The best way to describe okonomiyaki is a mix between a savoury pancake and a pizza – packed with lots of yumminess!
What is Okonomiyaki?
This Japanese pancake mainly consists of batter and cabbage, with either pork, beef, squid or octopus and topped with a variety of sauces. So, while it isn’t traditionally a vegetarian dish, it can be by choosing either cheese or kimchi instead of meat or fish. The name, okonomiyaki means ‘as you like it, grilled’.
History of Okonomiyaki
Historians say it is hard to pinpoint exactly when okonomiyaki came into existence, as the idea of a grilled pancake actually goes as far back to the Buddhist ceremonies during the Edo period (1683-1868). During the Meji period (1868-1912) the pancake changed into a sweeter dish called Sukesoyaki.
However, okonomiyaki was created in Japan in the late 30s in Osaka – at the same time a similar crepe treat was popular in Hiroshima. The Hiroshima-style of pancake was topped with onions, folded over and was more of a children’s snack. During World War ll, Okonomiyaki started to become popular as it was easy to cook with the scarce ingredients residents had. After the war, people started to add more ingredients such as eggs, pork, and cabbage.
Different types of Okonomiyaki
There are two main styles of Okonomiyaki – the Osaka, also known as the Kansai and the Hiroshima.
The Osaka style uses all the ingredients mixed into the batter and grilled, whereas the Hiroshima style is a small crepe that is grilled and other ingredients are layered on top. Then, there are various dishes which are similar to Okonomiyaki such as Negiyaki, Monjayaki (Tokyo style) and Takoyaki.
Negiyaki is basically exactly the same as okonomiyaki but instead of using cabbage, green onions are used instead. Monjayaki involves first grilling the main ingredients, moving it into a ring and the batter is added to the middle. It is a lot runnier than the original okonomiyaki. Takoyaki is the least similar to okonomiyaki, as it is a batter with octopus, cooked into a ball and served with sauces.
Where to find Okonomiyaki in Singapore?
There are lots of restaurants and cafes in Singapore that serve up scrumptious Okonomiyaki or a similar dish. Check out Every and Harry’s Menu. They both serve okonomiyaki-style dishes at a moderate price and are rated highly on foodpanda!