Our newest obsession has been to experience ‘escape rooms’ – Vancouver has had an explosion of these businesses pop up, each completely different from one another. We’ve probably gone to two dozen of them, and have no plans of slowing down! What does this have to do with okonomiyaki? Absolutely nothing! 🙂
I’ve always loved Japanese pancakes, ever since I went to Osaka and my friend took me to a restaurant that specialized in do-it-yourself okonomiyaki. I never realized how easy it was to make though, until I watched a cooking show featuring this savoury goodness.
The great thing about okonomiyaki is that you can put whatever you want in it. We’re just showing you the basics here so as long as you have cabbage, egg, green onion, okonomiyaki flour and mayo for the topping you are good to go. I love using bacon and bonito flakes for the added saltiness and I threw in some shrimp for some added flavour. I even found some okonomiyaki sauce which is like a sweet bbq sauce.
One thing to know is that there’s several kinds of cabbage out there, some are sweeter, some are crunchier and some are very plan so it all depends on what kind of flavour you want. Feel free to experiment. We used Taiwanese cabbage because we love the crunchy sweet flavour and one head will make several dishes and keep for quite awhile.
Start by chopping up the cabbage into small bits. You don’t need to be exact here because the different sizes will add texture to your pancake.
Then get your flour mixture ready in a big bowl. Traditionally okonomiyaki flour has yam powder in it which gives it the proper texture and flavour. I tried to find the raw ingredients but it was just easier to buy the premixed okonomiyaki flour from our local Japanese store. I also made my own dashi broth to add to the flour but water will do in a pinch. Mix until it resembles pancake batter.
Then add in the cabbage, egg, chopped green onions, shrimp and whatever goodies you want to throw in there. Don’t overmix because it will get rubbery when you fry it. I threw in some left over smoked meat we had in the fridge for some extra meaty yumminess.
Heat up your pan at medium heat and scoop out some of your batter. Let it fry on one side for about 3-4 minutes and place the bacon on top before you flip it
Then fry on the other side for about 2-3 minutes.
When it’s ready, plate it and top it with Japanese mayo, okonomiyaki sauce and the bonito flakes.
Ta da! There you have it, Escape Okonomiyaki!