Hiroshima Okonomiyaki is a layered savoury pancake. Each ingredient is placed on top in a particular order, making a very thick okonomiyaki. It includes plenty of cabbage, bean sprouts and pork slices along with some unique ingredients. Hiroshima Okonomiyaki is quite different in appearance to the Okonomiyaki (Japanese Savoury Pancake) that I posted some time ago, but it is equally delicious.
My post Okonomiyaki (Japanese Savoury Pancake) is also called Osaka-style okonomiyaki (to distinguish it from Hiroshima Okonomiyaki). The basic ingredients of Hiroshima Okonomiyaki are similar to the Osaka-style, but it contains noodles. Also, the pancake batter is much thinner than the Osaka-style.
The cooking process is also very different. Unlike Osaka-style okonomiyaki, to cook Hiroshima Okonomiyaki, you pile each ingredient in a certain order, making layers of ingredients.
What is in my Hiroshima Okonomiyki
There are quite a few small quantities of ingredients required in addition to the main ingredients to make Hiroshima Okonomiyaki.
Adding noodles to the okonomiyaki is uniqueness to the Hiroshima version. But there is one more ingredient that is a representative of Hiroshima Okonomiyaki. It is the deep-fried dried squid called ‘ika-ten’ (いか天). The squid is dried and cut into small rectangle pieces, coted in batter, then deep-fried. See the sample photo of ika-ten here from a Japanese online shop.
I cannot get ika-ten here in Sydney, so I substituted it with tenkasu. Tenkasu (天かす) is the deep-fried tempura batter bits that you get in the oil when you cook tempura. You can also buy them in a pack at Japanese grocery stores.
You can make them at home if you like. Drop tempura batter using chopsticks or a fork into the oil and deep-fry it.
Below are the ingredients for Hiroshima Okonomiyaki in the order you should layer them onto the pile.
- Batter made with flour and water
- Bonito flakes
- Tororo konbu (shaved dried kelp)
- Shredded cabbage
- Bean sprouts
- Tenkasu – substitute for ika-ten
- Finely chopped shallots (Aussie)/scallions
- Thinly sliced pork belly
- Egg noodles/yakisoba noodles
Unlike Osaka-style Okonomiyaki, the only toppings for Hiroshima Okonomiyaki are sauce and dried seaweed flakes.
- Okonomiyaki sauce – Worcestershire sauce + tomato ketchup + honey + soy sauce + dashi stock powder (optional)
- Aonori (dried seaweed flakes)
The Okonomiyaki sauce for traditional Hiroshima Okonomiyaki is spicier than the sauce used for Osaka-style okonomiyaki. You can also buy a bottle of okonomiyaki sauce at Japanese grocery stores or use Bulldog chūnō sauce instead.
Some recipes use mayonnaise in addition to the sauce but it is not a traditional way of having Hiroshima Okonomyaki. Many okonomiyaki shops in Hiroshima do not offer mayonnaise. But if you want to add mayonnaise, feel free to put some on top.
How to make Hiroshima Okonomiyaki
Once you prepare all the ingredients, making Hiroshima Okonomiyaki is quite straight forward.
Below is the method of making an okonomiyaki using a rectangle flat griddle pan.
- Heat the pan to 170°C / 338°F and spread ¾ of the batter into a thin circle on one side of the pan.
- Scatter bonito flakes and tororo konbu over the batter.
- Put cabbage on top of it within the circle of the batter, followed by bean sprouts, tenkasu, and shallots (Aussie)/scallions.
- Cover the top with pork slices, then dribble the remaining batter over it.
- Turn the entire pile upside down using a large spatula (or two spatulas) and cook for about 8 minutes, until the cabbage starts wilting.
- While cooking the okonomiyaki, heat up the noodles on the unused side of the pan.
- Place the okonomiyaki on top of the noodles.
- Crack an egg onto the empty space in the pan. Quickly break the egg yolk and spread the egg into a circle similar to the okonomiyaki size.
- While the egg is still wet, place the okonomiyaki with the noodles on the egg.
- Turn the entire okonomiyaki including the egg over so that the egg is now on top.
- Spread the sauce and sprinkle aonori over.
If you do not have a griddle pan, you will need two frypans that serve as one side each of the rectangle griddle pan in the steps above.
In step 5, the cabbage is steam cooked with the cooked batter as a lid. If your cabbage is not very moist, you may inject a bit of water into the cabbage to make the cabbage wilt faster.
How to serve and eat Hiroshima Okonomiyaki
Okonomiyaki is usually cooked and served on the iron plate so that you can eat hot okonomiyaki until the last piece. If you have a portable grill plate (electric plate or a grill plate on top of a portable cooktop), I strongly recommend that you eat your okonomiyaki off the hot plate. Traditionally, you use a small spatula to eat okonomiyaki by cutting one bite size piece at a time off the hot plate.
The recipe in the recipe card makes a large okonomiyaki that is enough for two people to share (unless you are a big eater!). Cut it in half and serve individually on the grill plate or a serving plate. If you don’t have a small spatula (I don’t), cut the okonomiyaki into pieces with a large spatula and eat with chopsticks, or a knife and fork.
Warning: If your plate has a non-stick coating, don’t use a metal spatula or knife as it will scratch the coating. Use spatulas like these (the small one for eating).
Turning a tall pile of okonomiyaki is a bit of challenge. You might end up spilling cabbage everywhere but that’s part of fun. I hope you try it.
Hiroshima Okonomiyaki is quite different to the Okonomiyaki (Japanese Savoury Pancake) that I posted some time ago, but equally delicious. It is a layered savoury pancake. Each ingredient is placed on top of the pancake in a particular order, making a very thick okonomiyaki.
You will need either a flat rectangle griddle pan over stove/BBQ, electric flat griddle or two frypans on the stove top.
See the step-by-step photo in the post as a reference.
Don't forget to see the section 'MEAL IDEAS' below the recipe card! It gives you a list of dishes that I have already posted and this recipe that can make up a complete meal. I hope it is of help to you.
- 40g / 1.4oz flour
- 80ml / 2.7oz water
- 1 tbsp bonito flakes
- 5g / 0.2oz tororo konbu (shaved dried konbu, note 1)
- 120g /4.2oz cabbage shredded
- 80g / 2.8oz bean sprouts
- 2 tbsp tenkasu (fried batter bits, note 2)
- 1 tbsp shallots/scallions chopped finely
- 50g / 1.8oz thinly sliced pork belly
- 100-120g / 3.5-4.2oz yellow noodles (cooked, note 3)
- Salt & pepper
- Okonomiyaki sauce (note 4)
Heat a flat griddle pan or a frypan to 170°C / 338°F.
Put flour and water into a bowl and mix well until lump free.
Oil the pan thinly and pour about ¾ of the batter onto the pan (one side if using a griddle plate) and thinly spread the batter to make a circle of about 20cm / 8” diameter (note 5).
Turn the heat up to 200°C / 392°F. Spread bonito flakes and tororo konbu (if using) on the batter.
Put the cabbage on it within the circle of batter, then bean sprouts. They are piled up very high – about 8cm / 3⅛" tall. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the pile.
Press down the vegetables slightly so that the top of the pile is flattened. Put tenkasu and shallots/scallions on top of it, then spread the pork slices over it (note 6). Sprinkle a pinch of salt & pepper over the pork.
Cook for about 5 minutes until the edge of the batter starts curving up. Do not try to move the pile until you reach to this point.
Spread the remaining batter over the surface of the pile. The purpose of this batter is to glue the toppings together as much as you can. So, try to spread the batter evenly, drawing the lines.
Slide a large spatula under the batter, gently lift the entire okonomiyaki up and turn it over (note 7). Some vegetables might spill over, or the thin layer of cooked batter, which should be on top, may land off centre but don’t worry.
