  • mochi - chopped into small 1 cm squares and a 30-50g natto
  • bacon
  • sausage out of it’s casing
  • any seafood - prawns, calamari, scallops, small dried fish etc.
  • garlic, spring onions, cheese

Okonomi Sauce (this can easily be found in Asian food section or stores but here is an easy way to whip up something similar)

  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 4 Tbsp ketchup
  • 4 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

TOPPINGS - this is the fun part and very important!

Okonomi Sauce, Kewpie Mayonnaise, Katsuoboshi (dried bonito), Anonori - (dried seaweed finely chopped), Pickled Red Ginger

* look for special Okonomiyaki flour from your local Japanese store. It usually has a mountain yam flour in it - look for that. If you can’t find that - perhaps look for the yam and grate a chunk of it into the mixture.

** this is a japanese stock - you could also use other stocks you have or even just water

Method

  1. Mix the batter together - add the fillings - place on oiled hotpan and after it’s cooked to a ‘liftable state’ flip. OR if you are doing this as a cook your own at the table (for four for example) then divide the ingredients into four small bowls and let each person crack their eggs into it,  stir and then add their chosen ingredients together. Favourite combinations - chopped kimchi and grated cheese, bacon and cheese, natto and chopped mochi.
  2. Cook gently so it’s soft on the inside, crunchy, saucy and mayonnaise-y on the outside. You’ll need to flip it at some point. Some people put cheese and stuff on the top and then cover with a lid to encourage melting, so it’s like a pizza. Usually, after you’ve flipped it, you’ll paint on the toppings with a brush and squirt the Kewpie and sprinkle the seaweed and then the katsuoboshi. And a little pop of colour to the top with the red pickled ginger if  you have it.
  3. Eat from the hot plate or serve in wedges.