Okonomiyaki – The Japanese Pancake That Has it All

Attractive, prosperous and vibrant city, Hiroshima is home to a plethora of tourist destinations and attracts thousands of travellers from all over the world. Your visit to Hiroshima, Japan, is incomplete if you do not enjoy many of its regional culinary specialties. Okonomiyaki, literally meaning “fry what you like”, is the tastiest food in japanese restaurants chicago, especially in the western parts of the country. Although it is not easy to describe exactly what it looks like, you can see it as something sandwiched between pancakes and pizza.

The pancake mixture is made with spring onion, flour, cabbage (the secret ingredient) and egg, but the best thing is that you are free to add anything you want – hence its name. Most often, you will find squid and pork Okonomiyaki in Japanese restaurants, but some also offer special toppings such as rice cakes, cheese, shrimp and beef, or all the above. It’s definitely a low-budget food, so don’t hesitate to eat it up.

You can prepare this extremely succulent article in two ways – Hiroshima style and Osaka style. While Osaka’s most common style fries the mixture and fillings together in the pan, in Hiroshima the components are not mixed, but rather cooked separately and only then combined. In Hiroshima, each component is first stacked in order and then the noodles are placed in between.

The sauce has its own importance in the food. The colour of the sauce is dark brown and the taste is crispy, which many add to Okonomiyaki with mayonnaise. When the dish is ready, an egg is sometimes broken on a grill plate and rolled on top of the Okonomiyaki. For added flavour, it is recommended to sprinkle dried bonito flakes and nori (seaweed) at the end. Noodles are an important ingredient in the dish and are therefore generally included.

Even more interesting, Okonomiyaki is more a cultural thing than a Japanese culinary delight. Since the Okonomiyaki kitchen is completely free and is a central stove into which anyone can throw almost any filling, the “Okonomiyaki Parties” are very popular. This is usually a good amount of alcohol, Okonomiyaki until you pop, and some Japanese entertainment (take a look at the Usavich animation series).

When travelling in Japan, make sure you never refuse an invitation to an Okonomiyaki party, or at least order one of these Japanese pancakes in a restaurant (the cheap price probably underestimates their divine taste). You can also take a Shinkansen high-speed train and taste the famous Okonomiyaki in Hiroshima style. In fact, there is a multi-storey building entirely dedicated to him, filled with small Okonomiyaki stores at low prices.

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