Sometimes called the Japanese pizza, the okonomiyaki is essentially a cabbage-filled omelette cooked on the hotplate. In Japanese okonomiyaki-ya (restaurants that serve okonomiyaki, yakisoba etc.), it is cooked in front of the customers, but all you need to try it at home is a good non-stick frying pan measuring about 22 cm (with a lid).
120 g white cabbage, remove the hard parts and shred the rest finely
120 g flour
120-150 ml water
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon baking powder
150-200 g meat of your choice (boneless chicken/prawns/squid)
Oil for frying
Mix the flour, baking powder and water to form a lump-less batter. Stir in the eggs, shredded cabbage, meat and seasoning. Leave for 5-10 minutes.
Heat the frying pan and 1 desert spoon of oil over low-medium heat. If using bacon, fry the strips of bacon lightly on both sides and take it off the heat. Pour in half the mixture, spread it into a circle and flatten to half an inch. Place the bacon strips on the top side of the batter. Cover the pan, flip it over every five minutes or so. It takes about 20 minutes to cook each - the finer the cabbage, the quicker it cooks.
Okonomiyaki is normally garnished with a generous lashing of okonomiyaki sauce*, Japanese mayonnaise*, powdered seaweed (aonori) and bonito flakes before serving, but I didn’t have the last two items and substituted it with shredded sheets of seaweed.
* These items are available in most oriental supermarkets.