Okonomiyaki is a savoury Japanese pancake made with veggies and meat that's fried and topped with condiments like okonomiyaki sauce, mayo and bonito flakes. This popular street food is particularly famous in Osaka as well as Hiroshima, which has two respectively distinct styles of making them. Today we'll be focusing on the Kansai or Osaka-style okonomiyaki, and our easy and halal okonomiyaki recipe uses chicken or seafood in it! So if you've ever wondered how to make homemade okonomiyaki, our recipe will show you how.
Note: Traditionally, okonomiyaki uses grated Japanese mountain yams in the batter, as well as tenkasu (fried tempura batter bits). Both these ingredients aren't super accessible or readily available in our part of the world, so our recipe is modified to do without!
Ingredients (makes 2 large pancakes)
- 120g all-purpose flour
- 30g cornstarch or potato starch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- 4 eggs, beaten
- ½ large head of cabbage (about 500g), finely chopped
- ½ cup (125ml) of dashi (Japanese soup stock. You can find halal-certified dashi powder on Shopee Singapore, Lazada Malaysia & Shopee Malaysia. You can also substitute with chicken stock)
- 1 small bunch of scallions/spring onions, sliced
- 150g of boneless chicken or seafood, cut into small pieces (about half an inch)
For the topping/garnish:
- Kewpie Japanese mayonnaise
- Halal okonomiyaki sauce (Popular Japanese brand Otafuku has a halal-certified version of its okonomiyaki sauce - you can find suppliers on Shopee selling it! Otherwise, making your own sauce is quite easy too - check out Nami from Just One Cookbook's recipe).
- Bonito flakes (you can find halal bonito flakes online through e-tailers like Shopee Singapore and Shopee Malaysia)
- Sliced spring onion
- Beni shoga (Japanese red pickled ginger) (optional)
- To a large bowl, add the flour, salt, sugar, whisk together.
- Add the beaten eggs and dashi. Mix until just combined.
- Add the chopped cabbage and sliced scallions and mix until combined.
- Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add some oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan or use cooking spray.
- When the frying pan is hot, ladle out nearly half the okonomiyaki batter onto the centre of the pan, then spread it out into a circle (the okonomiyaki should be roughly 2cm in thickness).
- Place your chicken or seafood evenly on the pancake. Season lightly with some salt. Drizzle a bit more of the batter on the pancake over the meat/seafood (just to help it adhere and not fall out when you flip the pancake over).
- Cover the pan and let it cook for about 5 minutes until the pancake is golden brown on the bottom.
- Flip the pancake over - you can use two spatulas (each supporting half of the pancake), or you can also slide the okonomiyaki out onto a plate, then place your pan over your plate and flip the pancake back into the pan (you can see how Joshua Weissman does it here).
- Cover again and let cook for another 5 minutes.
- Flip the okonomiyaki one more time and let it cook for another couple of minutes. Check that the fillings are cooked and the pancake is cooked through (you can use a chopstick to poke through the centre of the pancake - if it comes out clean then it's ready.
- Transfer the pancake to a plate. Repeat with the rest of the batter.
- Drizzle over with okonomiyaki sauce, mayonnaise and bonito flakes. Serve immediately.
Okonomiyaki is a hearty savoury dish that you can't really go wrong with. And it's super easy to whip up with ingredients you probably already have at home! So go ahead and give this recipe a try and get a taste of food that'll transport you back to Osaka ?