Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki (Japanese: お好み焼き, (About this soundlisten)) is a Japanese savory pancake dish consisting of wheat flour batter and other ingredients (mixed, or as toppings) cooked on a teppan (flat griddle). Common additions include cabbage, meat, and seafood, and toppings include okonomiyaki sauce (made with Worcestershire sauce), aonori (dried seaweed flakes), katsuobushi (bonito flakes), Japanese mayonnaise, and pickled ginger.

Okonomiyaki
Okonomiyaki by S e i in Osaka.jpg
Okonomiyaki with various toppings
CourseMain course
Place of originJapan
Region or stateHiroshima, Osaka
Serving temperatureHot
Main ingredientsWheat flour batter, cabbage
VariationsRegional

Okonomiyaki is mainly associated with two distinct variants from Hiroshima or the Kansai region of Japan, but is widely available throughout the country, with toppings and batters varying by area. The name is derived from the word okonomi, meaning "how you like" or "what you like", and yaki, meaning "cooked". It is an example of konamono (konamon in the Kansai dialect), or flour-based Japanese cuisine.

A liquid based okonomiyaki, popular in Kyoto, is called monjayaki. Outside of Japan, it can also be found served in Manila, Taipei, Bangkok, and Jakarta by street vendors.

HistoryEdit

 
Okonomiyaki topped with sauces

A thin crêpe-like confection called funoyaki [ja] may be an early precursor to okonomiyaki.[1][2] Records of the word funoyaki appear as far back as the 16th century, as written about by tea master Sen no Rikyū,[3] and though the dish's ingredients are unclear, it may have included fu (wheat gluten).[1] By the late Edo period (1603–1867),[4] funoyaki referred to a thin crêpe baked on a cooking pot, with miso basted on one side.[1][3] This confection is the ancestor of the modern confections kintsuba (金つば), which is also called gintsuba (銀つば) in Kyoto and Osaka,[1] and taiko-yaki (also known as imagawayaki), which both use nerian (練り餡), a sweet bean paste.[5]

In the Meiji era (1868–1912), monjiyaki (文字焼き), a related confection, was popular with children at dagashiya (駄菓子屋), shops selling cheap sweets.[6] This was made by drawing letters (monji) or pictures with flour batter on a teppan (iron griddle) and adding ingredients of choice. The confectionary was also called dondonyaki (どんどん焼き), from the onomatopoeia of the stall sellers beating drums to attract customers.[5]

The first appearance of the word "okonomiyaki" was at a shop in Osaka in the 1930s.[2][7][8] After the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake when people lacked amenities, it became a pastime to cook these crêpes,[1] and after World War II (when there was a short supply of rice)[6] okonomiyaki emerged as an inexpensive and filling dish for all ages, often with savory toppings, such as meat, seafood, and vegetables.[1][5][9] This "okonomiyaki boom" saw household equipment and ingredients for the dish become commercially available.[5] Monjiyaki also developed into the related modern dish monjayaki (モンジャ焼き), which has a more runny batter due to more added water, resulting in a different cooked consistency.[5]

The issen yōshoku [ja] (cheap Western-style cuisine) of Kyoto, which developed in the Taishō period (1912–1926), may have produced an early form of modern savory okonomiyaki in the form of a pancake with Worcestershire sauce and chopped scallion.[10]

Variations by regionEdit

Osaka-style modan-yaki and lunch set
Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki
A man preparing okonomiyaki in a restaurant in Hiroshima
Okonomiyaki served in a foodcourt of 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta
Hirayachi

The dish is known for two distinct main variants, one in Kansai and Osaka and one in Hiroshima.[11] Another variety is hirayachi, a thin and simple type made in Okinawa.[12][13]

Kansai areaEdit

Okonomiyaki in the Kansai or Osaka style is the predominant version of the dish, found throughout most of Japan. The batter is made of flour, grated nagaimo (a long type of yam), dashi or water, eggs, shredded cabbage, and usually contains other ingredients such as green onion, meat (usually thinly sliced pork belly or American bacon), octopus, squid, shrimp, vegetables, konjac, mochi, or cheese.[1][8][14]

It is sometimes compared to an omelette or a pancake and is sometimes referred to as a "Japanese pizza" or "Osaka soul food".[14][9][15][16] The dish can be prepared in advance, allowing customers to use a teppan or special hotplates to fry after mixing the ingredients. They may also have a diner-style counter where the cook prepares the dish in front of the customers.[17]

It is prepared much like a pancake. The batter and other ingredients are pan-fried on both sides on a teppan using metal spatulas that are later used to cut the dish when it has finished cooking. Cooked okonomiyaki is topped with ingredients that include okonomiyaki sauce (made with Worcestershire sauce), aonori (seaweed flakes), katsuobushi (bonito flakes), Japanese mayonnaise, and pickled ginger (beni shōga).[8]

When served with a layer of fried noodles (either yakisoba or udon), the resulting dish is called modan-yaki (モダン焼き), the name of which may be derived from the English word "modern" or as a contraction of mori dakusan (盛りだくさん), meaning "a lot" or "piled high" signifying the volume of food from having both noodles and okonomiyaki. Negiyaki (ねぎ焼き) is a thinner variation of okonomiyaki made with a great deal of scallions, comparable to Korean pajeon and Chinese green onion pancakes.[18]

A variation called kashimin-yaki is made of chicken and tallow instead of pork in Kishiwada, Osaka.[19] In Hamamatsu, takuan (pickled daikon) is mixed in okonomiyaki.[20] Stewed sweet kintoki-mame is mixed in okonomiyaki in Tokushima Prefecture.[21]

Hiroshima areaEdit

In the city of Hiroshima, there are over 2000 okonomiyaki restaurants, and the prefecture has more of those restaurants per capita than any other place in Japan.[9] Issen yōshoku (一銭洋食, lit. "one-coin Western food"), a thin pancake topped with green onions and bonito flakes or shrimp, became popular in Hiroshima prior to World War II. After the atomic bombing of the city in August 1945, issen yōshoku became a cheap way for the surviving residents to have food to eat.[9] Because the original ingredients were not always easy to obtain, many of the street vendors and shops began making it "cooked how you like it" (お好み焼き, okonomiyaki), using whatever ingredients were available.[9]

The ingredients are layered rather than mixed.[8][9] The layers are typically batter, cabbage, pork, and yakisoba. Optional items such as squid, octopus, dried bonito flakes, and other seafood, as well as nori flakes or powder, mung bean sprouts, egg, chicken, cheese, and other ingredients, depending on the preferences of the cook and the customer.[9] Noodles (yakisoba, udon) are also used as a topping with fried egg and a generous amount of okonomiyaki sauce.[22]

The amount of cabbage used is usually three to four times the amount used in the Osaka style.[2][18][8] It starts out piled very high and is pushed down as the cabbage cooks.[8] The order of the layers may vary slightly depending on the chef's style and preference, and ingredients vary depending on the preference of the customer. This style is also called Hiroshima-yaki or Hiroshima-okonomi.[17]

In and around the Hiroshima area, there are a number of variations on the style. Fuchuyaki (府中焼き, fuchūyaki) is made with ground meat instead of pork belly in Fuchū, Hiroshima.[23] Oysters (kaki) are mixed in okonomiyaki to make kaki-oko in Hinase, Okayama.[24] On the island of Innoshima, a variety called Innoshima okonomiyaki (因島お好み焼き) (or in'oko (いんおこ) for short) includes udon, bonito flakes, Worcestershire sauce, and vegetables fried with uncooked batter.[25] Together with "Onomichiyaki", in'oko is considered a B-class gourmet food along the Shimanami Kaidō.[26] There is a restaurant in Hiroshima where customers can order jalapeños, tortilla chips, chorizo, and other Latin American items either in—or as a side dish to—okonomiyaki.[8]

Otafuku, one of the most popular brands of okonomiyaki sauce, is based in Hiroshima and has an okonomiyaki museum and a cooking studio there.[9] Okonomi-mura, in Naka-ku in Hiroshima, was the top food theme park destination for families in Japan according to an April 2004 poll.[27][28]

