Okonomiyaki is a savory pancake filled with shredded cabbage, bits of briny seafood, slivers of meat and pickled red ginger (beni shoga). After cooking it is shellacked with a tangy glaze made of Worcestershire-like sauce with a dusting of dried seaweed flakes (aonori) and a flourish of shaved bonito flakes (katsuo) that seem to dance, on top of your pancake. Mayonnaise is also offered as a sauce topping. The heat of the pancake melts the mayonnaise and makes a creamy addition.
Cook, flip, and compress this pancake with a spatula. Shreds of cabbage will escape the circle, getting crispy around the edges. For the specialty items like pickled ginger (not the same used for sushi), seaweed, and fish flakes, visit an Asian grocer that sells Japanese products. If you wish to eliminate them, that too is fine.
Ingredients: 2 large or 4 small individual pancakes
4 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce or Japanese Tonkatsu Sauce (brand name Bulldog)
4 tablespoons ketchup
1 cup flour
1 cup water
1 egg white, beaten until foamy
2 cups cabbage, shredded
16 shrimp, peeled and de-veined, tail removed
1/4 cup pickled red ginger (beni shoga)
1/2 cup scallions, sliced into thin rings
1/2 cup pork or beef sirloin cut into thin strips
Toppings – optional
Dried seaweed flakes (aonori)
Dried bonito flakes (katsuo-bushi)
1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1. Mix the Worcestershire sauce and ketchup together and set aside.
2. Mix the flour, water and egg white together and divide into two bowls.
3. Put half the cabbage, shrimp (pork or beef), ginger and scallions into each bowl.
4. Make a well in the center and break an egg into the well.
5. Heat half the oil in skillet or griddle until just hot – about 45 seconds.
6. Mix the egg and filling together until just blended.
7. Divide the batter in half to make two pancakes or pour the entire batter into the pan or on the griddle to make one large (10-inch) pancake.
8. Cook on low-medium heat for 3 minutes, until bottom is golden.
9. Flip the pancake and press all around to flatten. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
10. Brush on the sauce to a nice glaze. Sprinkle on seaweed and fish flakes.
11. Serve immediately with extra sauce and a dab of mayonnaise.
12. Repeat with remaining bowl.