No Sushi Recipe | Okonomiyaki

We recently reviewed Andrew Kojima’s cookbook No Sushi – part cookbook, part autobiography. One of the recipes we are keen to make is the okonomiyaki. This popular pancake-like Japanese dish is a filling meal of cabbage and other ingredients mixed into in a wheat-flour batter, cooked on a flat pan or hot plate, and topped with bonito flakes and generously drizzled sauces before serving.

Okonomiyaki from Andrew Kojima's No Sushi cookbook

If you have a table top hot plate, you could cook this at the table, and have everyone cut slices and help themselves once cooked; the best tool for that is a triangular spatula made of metal.

Okonomiyaki from Andrew Kojima's No Sushi cookbook

Okonomiyaki

When customers order okonomiyaki without enquiring what it is, I can be 95% sure they’ve been to Japan, probably Osaka or Hiroshima, where this is a popular street food. It’s often described as a savoury pancake, or sometimes Japanese pizza, but both descriptions miss the mark for me. ‘Okonomi’ means ‘your choice’ and ‘yaki’ means fried, so I think of it more as a Japanese ‘bubble and squeak’ of cabbage held together with a batter of flour, eggs and dashi. We add different fillings to add flavour, alternating between chopped prawns, squid, pork belly and sautéed fresh shiitake. At home you can interpret ‘okonomi’ as ‘whatever you find in the fridge’ which might be ham, bacon, mushrooms, or Sunday’s roast leftovers.
Author Andrew Kojima

Ingredients

Okonomiyaki batter

  • 60 g tofu
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 225 g self raising flour
  • 40 g shredded pickled ginger (beni shoga)
  • 200 g water (or preferably dashi stock)

Okonomiyaki mix

  • 200 g white cabbage, finely sliced
  • 150 g chosen filling
  • 150 g okonomiyaki batter

Okonomiyaki sauce

  • Japanese mayonnaise (we add Sriracha to our house mayo base for a spicy kick)

Toppings

  • Bonito flakes
  • Spring onions, finely sliced
  • Aonoriko (powdered nori seaweed)

Instructions

Okonomiyaki batter

  • Use a blender to make batter.

Okonomiyaki mix

  • In a mixing bowl, add the cabbage and your filling.

  • Add the batter – it should be enough to thoroughly coat all the ingredients, but the mixture should be thick enough to hold it’s shape when you come to fry it.

Assembling the dish

  • Place several large serving spoons of the mix into a frying pan with a little oil.

  • Once the batter has formed a crisp bottom, flip it over and cook from the other side like a thick pancake. You may need to flip it over a few times – you’re aiming for crispy surfaces but a fondant middle, with the cabbage steamed through.

  • Combine mayonnaise and Sriracha.

  • Plate up the okonomiyaki and drizzle liberally with okonomiyaki sauce and the toppings.

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Okonomiyaki from Andrew Kojima's No Sushi cookbook

Extracted from Andrew Kojima’s No Sushi, with permission from the publisher, Away With Media. 

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