103. Japan: Hiroshima: Okonomiyaki (Savory Cabbage Pancakes)

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Hiroshima has been through a lot, recovering from the atomic bomb as I hope everyone knows, and if you don’t please read up on your history!!! But really that’s really not what I want to talk about!  Hiroshima is located on the island of Honshu. Nowadays Hiroshima is known as the street food paradise of Japan, especially the tiny island of Miyajima that is a 10-minute ferry trip from the city center. Miyajima is also known for the deer that just roam the village freely, not scared of humans. If you’re lucky you can even pet them!

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Things you didn’t know about Hiroshima:

  • Hiroshima has been farming oysters since the 1500s. Today it produces 25,000 to 30,000 tons of oysters a year, 60 to 70 per cent of Japan’s total production. Known locally as sea milk for their nutritional value, they are eaten boiled, fried, grilled, with rice, in stews, or raw.
  • After the war, Hiroshima needed to get its transport system up and running fast. Tram cars were donated from cities all over Japan and even abroad, earning them the nickname Mobile Museum. Today the tram fleet ranges from pre-war clunkers to the futuristic Green Mover Max. It’s the cheapest, easiest and most eco-friendly way to get around town.
  • Kumano, a village 20 kilometers east of Hiroshima, produces 15 million calligraphy, makeup and artist’s brushes a year. That’s 80 per cent of Japan’s production. Of the town’s 27,000 inhabitants, 1,500 are brush craftsmen, hand-making brushes the traditional way. Visit on September 23 when 10,000 brushes festoon the streets for Kumano’s spectacular Brush Festival.

Okonomiyaki is a very popular takeaway dish in Hiroshima, you can add any ingredients you want so great for using up veggie leftovers! It would also be the perfect drunk food!!!! However, let someone sober make it for you because the transferring from pan to pan will be pretty hard once you had a few drinks.

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cups all-purpose flour (187g)
½ tsp salt
cups water (300ml)
4 tbsp vegetable oil
4 tsp katsuobushi (shaved bonito flakes, crushed)
cabbage (thinly sliced) (450g)
8 strips bacon (cut into halves)
1 package yakisoba (480g)
4 tbsp mirin (Japanese cooking rice wine)
1 cup okonomiyaki sauce (240ml)
6 oz shrimps (peeled and deveined) (170g)
4 large eggs
4 green onions (thinly sliced)
Kewpie mayo
Sriracha sauce

  1. Combine all-purpose flour and salt in a large bowl. Pour in 1¼ cups (300ml) water. Gently mix until just combined.

  2. Preheat a large non-stick electric griddle (or large non-stick pan on the stove) on medium heat. Brush griddle with a little oil. Spread a ladle of the batter into a thin 8 inch round on one side of the griddle. Sprinkle a teaspoon of katsuobushi on the top.
  3. Place a handful of shredded cabbage on the pancake and 4 half slices of bacon on the cabbage. Allow pancake batter to set, about 5 minutes.
  4. Flip pancake over using 2 spatulas so that the bacon is now touching the griddle. Continue to cook for 4 to 5 minutes.
  5. In the meantime, cook a portion of yakisoba on the side (or in another pan) with 1 tablespoon mirin and 1 tablespoon okonomiyaki sauce.

  6. Cook 5 to 6 shrimps next the noodles. When shrimps curl and turn pink, transfer onto the fried noodles.

  7. Now, move the pancake onto the noodles.

  8. Crack an egg onto the side of the griddle and spread it out into an 8 inch round. Move the entire pancake (with noodles) onto the egg. Allow it to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.

  9. Flip the completed okonomiyaki over. Drizzle or spread a generous amount of okonomiyaki sauce, kewpie mayo, and sriracha on top. Sprinkle with green onions and you’re good to go

Okonomiyaki sauce

4 Tbsp ketchup
Tbsp Worcestershire sauce (or Japanese Usutah So-su)
2 Tbsp oyster sauce
Tbsp sugar

Combine everything

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One thought on “103. Japan: Hiroshima: Okonomiyaki (Savory Cabbage Pancakes)

    amindfultravellerblog said:
    July 5, 2017 at 11:01 am

    Love Okonomiyake 🙂
    Unfortunately we missed out on Hiroshima on our trip to Japan, not enough time. But if we ever go back I would love to check it out 🙂
    https://amindfultravellerblog.wordpress.com/

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