Collect the scattered vegetables and push them to the edge of the pile. If the cooked batter landed off centre (this happened to me once), simply push the batter to the centre and tidy up to make a round shape with the ingredients piled up in the reverse order – pork at the bottom, the thin batter at the top.
Cook for 8-10 minutes until the cabbage becomes wilted and soft.
After 6 minutes into cooking the okonomiyaki in the above step, add a small amount of oil onto the unused area of the griddle pan or a new frypan that is heated to 200°C / 392°F, and stir fry the noodles on it for a couple of minutes, disentangling the strands. (note 8)
Shape the noodles into a circle with the same diameter as the okonomiyaki, lift the entire okonomiyaki with the spatula and place it on top of the noodles.
Reduce the temperature of the pan to 170°C / 338°F. Clean the pan where the okonomiyaki was and oil it thinly.
Crack an egg onto the area that you just oiled. Quickly break the yolk and spread the egg to form a circle with the same size as the okonomiyaki.
While the egg is still half raw, lift the entire okonomiyaki up and place it on the egg.
After cooking the egg for 10-20 seconds, place the spatula underneath the egg, lift the okonomiyaki up gently and turn it over quickly. The egg should now be on top.
Spread a generous amount of sauce over the egg, then sprinkle aonori over.
Cut the okonomiyaki in half using a spatula and eat it off the pan to keep it hot (traditional way) or transfer it to plates to serve.
1. You can buy a packet of tororo konbu at Japanese grocery stores or from online stores on ebay.com.au or ebay.com.
This is optional as it is not easy to find tororo konbu. Alternatively, you can use shio-konbu (salted konbu strips), which is more readily available. Here are the links to some online sites: ebay.com.au, amazon.com.
If you are not using tororo konbu or shio-konbu, increase bonito flakes to 2 tablespoons.
2. Tenkasu are the fried bits that you get in the oil when you make Tempura. You can collect them when you make tempura and freeze them.
You can also buy tenkasu in a pack from Japanese grocery stores or on Amazon. Left-over tenkasu can be frozen.
3. You can use ready-to-use noodles, boiled fresh noodles or boiled dried noodles. If you are boiling noodles, cook to al dente or even slightly harder because they will be cooked further when making okonomiyaki.
4. You can buy okonomiyaki sauce at Japanese/Asian grocery stores, but I made the sauce myself. Mix the following ingredients:
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tbsp tomato ketchup
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/2 tsp dashi stock powder diluted in 1 tsp water (optional)
5. I use the back of the ladle to make a circle. Starting from the centre of the batter, move the ladle in a circular motion and gradually move outward until you reach the desired size of the circle.
6. Try to cover the toppings with the pork slices so that the toppings will not scatter when turning it over.
7. If you think that your spatula is not large enough, use two spatulas. The only issue with two spatulas is that it is harder to quickly turn the okonomiyaki over. The faster you flip it over, the less mess you make.
If using a griddle plate, try to land the flipped okonomiyaki in the same area on one side, not in the middle.
8. The idea is to get the noodles ready when the okonomiyaki is ready. If the okonomiyaki needs extra time to cook and the noodles are ready, shift the noodles to the corner of the griddle pan where the heat is low or lower the heat to just keep them warm if you are using a frypan.
If the noodles are too sticky and hard to disentangle, add some water.
9. Nutrition per serving.
serving: 255g calories: 406kcal fat: 23g (35%) saturated fat: 7.5g (38%) trans fat: 0.1g polyunsaturated fat: 2.9g monounsaturated fat: 11g cholesterol: 19mg (6%) sodium: 75mg (3%) potassium: 275mg (8%) carbohydrates: 40g (14%) dietary fibre: 3.9g (16%) sugar: 4.3g protein: 10g vitamin a: 2% vitamin c: 46% calcium: 3.4% iron: 14%