I enjoy blogging and sharing recipes online, but telling stories about food and cooking it for my guests at the same time is much more fun. It involves all the senses. I like to start with a field trip to the Asian stores, point to my favorite ingredients, and explain why. We shop for everything needed for the recipe, so after the demo my guests are ready to cook the same dish at home.
I chose okonomiyaki for my free demos for a reason. Many people see the ingredients and either can’t imagine the result or suspect they won’t like it. The first bite is always a pleasant surprise. Some say they would never guess what okonomiyaki is made of.
Okonomiyaki is a Japanese pancake made of shredded cabbage mixed with a variety of ingredients and some batter. Cooked okonomiyaki is served with okonomi sauce, Japanese mayonnaise, katsuobushi, and aonori. All these components are important.
Okonomiyaki originated from the Osaka and Hiroshima areas (West) of Japan. The name means “what you like, grilled”. Okonomi means “what you want” or “what you like”, yaki means “grilled” or “cooked”. There is no one way to make Okonomiyaki and no one recipe that defines it — it is very much up to the chef or customer. Osaka style, when all the ingredients are mixed and cooked together, is my favorite.
You can make dashi from scratch or mix instant hon dashi granules with hot water (1 tsp hon dashi + 3/4 cup water). Nagaimo can be substituted with 1 tbsp of tapioca flour mixed with 1/4 cup of boiling hot water. Nagaimo and tenkasu make okonomiyaki texture light and fluffy. Do not omit them. Both these ingredients and aonory can be found in Asahi Imports store in Austin.