Make Okonomiyaki at Your House Party

Bruce Rutledge

Bruce is the editor-in-chief based in Seatle

Want a simple, inexpensive, and delicious way to impress your friends at your next get-together? Make one of Japan’s favorite street foods: okonomiyaki.

Okonomiyaki is a savory pancake-like dish typically prepared on a teppan grill. You’ll see it at festivals and restaurants all over Japan, but especially in Osaka, where it is one of the city’s staples along with takoyaki. Some restaurants come equipped with grills at each table so that you and your friends can cook the dish together.

“Okonomi” means “as you like it,” and “yaki” means “grill,” and true to its name, with okonomiyaki pretty much anything goes.

Here’s what you need: water, flour, eggs, tempura scraps, cabbage, sliced pork belly, ginger, mayonnaise (Kewpie is preferred!), dried seaweed, dried bonito flakes, and okonomi sauce. (Hint: if you can’t get okonomiyaki flour, use regular flour and mix with a couple of grams of dashi stock powder and a teaspoon of baking powder. Also, just before you serve, try breaking an egg on the top of the okonomiyaki and cover to steam cook.)

Check the Internet for plenty of recipes and videos on how to prepare okonomiyaki. The main thing to remember is that this is party food, perfectly suited to a big hungry group.

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