We are thrilled to introduce this exciting new series! The Morikami staff is just bursting with information and knowledge of Japanese cuisine, crafts, arts and more to share with our friends and supporters through the “Morikami Makes” series. We have now opened a window to experiencing Japanese culture in the comfort of your own home! We hope you enjoy yet another wonderful Morikami offering with the exciting “Morikami Makes” videos and articles featured in our membership newsletters and on our blog. Our inaugural recipe for okonomiyaki is the first of many that are sure to pique your taste buds!
こんにちは！(Konnichiwa!) I have spent many years of my life studying the Japanese language and culture as well as 4 years total living in Japan. One year as a student in the north eastern part of the main island of Honshu and 3 years as a teacher in the Kansai region. Living in both places has shown me diverse perspectives of the culture and has introduced me to a variety of Japanese cuisine. I am a huge fan of Japanese food and love to try to make it in America for my family & friends! Okonomiyaki, literally “what you like” (okonomi) “grilled” (yaki), is one of my favorite Japanese dishes. Okonomiyaki is a popular Japanese dish often referred to as a Japanese savory pancake or Japanese pizza, and the choice of inside ingredients and style varies by region. My style of okonomiyaki is derived from my Japanese friends from the Kansai region during my time in Japan!
Recipe provided by Jaclyn DeMarzo
Youth & Outreach Program Coordinator
Okonomiyaki gained its origins from the Edo period (1683–1868) from a special dessert served at Buddhist ceremonies. Over time the recipe has changed, with a variety of different cooking methods and sauces introduced. In the 1930’s, the term okonomiyaki was derived in Osaka, but during the same time in Hiroshima, a similar crepe-like food was gaining popularity. Thus, two styles were born: the Kansai/Osaka style where all the ingredients are mixed into a batter and then grilled, and the Hiroshima style where a small crepe-like pancake is grilled and then other ingredients are layered on top. Okonomiyaki became especially popular during WWII, when rice was scarce and people had to be creative in using more readily available ingredients. Currently, there are more than 300,000 Okonomiyaki restaurants in Japan!
(Makes 2 pancakes | serves 3–4 people)
1/3 head of green cabbage, shredded
1 cup of okonomiyaki flour (or Korean pancake mix)
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp oil [I use sesame oil]
Popular fillings include thinly sliced meats, (like pork or chicken) kimchi, cheese, veggies, mochi, scallions, squid or whatever else you would like to use! [I like shrimp and cream cheese]
okonomiyaki sauce [similar in taste and texture as Worcestershire sauce, but I highly recommend finding okonomiyaki sauce if possible]
mayonnaise [I prefer Kewpie mayonnaise]
aonori (green dried seaweed)
katsuobushi (Bonita fish flakes)
*All ingredients may be purchased at your local grocer, Asian market, or online
- Mix okonomiyaki or Korean pancake mix flour, water and egg in a bowl [if you don’t eat eggs, you can leave them out].
- Add shredded cabbage into the mixture until the consistency of a thick pancake batter with shredded cabbage throughout.
- Pour oil into a large skillet over medium heat.
- Scoop mixture into skillet (creating a pancake anywhere from 6–8 inches in diameter) and lay your choice of chopped toppings over the raw side, covering with a small amount of the batter [Jaclyn’s Style: clean and thaw cooked frozen shrimp and cut cream cheese into ¼” wedges; toss into cooking batter and crack 1 egg in the center].
- Cook approximately 5–10 minutes (until light brown) and flip, continue flipping until fully cooked.
- Using a back and forth pattern in one direction, squeeze the okonomiyaki sauce on the pancake. Then using the same pattern in the opposite direction, squeeze the mayonnaise on top, creating a kind of checkered pattern over top.
- Dash the aonori over and sprinkle the katsuobushi on top – the heat will make these lovely fish flakes dance for you!
- Slice into 4–8 pieces and ENJOY! (^ _^)/