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Loosely translated as 'what would you like, grilled', okonomiyaki are similar to Japanese pancakes' or Japanese pizzas.' A pan fried food that consists of batter and cabbage, okonomiyaki come with an endless variety of toppings and can be tailor made to your choice.
This delicous pancake comes in two different styles. The first is the Osaka style, which is also the most common. The ingredients are mixed together into the batter and cooked rather like a frittata. The second style is the Hiroshima, which involves the grilling of a plain pancake topped off with the chosen ingredients.
Garnishing is again down to personal preference, but traditionalists would go for big umami flavours found in bonito fish flakes and okonomiyaki sauce, a deep rich umami packed sauce containing soy and shiitake mushroom flavours.
Okonomiyaki can be found all over Japan but the two cities of Hiroshima and Osaka are particularly famous for the speciality. Eating out, look for the traditional restaurants which specialise in the okonomiyaki, called Okonomiyaki-ya and sometimes monjayaki. At some of these restaurants, sometimes customers can even get stuck in learning how to make okonomiyaki for themselves, on a hot plate built into the table.
Check out how okonomiyaki is done by the professionals
Learning how to make okonomiyaki at home is relatively easy. Here is a an authentic recipe to try for Hiroshima style okonomiyaki: