Pancake is probably a bit of a stretch, but that is what it's often called. Okonomiyaki is a dish originally from Osaka, and which has since developed in many directions with all kinds of fillings, even noodles or rice. But the traditional version is made of cabbage, low protein flour, water, dashi, egg, and pork - and a topping of Okonomi Sauce, mayonnaise, bonito flakes, and aosa. It's not a particularly challenging dish to take on, so everybody should do themselves a favour and try it, because it's absolutely fantastic. Here we are making double size portions, and we don't recommend that for people trying the first time. Then it's better to use two frying pans and split the indicated amount in two portions. For two regular sized or our double size, what you need is:
It's easiest to use Okonomiyaki ko, as it's a prepared flour mix, but it's also possible to use another low protein flour, like Hakuriki ko, mixed with dashi dissolved in water and a little bit of soy sauce.
In case normal Danish wheat flour is used, it can easily become heavy and sticky - it has to be light and fluffy.
The meat is prepared in advance as in the recipe for yakisoba, or you can try to pursuade your butcher to make it for you. It has to be pork belly meat without skin or bones, and it must be cut on a meat slicer in 1.5 mm thickness. We always buy 10 kg at a time and freeze it, that's the easiest for both the butcher and us.
Start by preparing the cabbage. Cut away the stalk, chop the thick parts as fine as possible, and cut the soft parts in 1 x 1 cm sized bits. Wash it thoroughly, and let it dry well:
Whisk the flour mix and water well, until it's smooth and even:
Cut the meat in shorter pieces:
place them in a circle slightly overlapping on a frying pan, or on two pans, if you make the normal size:
Fry at medium heat until fully cooked. While it's frying, mix the cabbage well with the flour batter using a spoon:
Then crack the egg into the bowl and turn it around carefully, don't mix it too well:
Place the mix on the frying meat on the pan, or split it evenly for the two pans:
Let it fry for about 8 minutes at medium heat. After a few minutes you can move the pancake a bit, check that the meat isn't too dark, because then the heat is too high. It's better to let it cook a bit longer at lower heat than to risk burning the meat.When the time is up, use a spatula to flip the pancak over - for the big version you'll need to use two at the same time:
Turn the heat down a bit, and let it continue to cook for about 8 minutes more at medium low heat. It's important that it doesn't turn black on the cabbage side. When the time is up, place a good amount of Okonomi Sauce and appr. 1 spoonfull of mayonnaise on top:
Use a spoon the spread it around:
Now place a small handfull of bonito flakes on the middle and sprinkle aosa over the entire top:
Turn off the heat, place the steaming hot okonomiyaki on a plate and serve. Enjoy!
In case you feel like decorating it a bit, you can also just spread Okonomi Sauce on top to begin with, and after moving it to the plate, use the small spray nozzle you got with the Kenko Mayonnaise to quickly make a zig-zag pattern across the top, and then add the bonito flakes and aosa. They are often served this way in Japan, and it certainly does look good: