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Okonomiyaki – Delicious Japanese Pancakes

May 17, 2008

Okonomiyaki – Delicious Japanese Pancakes

Okonomiyaki are Japanese pancakes but nothing like any pancake that you have ever tasted! The basic ingredients of okonomiyaki are cabbage, flour, and eggs that are mixed together to create a pancake like batter. Other traditional ingredients like pork, shrimp and squid are the most common add-ins but you can add pretty much anything to okonomyaki and it will be delicious.

Okonomiyaki restaurants are fairly common in Japan and the dish is a popular one at festivals but what makes okonomiyaki special is not only do you choose your ingredients, but in most restaurants, you get to cook it yourself! Doesn’t that sound like fun? I know I really enjoy interactive dining experiences and you can’t get more interactive that cooking your own food!

Like Yakiniku, you will find a grill in the center of your table and the ingredients are brought to your table in bowls. All you need to do is mix them together, pour the batter on the grill and use a meal spatula to shape and flip your pancake. When it’s done, top it with some of the traditional, slightly sweet, sauce and optional items like mayonnaise and fish flakes and you are ready to eat!

One okonomiyaki will cost between Y800 and Y1,200 (USD $8-12) at a restaurant and will serve two people nicely. The Tokyo Metropolitan multi-lingual Okonomiyaki menu lists other combinations like asparagus and bacon (this one sounds really good to me!), Kimuchi (Korean spicy cabbage – Chinese cabbage) with pork and potato and bacon but the combinations are limited only by your imagination. I have to admit that at first I was hesitant to try okonomiyaki but I have even eaten one with octopus squid, or tako taco as it is called in Japan, and it was quite tasty. Okonomiyaki is something that I would not hesitate to try again, in fact I may even try to make it at home! (I’ll use this Okonomiyaki recipe from Kids Web Japan)

Photo Credit: Flickr, Okonomiyaki & Okonomiyaki