We already bought you details about how to make the much-loved Japanese street food Okonomiyaki, a Japanese style pancake made of batter mixed with shredded cabbage and a variety of ingredients. Now we bring you one of its essential accompaniments, Okonomiyaki sauce.
Okonomiyaki sauce is an umami-packed Japanese sauce used as a condiment for many dishes: if you cannot find the original manufactured version (see video below), it’s very straightforward to make and uses very few ingredients, which are also pantry staples.
Once the Okonomiyaki is cooked, it is topped with an Okonomiyaki sauce along with other condiments including, Japanese mayonnaise, katsuobushi, and aonori.
Okonomiyaki sauce is traditionally used as a topping for both regional variants of Okonomiyaki, from Kansai and Hiroshima. The two different styles both have a long history but became particularly popular after World War II, when rice was in short supply. The first use of the word 'Okonomiyaki' was at a shop in Osaka in the 1930s. Okonomiyaki sauce is also quite versatile and is often served with other street food snacks such as Takoyaki, battered octopus balls.
How to make okonomiyaki sauce: ingredients and recipes
Okonomiyaki Sauce: ingredients
For a basic recipe you will need the following ingredients all combined in a bowl:
- Tomato ketchup
- Worcestershire sauce
- Honey or sugar or soy sauce
At Okonomiyaki World their easy recipe recommends using the ratio of 3 tablespoons of ketchup, with 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, and one tablespoon of soy sauce.
Jules over at Merci Mama admits she has a soft spot for the tasty sauce and her recipe has some extra additions including, sake, mirin, Japanese rice vinegar and caster sugar. She says it is so good, she could literally drink it, which is praise enough for us.
Once the ingredients are evenly mixed together forming the Okonomiyaki sauce, they can be spread onto your Japanese pancake (see main image) or put into a squeeze bottle to apply liberally over your chosen food.
The images below show the finishing touches being put on the Okonomiyaki, with the sauce, followed by Japanese mayonnaise being liberally applied over the pancake and the fun you can have making edible patterns.
Image: courtesy of Justonecookbook.com
There are a number of sauces typical of Japanese cuisine that all add distinctive flavours to traditional dishes. Teriyaki sauce, for example, packs a real umami punch and works well with fish, seafood, meat and vegetables. Mirin is a golden sweetened sake or rice wine that is also commonly used in Japanese cooking and has a mild flavour. Soy sauce is ubiquitous in Asia but did you know that it dates back to 3000 BCE and comes in countless varieties? Finally, we all know wasabi as the pungent green stuff that comes in tiny packets with our sushi, but it’s actually a root grown in riverbeds and is used to make everything from KitKats to ice cream.
If you're in the mood for Japanese food have a look at some more Japanese recipes.