I still remember my first Okonomiyaki experience many years ago in San Francisco. Strolling through Dolores park on a breezy spring day, we ducked in to Namu, an open aired restaurant near the bottom of the park. The waiter delivered a huge, flat omlet for 2 served directly from the skillet. The dried nori and bonito flakes on top danced in the breeze filtering in through huge windows. Beyond delicious, it was a foreign and beautiful dish to behold. So I finally decided to make it, having most of the ingredients in stock from last night's Yakisoba dinner.
Okonomiyaki is loosely translated from Japanese to mean "as you like it," so once you have the base and the sauces down, you can pretty much throw whatever you're in the mood for into the mix. Common additions include pork, pickled ginger, sprouts, you name it. This recipe is for my own, customized, mostly vegetarian version (To make it veg, simply skip the bonito flakes on top, and see notes for an oyster sauce substitute).
Ingredient partner dish: Many of the ingredients of this dish mirror those in Yakisoba.
Okonomiyaki, 3-4 servings
For the Okonomiyaki pancake:
4 large eggs
2 cups cabbage
5 thinly sliced scallions
1/2 cup panko
1/2 cup baby spinach
1 tbsp neutral oil (I used avocado oil, personal preference)
1 tbsp finely chopped, lightly picked ginger
For the Okonomiyaki sauce:
2 tbsp Worcestershire
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp oyster sauce*
Large pinch of sugar
Nori cut small pieces
Bonito flakes (not vegetarian)
Note: If the first two ingreds are not readily available in your pantry, a healthy dose of Furikake will do the trick)
Sesame seeds (unless you're using Furikake, which already includes them)
This is an Okonomiyaku dish as served at Namu in SF. My own finished product was inhaled too quickly to snap a pic.
If you don't have oyster sauce on hand, are vegetarian, or simply care for it, try the following substitution for a tried and true result: 1 part Hoisin sauce, 1 part soy sauce. In this recipe, that would be 1tbsp of each.