Okonomiyaki Evolution

Posted on Oct 29, 2014 in Hiroko's Blog

okonomiyaki-1Evolution happened to sushi. When sushi arrived to America, new ingredients joined in the American sushi kitchen. Avocado, cream cheese, smoked salmon, tempura shrimp,…few to name. The technique of making a roll has also changed. In order to satisfy American customers who are unfamiliar with black sheet of nori, inside-out roll was born.

Now what is happening to Okonomiyaki is worth to pay an attention. I have Okonomiyaki recipes in my two books; The Japanese Kitchen and Hiroko’s American Kitchen. The recipe in The Japanese Kitchen (2000 pub. year) is an Osaka style traditional recipe. Here is one video which shows the beginning part of the preparation of Osaka style Okonomiyaki at one restaurant in Japan. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YWuMMQX3ZY

The surface of this style of Okonomiyaki is heavily painted with dark brown, shinny Okonomiyaki sauce and mayonnaise. The sauces are then topped with scallion greens, red-dyed ginger strips and katsuobushi fish flakes. The major ingredient in Okonomiyaki is shredded cabbage. Cabbage steams during cooking and the resulting cooked pancake is moist or a kind of mushy (that’s my opinion) in the center.

For the recipe in Hiroko’s American Kitchen (2013), I wanted to improve the texture of the traditional Okonomiyaki. I changed some ingredients in the recipe and cooked it thinner. The resulting Okonomiyaki is crispy on every part

The most unique Okonomiyaki invented to date is found at Ivan Ramen. The rumor says that it was the creation out of accident in the kitchen, while chefs were R&Ding the recipe. Okonomiyaki dough is cooked in the waffle maker. Thus, this one is also crispy everyplace. http://www.ivanramen.com/en/ivan-ramen-new-york/ I have not tried it yet, but am eager to do so.

My beloved Okonomiyaki is a Hiroshima style one, which add yakisoba noodles to add more height, volume and flavor to the pancake. I made this at the Bogota Wine and Food Festival three years ago. Here is the video of making Hiroshima style Okonomiyaki made in New York for the organization. What lacking in the video is yakisoba noodles!!! I simply omit it to make the process of making simpler. Now I hugely regret it!  Unfortunately, the video is too large to unload on ths site. I will find another way to do it later.