O-ko-no-mi-what?… Okonomiyaki, the Japanese Pancake
While in Japan there is a new culture, new language, new people and new food. And In Japan I was open to try just about anything once because it’s an experience of a lifetime. While in Hiroshima, Dr. C. explained to us we would be trying something called a “Japanese Pancake.” I was hungry, and excited to try something new.
We walked up to a small restaurant with bar-style seating, with just enough to fit the whole crew. You sit facing the cook and a huge iron table, and you watch him make your meal.
The correct term for the meal is Okonomiyaki (O-ko-no-mi-ya-ki). From readings, there are two main cities to make the dish, Osaka and Hiroshima. And these two cities make the dish in different ways, we had the Hiroshima way.
We sat down and they gave us a menu; the menu from what I remember serves only the pancake, but it comes in different varieties. You can have the plain pancake with the usual, or you can add items like cheese, squid or shrimp, maybe even octopus.
Most of the student ordered the regular okonomiyaki, which consist of the pancake, chopped cabbage, yakisoba noodles, thinly-sliced pork, an egg and the special okonomiyaki sauce. I ordered one of their specials which added squid and green onions to the meal, I would have tried the shrimp also, but it cost a little more.
To make the dish they start by cooking the “pancake”, and then add of a heaping pile of shredded cabbage.
Third, they put on the layers of meat depending on what you ordered. Aside from the pancake and cabbage, the chef begins to cook the yakisoba noodles.
Next, he cracks a egg and fries it on the iron table. After the egg is cooked the pancake and cabbage are flipped over and placed on top of the egg.
Last, it receives a spread of okonomiyaki sauce (like a Worcestershire sauce and barbeque sauce together) with seasonings and mine was topped with green onions.
Hands down, the best and my favorite meal in Japan, I cannot wait to visit and eat this again and try the Osaka version.