Okonomiyaki is a Japanese savoury pancake that can contain anything from cabbage to wasabi to seafood. The name itself means ‘how you like’ or ‘what you like’, emphasising the variety of fillings that can be used to please any palate. Our seafood version is easy to make and delicious. This dish is sure to add some international flair to your cooking.
- 5ml (1 tsp) cornflour
- 60ml (¼ cup) tomato sauce
- 10ml (2 tsp) soya sauce
- 5ml (1 tsp) sake
- 5ml (1 tsp) mirin
- 5ml (1 tsp) castor sugar
- 10ml (2 tsp) rice vinegar
- 5ml (1 tsp) grated ginger
- salt, to taste
- 250ml (1 cup) shredded hakusai
- 240g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 5ml (1 tsp) baking powder
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- dashi: mix 170ml water with 7,5ml
- (1½ tsp) instant dashi powder
- 4 shiitake mushrooms, stems
- discarded and thinly sliced
- 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
- 5ml (1 tsp) ginger, finely chopped
- 4 medium prawns, diced
- 250ml (1 cup) diced squid tentacles and bodies
- a pinch of white pepper
- sesame oil and vegetable oil, mixed half and half, for frying
- Japanese mayonnaise, to serve
- katsuobushi, to serve
For the sauce, mix the cornflour and a little water to form a paste. Combine the other ingredients in a small saucepan with 30ml (2 tbsp) cold water. Bring to a boil and add the cornflour paste. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Keep warm.
For the pancakes, salt the hakusai and leave in a colander for 5 minutes. Quickly rinse off any excess salt and press to squeeze out as much water as possible.
Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Add the eggs and dashi, and mix to form a smooth batter. Mix in the remaining ingredients and form into four balls. Make smaller balls if you prefer – they are easier to flip in the pan.
Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add some of the oil mixture and fry a flattened ball of batter until lightly brown on one side. Flip and repeat.
Serve each pancake topped with sauce, a swirl of mayonnaise and a sprinkling of katsuobushi.