Monday, June 21, 2010


Ever since hearing about one of my friend's foodie adventures on his study-abroad program in Japan this summer, I've had the incredible urge to consume vast quantities of okonomiyaki (Japanese pizza/pancake) and takoyaki (Japanese octopus dumplings). For your own happiness and well-being, I also strongly recommend Google imaging the above foods.

Now, ironically enough, I have never actually had okonomiyaki, but I still craved it nonetheless. After perusing through several online how-tos and recipes, I decided that I could definitely muster up a passable, simplified version of the thing and got to it. Unfortunately, the same could not be said for the takoyaki, which requires a special type of pan...once I get my hands on one of these babies, I will truly be unstoppable.

And now, without further ado:

Not bad, right?

Carol's Version of OKONOMIYAKI
...based on several online recipes and the fact that she has no idea what it's supposed to taste like

The batter (these measurements make a ton of batter; feel free to use a lot less):

  • 2.5-3 cups all purpose flour
  • .75 cups kombu broth
  • .75 cups water
  • 3-4 eggs
  • .75-1 head of cabbage

I used this very versatile kombu broth from the Asian market. It can basically be used as a marinade, soy sauce alternative, dressing, all around flavor booster.

The Sauce:

  • a generous splash of Soy sauce (I used Bragg's Liquid Aminos 'cause it's all I had)
  • a heaping squirt of Ketchup
  • a moderate splash of the same Kombu as above
  • a few spoonfuls brown sugar
Sorry for the awful measurement guidelines - I usually make all of my sauces to taste so I really can't tell you how much of each I put in...I just keep adding stuff until it tastes the right amount of salty/sweet/tangy.

Besides the batter and the sauce, I also threw in some red bell peppers, onions, and shrimp. Okonomiyaki can contain pretty much anything - chicken, octopus, noodles, broccoli, etc etc. Go crazy with those toppings!

And with that, it's time to hit the pan!

Into the pan goes some oil, onions, red pepper, shrimpies. (With shrimp, we discovered that putting them in at the same time as the batter prevented them from overcooking. Other meats like chicken or beef would probably benefit from this pre-batter cooking method, though.)

Gather your extras into the middle of the pan and pour on enough batter to cover it, but don't make it too thick!

After one side has gotten sufficiently solid and browned, give it a good ol' flip! Then, let it sit for a while longer until cooked all the way through. Add more oil if you want a crispier pancake and don't worry if it falls apart a little during the flipping - you can always smoosh it back together :)

Plate it, drizzle your sauce over it, squirt on some optional mayo, serve, and EAT!!!! You can also layer on sauteed veggies (shown at the beginning of the post), seaweed, dried fish flakes, etc.


It turned out great for a first time, spur of the moment cooking adventure. The casa compadres liked it a lot too. I'm not sure how much it tastes like the real thing (gonna take a trip up to NYC to try to hunt down some more authentic stuff) but it sure was tasty nonetheless. It was similar to a Korean seafood pancake, but a little gooier, with a thicker sauce. Traditional recipes call for yam starch, which would make it a little more glutinous and chewy, akin to a Taiwanese oyster omelette (DROOL). Maybe I'll try it again with that missing ingredient and see how it goes.

Well that's all for now! Wishing everybody a good week with good food!


  1. Miss Carol! Go here for all your takoyaki/okonomiyaki needs. :DDDDD

  2. ah! that looks so good! was it as insanely filling as it seems?