OkinawaEdit

Hirayachi (Okinawan: ヒラヤーチー hirayaachii) is a thin, very simple Okinawan pancake-like dish similar to buchimgae. It is basically "a savory Okinawan crepe with leeks",[29] and is sometimes called "Okinawan style okonomiyaki". The name means "fry flat" in the Okinawan language.[30]

People cook it at home, so there are few okonomiyaki restaurants in Okinawa, with none of them serving hirayachi.[31] The ingredients consist of eggs, flour, salt, black pepper and green onions, fried with a little oil in a pan.[30]

Other areasEdit

The Tsukishima district of Tokyo is popular for both okonomiyaki and monjayaki (the district's main street is named "Monja Street").[32] In some areas of Kyoto city, an old-style okonomiyaki called betayaki (べた焼き) is served. The dish is prepared in layers of thin batter, shredded cabbage and meat, with a fried egg and noodles.[33]

Okonomiyaki is popular streetfare in cities including Manila, Taipei, Bangkok, and Jakarta.[34]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Heibonsha 1964 encyclopedia vol. 3, p. 445, article on okonomiyaki by Tekishū Motoyama 本山荻舟 (1881-1958)
  2. ^ a b c "Okonomiyaki History". Okonomiyaki World. Archived from the original on 23 July 2021. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  3. ^ a b Kumakura 2007, p.168
  4. ^ In Heibonsha 1964 funoyaki is (mistakenly) said to be a late Edo-period confection
  5. ^ a b c d e 沢, 史生 (1985). "お好み焼き". Encyclopedia Nipponica, Volume 4 (in Japanese). Shogakukan. p. 155. Archived from the original on 7 August 2021. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  6. ^ a b "「関西風」のルーツは東京だった!花柳界と切り離せないお好み焼きの黎明期" [The roots of "Kansai style" were Tokyo! The dawn of okonomiyaki, which is inseparable from the Hanayanagi world]. JBpress(日本ビジネスプレス). 16 August 2013. Archived from the original on 6 August 2021. Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  7. ^ Sibal, Angela. "All About the Famous Japanese Pancake". Foodicles. Archived from the original on 7 June 2021. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Beser, Ari (4 August 2015). "Beyond the Bomb: Hiroshima's Beloved Okonomiyaki Pancake". National Geographic. Archived from the original on 23 August 2021. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h Powell, Steve John; Cabello, Angeles Marin (13 April 2020). "Is Hiroshima the true home of okonomiyaki?". BBC. Archived from the original on 23 August 2021. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  10. ^ Ono, Fujiko (小野藤子) (2009). おうちで作る鄉土ごはん. 枻出版社. ISBN 9784777914449. Archived from the original on 8 March 2017. Retrieved 24 September 2016., p.95
  11. ^ "Okonomiyaki, an Overview". Otajoy.com. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  12. ^ "Hirayachi". Story of Japanese Local Cuisine. Archived from the original on 28 January 2021. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  13. ^ "Ivan Orkin's Savory Pancakes (Okonomiyaki) Recipe on Food52". Food52. Archived from the original on 31 May 2021. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  14. ^ a b "How to make the perfect okonomiyaki – recipe | Felicity Cloake's The perfect …". The Guardian. 12 May 2021. Archived from the original on 26 August 2021. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  15. ^ 「広島焼き」なんてものはない!と抗議 県民の「お好み焼き愛」でNHK『サラメシ』がテロップ修正 [There is no such thing as "Hiroshima-yaki"! NHK "Lunch" corrects telop in "Okonomiyaki love" of the citizens of the prefecture]. Sankei.com. 8 November 2016. Archived from the original on 25 April 2021. Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  16. ^ "99japan". Archived from the original on 27 September 2020. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  17. ^ a b "How to eat Okonimiyaki in Japan". Savor Japan. 5 June 2020. Archived from the original on 23 August 2021. