If you spend even a short time in Japan, you will quickly come to realize that every city and town, and even the smallest village, has a special local delicacy that you will be repeatedly told you simply must try when you go there. In the case of Hiroshima, this specialty is the aptly named "Hiroshimayaki," a tasty combination of okonomiyaki and yakisoba.
To make Hiroshimayaki you will need:
I can already hear you saying, "What, no precisely measured quantities?" Well son, Hiroshimayaki is all about the flick of the wrist, the spin of the spatulas, and nonchalant tossing-in of ingredients. If you aren't attempting to do it by feel, you are missing out on a crucial part of the fun of making Hiroshimayaki!
Now here's what you do:
Using a soup ladle, pour a thin layer of batter into a large preheated nonstick frying pan (or more preferably, a hot griddle). Use the back of the ladle to spread the batter evenly into a circle about 10 inches in diameter (we're talking crepe-level thinness here). Grab two heaping handfuls of grated cabbage and dump it on. Then add the bean sprouts, followed by the bacon strips and the puffed rice. Finally, use the ladle to drip a very small amount of batter in a swirling spiral on top. By now the batter circle on the bottom should be fully grilled - flip the whole thing over with a spatula and let it sit for a while.
Now dump the steamed soba noodles into another frying pan. Pour some cooking oil over it and add any desired seasoning (salt, yakisoba sauce, and grated ginger come to mind). Stir fry until slightly browned all around. Now, form the soba into a circle, lift up the cabbage and crepe assemblage with two spatulas, and set it on top of the soba. Let it sit for a while longer.
You're almost finished! Crack open the egg and dump it into another frying pan. Break the yoke with a spatula and spread the egg into a circle. Let sit until cooked. Now lift the soba-cabbage-crepe-etc onto the egg, and smash down firmly. Flip the whole thing over on to a plate (so the egg-side is up) and top with yakisoba sauce, green laver, and a mound of green onions in that order.
Notes: If desired, fish, shrimp, squid or other seafood can be substituted for the bacon. As ever, udon may be substituted for soba. If you're ever in Japan and want to compare your efforts to the real deal, head to Okonomimura in central Hiroshima off Chuo-dori street in the Shintenchi Plaza Building behind the Parco department store - 3 whole floors of more than 30 Hiroshimayaki restaurants crammed together and trying to yell "irasshaimase" louder than the next!