When my mother was busy during the weekends, she would occasionally cook a quick and easy version of okonomiyaki for lunch. It wasn't as thick or dressed up with stacks of toppings as the Hiroshima variety. She also wasn't from Hiroshima...
I never got her recipe, but I recall that it was basic: flour, water, eggs, cabbage. My job as her assistant was to make the sauce, which was merely Best Foods mayonnaise whipped with shoyu, to taste.
2 c flour
3/4 c water or dashi
2 c cabbage, shredded
Makes 2 servings, 2 pancakes per person
1. Mix the flour and water (or dashi).
2. Add cabbage to batter and mix.
3. Add egg to cabbage and batter mixture.
2. In a heated, oiled pan, pour batter in a circle and cook to desired crispness.
For a Hiroshima flair, I added a yakisoba layer. Sapporo Ichiban yakisoba (chow mein) is my preferred variety, since the noodles are a desirable texture. For my concoction, I added sliced bamboo shoots and mushrooms to the yakisoba and took the liberty of sprinkling the laver that came with the yakisoba package, as well as shichimi togarashi for a little zip.
I would have used shrimp, cut up in smaller pieces, but the bag in the freezer we thought was shrimp was, instead, a bag of dumplings. Boo.
My mother would have served just the two pancakes for lunch with a mayonnaise-shoyu sauce.
A typical okonomiyaki will have katsuobushi shavings layered on top. The shavings are made of preserved tuna and look like wood curls.
This is no where near what I have had in Hiroshima at an okonomiyaki restaurant our relatives took my father and I. It was piled at least 4" high. I'm rubbing my belly just thinking about it!
I have yet to make okonomiyaki like my mother's, but through trial and error, I hope to obtain that texture and flavor one day.