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  18. ^ a b Okonomiyaki. Trafford. August 2012. ISBN 9781466908147. Archived from the original on 6 August 2021. Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  19. ^ 中将タカノリ (14 September 2020). 絶品ローカルお好み焼き!岸和田の「かしみん焼き」ご存知ですか…大阪風「まぜ焼き」とは異なる「のせ焼き」 [Exquisite local okonomiyaki! Do you know about Kashiwada's "kashiminyaki"? Differences from Osaka "mazeyaki" and "noseyaki"] (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 16 September 2020. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  20. ^ 新沼大 (2 July 2020). たくあん入れて薄く焼き上げる 浜松の遠州焼き [Takuan sprinkled and grilled: Hamamatsu's enshūyaki] (in Japanese). Nikkei Style. Archived from the original on 17 January 2021. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  21. ^ 上原吉博 (10 December 2014). お好み焼きに金時豆 徳島の「豆天玉」 [Red kidney beans in Okonomiyaki: Tokushima's mameamadama] (in Japanese). Nikkei Style. Archived from the original on 23 August 2021. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  22. ^ "Hiroshima Okonomiyaki Recipe". Japan Centre. Archived from the original on 4 April 2021. Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  23. ^ 広島県・府中市 府中焼き 店長は元力士 [Hiroshima Prefecture - Fuchū City Fuchūyaki shop managers are the foundation of sumo wrestler] (in Japanese). Asahi Shimbun Digital. 10 December 2020. Archived from the original on 23 August 2021. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  24. ^ Kanno, Miyuki (14 February 2019). 谷口茉妃菜さん「決定的瞬間撮る!」 その時カキオコは [Ms. Mahina Taniguchi "Recording the crucial moment!" of that kakioko time] (in Japanese). Asahi Shimbun Digital. Archived from the original on 23 August 2021. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  25. ^ いんおこ巡礼 [In'oko Pilgrimage]. IJ (Inoshima Japan) (in Japanese). Sanwadock. 29 August 2010. Archived from the original on 5 June 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  26. ^ 寺門充; 広津興一 (21 October 2010). 焼豚玉子飯、いんおこ…しまなみ海道、B級グルメで活気 (in Japanese). Asahi Shimbun Digital. Archived from the original on 1 November 2016. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  27. ^ 「お好み村」が家族で行ってみたいフードテーマパークで1位に! ["Okonomi-mura" the #1 food theme park families want to visit!] (in Japanese). Hiroshima Home Television. 3 May 2004. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011.
  28. ^ 牛田泰正 (Yasumasa Uchida) (Spring 2007). 観光地における飲食業 [The food and drink industry in sightseeing areas] (PDF) (in Japanese). p. 50. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 July 2011. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
  29. ^ Marty (4 April 2007). "Goya Champuru & Hiraya-chi". Okinawa.com. Archived from the original on 23 August 2021. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  30. ^ a b "Hirayachi: ヒラヤーチー". Ono Okinawa. 3 June 2016. Archived from the original on 17 January 2021. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  31. ^ "Okinawan well-known emergency food called Hiraya-ch". Archived from the original on 3 May 2015. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
  32. ^ Beddall, Michael. "Food for Thought - Okonomiyaki - Monjayaki - Tsukishima". mikesblender.com. Archived from the original on 14 July 2011. Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  33. ^ "Donguri Okonomiyaki Dining in Kyoto, Japan: Okonomiyaki vs Betayaki vs Negiyaki". The Poor Traveller. 20 August 2013. Archived from the original on 28 November 2020. Retrieved 7 November 2020.
  34. ^ "Okonomiyaki Merambah Kaki Lima" (in Indonesian). Kompas Cyber Media. 10 February 2011. Archived from the original on 15 September 2018. Retrieved 15 September 2018.

BibliographyEdit

  • Heibonsha (1964). 世界百科事典 (Sekai hyakka jiten). (World Encyclopedia, in Japanese).
  • Kumakura, Isao (熊倉功夫) (2007). Nihon ryori no rekishi (日本料理の歴史). Yoshikawa Kobunkan (吉川弘文館).

External linksEdit