ikebana and life in japan

a blog about ikebana and life in japan


Okonomiyaki -- Japanese pancakes

A couple of weeks ago, a new restaurant opened up here in Hanamaki. The city I live in is large population wise, but not that large when it comes to a variety of restaurants or things to do. So needless to say, I was very excited about the new restaurant.

The restaurant is an okonomiyaki restaurant called Dohtonbori. What is okonomiyaki? Well, the easiest explanation would be a savory Japanese pancake with different ingredients added to the batter. The word is derived from okonomi meaning "what you like" and yaki meaning "grill."

There are two main types of okonomiyaki -- Osaka-style and Hiroshima-style.

Osaka-style is the most popular and can be found throughout Japan. Shredded cabbage, eggs, green onions, and often some type of meat are mixed into the batter. At this restaurant, you grill the okonomiyaki yourself at the table on a very hot griddle. It makes for a fun time!

In the other style, Hiroshima-style, the ingredients are layered instead of mixed together like the Osaka-style. A thin layer of the batter is smoothed out, and on top of that, cabbage and thin strips of pork are layered on top. Off to the side, you grill some noodles, which are then added to the top; and to top it all off, a fried egg. This one is a bit more complicated to make -- timing is important -- but I must say, this style is my favorite.

Take a look at some photos I took when a friend and I went to check it out. It was delicious.

Disclaimer: The photos aren't the best. I was trying to hurry in between each step and take the pictures before the stuff burned!

The ingredients for the Hiroshima-style okonomikayi.
Over the thin layer of batter, shredded cabbage and pork are added.
The okonomiyaki turned over to cook the cabbage and pork.
While the cabbage and pork are grilling, off to the side, noodles are grilled with a sweet sauce.
An egg is then fried with the noodles and the cabbage and pork added on top.
The whole thing is flipped over once again and. . .
The finished product!
The half on the right has okonomiyaki sauce, dried seaweed, katsuobushi flakes and mayonaise.
The one on the right has the okonomiyaki sauce only -- my side.
Osaka-style okonomiyaki with cabbage, green onions, and pork.
Also Osaka-style with three typs of onions and pork.
The finished product, without the sauce.
I forgot to take a picture because I was enjoying eating it so much!
The cute mascot of the restaurant -- a tanuki or Japanese raccoon.


Nora Kay said...

You make everything look delicious. Maybe this is something we can try when Connie and I come to see you. I think I would like to leave off the seaweed. I have tried that and didn't like it at all. I am a lover of cabbage so that would be a must.

Stephen Coler said...

This could be somewhere we go, but I am not so sure you would like it. They are a bit moist on the inside, so . . . But, the Hirosaki-style would be ok for you. I think it's the best!

sacchi.A said...

I want to eat together too.

SCU said...

Your ikebana is stunning. Thank you for your walk-through at the Kawatoku exhibit this past weekend and for sharing your blog with me. I especially loved the dandelion gone to seed.

Susan Unher

Stephen Coler said...

thank you! i'm glad you enjoyed the ikebana exhibition this past weekend. it was fun talking about the different styles and forms with you.