Home > Cultural experiences, Food > Hiroshima-fu(style) Okonomiyaki!

Hiroshima-fu(style) Okonomiyaki!

There are all kinds of okonomiyaki, but the most common type from Osaka is a savory sorta-pancake with pork, cabbage, and other fillings.  Kind of similar to Korean jeon or Chinese scallion pancakes but with a higher veggie to batter ratio.  At a restaurant they bring all the ingredients in a bowl which you mix and then dump the contents onto the teppan (hot plate).  For some reason, the bowl they give you to mix it in is always barely enough to fit even the ingredients, much less mix them all together, so it takes some technique.  Here, we just got our waiter to do it for us.

2011-08-29_Shimonoseki

But in Hiroshima, okonomiyaki it’s a multi-layered concoction of cabbage, bean sprouts, meat, egg, and soba (or udon) noodles, topped with a crepe-like layer of batter and doused in okonomiyaki sauce (similar to Yakisoba sauce) and nori.  You can also add additional toppings like cheese, kimuchi (Japanese style kimchi), squid, or mochi to name a few.

2011-06-28_FirstWeek1

The locals eat it straight off the teppan (hot plate) with mini metal spatulas.  I’m not nearly so tough, so I generally just eat it with chopsticks and a plate.  Okonomiyaki restaurants also make for excellent people-watching: you get neighborhood grandpas, young moms, teenage girls, business men in suits, all sitting next to each other and shoveling away.  And everyone (no matter how skinny) always finish their okonomiyaki without any apparent effort and absolutely no mess, which is pretty impressive considering the size and sauciness of it.  Or maybe I’m just messy.

005(My finished Okonomiyaki)

006 (Everyone else’s finished okonomiyaki)

Last month, our friend Miki taught a bunch of us how to make Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki and we all had fun trying to flip pancakes 3 inches high with cabbage and meat and sprouts without making a total mess.  Regular pancakes will be a cinch after that!

Here’s another fun one.  Tokyo-style manjyuyaki eaten with a really tiny metal spatula.

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What kinds of okonomiyaki have you had?

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Categories: Cultural experiences, Food
  1. May 13, 2013 at 3:29 am

    i must have okonomiyaki from hiroshima again!! i want eat it straight off of the teppan with a spatula next time! 🙂

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