All You Need to Know about Okonomiyaki (Japanese Savory Pancake)

Have you ever tried Okonomiyaki?? It’s one of the most popular Japanese dishes often described as “Japanese savory pancake”. The dish is usually made on iron plate and many restaurants offer self-cooking. When you are in Japan, you should definitely try this delicious dish and making it by yourself! This is the guide to Okonomiyaki including how to cook and eat!

What’s Okonomiyaki??

Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き) is a Japanese savory pancake containing a variety of ingredients, such as cabbage, eggs, tempura bits, meat and seafood. The batter is mixture of weak flour, water and dashi stock.

It’s a popular dish nationwide, but originally from Western region in Japan, especially Osaka and Hiroshima are two best-known cities for the dish as their specialties. Each region has different style of Okonomiyaki and adding various kinds of toppings, you can create your own dish.

The dish is usually cooked on an iron hot plate, and most of restaurants have iron pans attached on each table, so customer can cook their own dish in front of them, or enjoy eating it hot.

As Okonomiyaki is available through the country, it has become one of the most popular Japanese dishes among foreigners nowadays.

How to Make Okonomiyaki

When you try Okonomiyaki, I highly recommend you to cook it by yourself. It’s a good fun experience of making your own Japanese dish. And the cooking method is very simple that anyone can do 🙂 So let’s go through how to make Okonomiyaki dish without hustle!

The dish is usually served uncooked in a bowl, the batter on the bottom and ingredients on top.

Step 1: Mix all ingredients well in the bowl

Step 2: Grease iron pan, pour the mixture and shape the mixture round by using iron spatulas. Wait till one side is cooked but keep your eyes on so it doesn’t get burnt.

Step 3: Once one side turns into brownish colour and cooked, you are going to play the hardest part of the process. Use two metal spatula from both sides and turn over the Okonomiyaki to cook the other side. (*Note* make sure it’s firm and not uncooked, and flip it very quick) Successful?? Then just wait till the other side is cooked.

Step 4: Add toppings on Okonomiyaki. First, spread Okonomiyaki sauce (brown colour, taste similar to Worcester sauce), then mayonnaise, and sprinkle shredded seaweed and dried bonito to finish off.

Step 5: Use metal spatulas to cut off the Okonomiyaki to smaller pieces, and enjoy it straight off the hot plate!

Difference between Osaka & Hiroshima Styles

As I mentioned above, these two cities are best known for Okonomiyaki as their regional dishes, but they have quite different styles.

The Okonomiyaki which is commonly eaten in most of area in Japan is Osaka style. The batter is made with flower, water and dashi stock and common toppings are chopped cabbage, egg, tempura bits and additional pork belly, seafood as your preference, then the ingredients are mixed and cooked together.

Mighty Hiroshima Style Okonomiyaki

On the other hand, Hiroshima style Okonomiyaki looks and tastes sightly different. In Hiroshima, Okonomiyaki is served in layers, rather than mixed. The layer are commonly noodles, chopped cabbage, other toppings and thin crape and topped with a fried egg, which are all cooked separately in the beginning. Generally, Hiroshima style Okonomiyaki is much bigger comparing to Osaka one and usually served cooked as it needs more technique to make.

When you have a chance to visit each cities, you should definitely try their proud regional Okonomiyaki!

Where to Eat Okonomiyaki

If you wish to try the best Okonomiyaki while travelling Japan, here are our picks of  recommended Okonomiyaki restaurants in Japan!

Thanks for reading! I hope you have enjoyed my guide to Okonomiyaki! For the latest information about food in Japan, here are articles that you should definitely check out 🙂

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Written by

"The world is my oyster" A globetrotter 🌎 and hammock lover 🌞 who loves taking adventures to fuel wanderlust. Born and raised in Japan, I have lived and explored countries around the world. As a resident of Japan and based on my travel experience, I'd love to share my knowledge and tips for travelling Japan with my readers. I hope my story will help you plan your trip and have a great time in Japan 🌈