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Dinner

Osaka-Style Okonomiyaki

This okonomiyaki recipe is pure Japanese soul food. The most authentic recipes use nagaimo and dashi, but can be substituted if you can't find them.

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Recipe Origin: Osaka, Japan

A specialty from Osaka, this pancake is pure Japanese soul food. There are two styles of okonomiyaki; Osaka or Kansai style, and Hiroshima style. Okonomi means “what you like” and yaki means “grilled,” so literally this is a dish grilled as you like it. Okonomiyaki has countless variations, with the addition of ingredients like seafood, pork or cheese, but the most basic is a pancake made out of flour, shredded cabbage, egg, green onion and water. The most authentic recipes use nagaimo (aka Japanese mountain yam), which acts  as a binder, and dashi (a Japanese stock) in place of water, though okonomiyaki can be made without these ingredients if you can’t find them. The beauty of this dish is the garnish that includes tangy tonkatsu sauce, Japanese-style mayonnaise, aonori and bonito flakes. Admittedly,  it might be a little strange for a first-timer (tuna flakes on a pancake?), but once hooked, you’ll find yourself craving this umami-bomb over and over.      

Servings
4
Prep Time
40 min
Duration
40 min

Ingredients

Tonkatsu sauce

  • 1/3 cup organic ketchup
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tsp mirin
  • 2 tsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Japanese-style mayonnaise

  • 1/4 cup olive oil mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 4 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder (TRY: Colman’s Dry Powder Mustard)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Pancakes

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups whole-grain spelt flour
  • 11/3 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • Note:
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 lb peeled and deveined shrimp, tails removed, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Tip:
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 2 strips all-natural nitrate- and nitrite free bacon, cut in half, optional
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 cup bonito flakes, optional
  • 1/2 cup aonori or dried green laver (dried powdered seaweed), optional
  • 1/2 cup pickled ginger, optional

Preparation

  1. Prepare Tonkatsu Sauce: In a small bowl, combine all ingredients.
  2. Prepare Japanese-Style Mayonnaise: In a second small bowl, combine all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate both sauces until needed.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, flour, broth, nagaimo and salt. Do not over-mix. Add shrimp, onions and cabbage and mix until cabbage is evenly coated in batter.
  4. Heat a 10-inch nonstick skillet on medium and mist liberally with cooking spray. Add half of cabbage mixture and top with strips of bacon (if using), pressing down gently so that pancake is about 3/4 inch thick. Cook for about 5 minutes, until underside is golden brown. Carefully flip pancake using a wide spatula (or a second skillet), and continue to cook until crisp on the outside and cabbage is softened, another 5 minutes. Carefully flip pancake out onto a plate so that bacon side is up.

(Note: To keep pancake warm until ready to serve, transfer to a parchment-lined baking tray and place uncovered in a 250°F oven.) Repeat with remaining batter.

  1. To serve, cut pancakes into wedges (if desired) and drizzle evenly with sauces. Add sesame seeds, and if using, bonito flakes, aonori and ginger.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 1/2 of a pancake
  • Calories 633
  • Carbohydrate Content 73 g
  • Cholesterol Content 285 mg
  • Fat Content 25 g
  • Fiber Content 9 g
  • Protein Content 31 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 5 g
  • Sodium Content 869 mg
  • Sugar Content 10 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 0 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 0 g