There was a half of cabbage sitting alone and sadly on my kitchen counter for days. I`ve planned on using it for "something", aka. undecided menu. Then, finally the day came. The day when I remembered how we really enjoyed our okonomiyaki in a restaurant late at night after our date in a temple and I finally got something to do with my cabbage. Now, you may wonder what okonomiyaki is and I`m more than happy to let Wikipedia get you the answer. In my own words, okonomiyaki is a thick cabbage pancake glazed with sweet soysauce and mayonaise and topped with seaweed and benito flakes. It has sweet and savory taste with a soft texture like pancake and it`s very filling too. And you probably already read my previous post about Korean Boochim, which is also called as savory pancake (or crepe in my version as I like it thin) but without any hint of sweetness as sugar or anything sweet is not used in preparing the boochim itself and its dipping sauce. I love them both. Love!
Alright, now get the cabbage, wash, thinly slice it up, and set aside.
I bought 2 (two!) cheap cabbage slicers and they just didn`t work for me. Goodbye, 2 dollars! I ended up slicing up my cabbage with my knife, just the way I always do.
You can use pretty much anything for your okonomiyaki. One thing to consider though, if you use something raw like meat or fish, you should cook it first before mixing it with other ingredients. Otherwise there`s a chance for you to end up having something not properly cooked inside your okonomiyaki. I used beef for mine, by the way. If you too want to use beef, slice or chop it up thinly. Or you can use minced beef instead.
Heat a non-stick frying pan without oil and cook the beef.
When the beef looks cooked, season it with soy sauce, sesame oil, pepper, and fish sauce. Yum! Set aside when the beef is done.
Now, the flour. It`s very easy to find okonomiyaki flour mix here and I hope you can find it too at your place.
But, in case you can`t find one, let me just show you roughly what`s inside the mix. So, basically it`s flour mixed with sugar, salt, dashi powder (which contains of benito and konbu seaweed), vegetable oil (now I honestly have no idea how they do this), baking powder, and flavor enhancers (aha, it sounds a lot like MSG). If I have to prepare the flour mix by myself, I`d use flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.
Place the flour mix in a bowl, throw in eggs, and pour in water. I used plain water here, but you surely can add dashi-infused water instead, especially if your flour doesn`t have dashi in it. And to make your life easier, please beat the egg first before stir up everything.
Stir up until the batter turns smooth. My batter did turn out fine, but using beaten eggs sounds much neater.
Other ingredients for the filler are spring onion...
Small dried shrimps. Name is sakura ebi here.
And chilli! This comes from a chilli-crazy person (aka.me). I wonder if there is any okonomiyaki restaurant in Japan serving their okonomiyaki with chilli. Please let me know if you know some place!
Throw in the trio to the batter. They`re singing in there, very happily. You can sing along while stirring them up.
Remember the cabbage? We`ve been neglecting it (again) for a while. Time to stir it in!
Wohooo...this is the okonomiyaki mix! With the fillers in, the batter should not be runny. This may seem like it needs more batter, but this is actually fine.
Don`t worry, I`m not forgetting about the beef. Well, I almost did, though.
Now the okonomiyaki IS ready!
Heat a bit of oil just enough to cover a non-stick frying pan, add the batter, cook on low/medium heat. Okonomiyaki is usually 3-cm thick, but mine was probably only 2-cm. Just make sure that you cook it on low heat if your okonomiyaki is a thick one. When the bottom gets browned and crisped up, flip over and cook until the other side is done.
Place the disc on a plate and we`re gonna spread some fun here.
First is okonomiyaki sauce. I hope you can find it too there. Or you can just use soy sauce mixed with oyster sauce and a bit of sugar (and dashi for extra flavor). Normally people use a brush to spread the sauce, but I just use the back of a spoon.
Second is mayonnaise. Spread it too. Too much? No, you can`t stop me.
Then, sprinkle seaweed flakes. Green is beauty. Seaweed on top of mayonnaise is divine.
Last is benito flakes. I really really really hope you can get this benito flakes as I`m clueless for any substitution.
Did I mention "last"? The fun is not over, darling. In fact, it`s about to start!
Get ready for a magical moment.
Cut a piece of it and place it on your plate.
And eat it. Can you hear your taste buds singing???
My cabbage looks totally happy here!
This will roughly make for 4 or 5 discs of okonomiyaki with 18-cm in diameter and 2-cm in thickness
Filling (300 g)
Cabbage, thinly sliced
200 g okonomiyaki flour mix
2 whole eggs, beaten
250 ml water