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  • Writer's pictureYasir Sheikh


Another delicious dish from Japan.

Okonomiyaki is a delicious savory Japanese pancake from Osaka containing a variety of ingredients. The name is derived from the Japanese word okonomi which means “how you like” or “what you like”, and yaki means “grill.”  

During my stay in Osaka, I booked a food tour to discover Japan’s authentic street food. A delightful experience where you get introduced to some delectable and authentic Japanese street food such as Okonomiyaki which happens to be one of them.

A real explosion of flavors that is a feast for the taste buds. Flavor upon flavor that will keep surprising you.

Okonomiyaki originates from the Kansai and Hiroshima areas of Japan but is widely available throughout Japan. Toppings and batters can vary depending on the region. 

This appetizing dish consists of a few basic ingredients such as chopped cabbage, egg, and flour. Traditionally, the flour was made from a root vegetable called “yamaimo” meaning mountain yam in Japanese. Despite of its slimy texture, it is delicious and often used as a topping for rice or soba. 

Since wheat flour is becoming more common and widely available in Japan, you will see that wheat flour is now used more and more to preparing this dish.

Apart from the basic ingredients, shrimp, pork, and squid can also be added.

To finish off this tasty dish, it is topped with a few condiments as well such as a soy-based sauce, Japanese mayo dried bonito flakes and dried green seaweed. Bonito flakes is one of those ingredients that add a super-rich umami flavor and it is used in many Japanese dishes such as dashi. When you sprinkle these paper-thin flakes over the hot Okonomiyaki, they will dance together with the steam.

Here are the two options:

Osaka-Style Okonomiyaki is made of batter, which includes flour and water or dashi, shredded cabbage, egg, and green onion with your choice of protein.

Hiroshima-Style Okonomiyaki uses almost the same ingredients; however, they are layered rather than mixed in with the batter like the Osaka-style. The Hiroshima style often uses fried egg and yakisoba noodles as toppings.

You might ask, which is tastier? Well, that all depends on whether you like fried noodles with a less doughy texture then I would go for the Hiroshima style.

My personal preference is the Osaka style Okonomiyaki. The texture and flavors are just delicious.


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