Sunday morning pancakes have met their match: Meet okonomiyaki (oh-ko-no-mee-aki), the Japanese pancake that’s part savory crȇpe and part delicious omelet. This popular dish comes to us from Japan, and translates to “whatever you like, grilled”—with a base of batter, cabbage, and egg. As its name implies, you can add whatever you’re craving (pork belly, octopus, veggies, cheese). Since our Plated chefs dreamt up their own take on okonomiyaki, we’re sharing some insights into this lovely dinner (or breakfast, or lunch).
History + trend
While enjoyed throughout Japan, the two cities most famous for okonomiyaki are Osaka and Hiroshima, which have unique styles and ingredients. In Osaka, where the original (and most popular) version comes from, ingredients are mixed in with the batter from the start. It’s then added to a hot skillet and garnished with toppings to become what’s sometimes referred to as Osaka soul food. Think of a thick, fluffy pancake with all of the ingredients mixed in. And then, of course, there’s the Hiroshima take, which is a layer-upon-layer pile of crȇpe, heaps of cabbage, and even some noodles. Both are topped with sweet sauce, mayo, bonito flakes, and more (depending on the chef). Very worthy of a little social media action.
True to its meaning, okonomiyaki differs from kitchen to kitchen, even within the same region. Beyond ingredients and styles, in Hiroshima, ingredients are separately cooked, then adding together, making the process a bit more involved. In Osaka, okonomiyaki is simpler to make, as everything is mixed into the batter from the start. If you’re ever in Japan, you’ll see dedicated okonomiyaki joints, where the pancake is either grilled in front of you at a counter or by your table on teppan (griddles). While you can definitely eat the whole thing yourself, okonomiyaki is perfect for sharing with friends and fam.
Finding okonomiyaki on a menu in the states is not the easiest task, so when you do find it, order it (and then tell us about it). In the meantime, since okonomiyaki is different in every kitchen, we’re super excited to share our Osaka-style twist, which we think you’ll love. Perfect for any time of day, Plated’s okonomiyaki is stuffed with Chinese broccoli, edamame, and scallions, then topped with crunchy cabbage and carrots plus a drizzle of Sriracha mayo.
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