As Mission Burritos
are to San Francisco
s are to New York
, okonomiyaki is to Osaka
. Osaka is best known for its okonomiyaki. The name literally means "grill as you like". It originated in Osaka shortly after World War II.
While many places in Osaka have chefs preparing the okonomiyaki, popular variations let you grill your own at table side. The "as you like" part implies one of okonomiyaki's strengths, it's a wonderful edible vehicle for a large number of fixin', ranging from seafood to bacon
to green onion
s. Japanese tend to bill it as "Japanese pizza
" but its heavy use of eggs makes it seem more like an omelet to Western diners. However, much like how you really have to work to find a combination of toppings that don't work with pizza, the same basically goes for okonomiyaki. So maybe that's the pizza connection. If it cooks up on a hot grill, it will go well as a topping or filling for okonomiyaki. Sometimes fixin's are sandwiched between two thinner okonomiyakis.
While Osaka's major claim to fame is its okonomiyaki, Hiroshima
is Japan's Second City
Osaka's main okonomiyaki district seems to be crowded around the Hankyu railway's Umeda
station depot. Also one can find some on Osaka's south or Minami
side, in the seemingly endless Dotombori
street of crab, fugu
, and okonomiyaki joints.
While the original poster's recipe appears like it will make an acceptable okonomiyaki, it's important to note that the true okonomiyaki experience is best captured with the addition of the brown okonomiyaki sauce. I believe you can buy a jar of this premade at your local Japanese grocer. However, for those of you living in Kentucky
, below is a recipe that will make an approximation of the sauce:
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp sweet sake
a pinch of pepper