Japan 2016: Okonomiyaki

Japan 2016: Okonomiyaki

When my family insisted that I take my friends to Hiroshima to visit the Peace Memorial Museum and the Genbaku Dome, there was one other place I knew we needed to go – Okonomimura, the ultimate place to go for a Hiroshima style okonomiyaki.  In fact it’s an entire building made of 4 to 5 floors of food stalls dedicated to making okonomiyaki.  Returning to the stall I visited 4 years ago with my mom, called Suigun, we all ordered the classic Hiroshima style okonomiyaki.  The okonomiyaki is a Japanese pancake that starts with a thin crepe-like batter and is then followed with layers of cabbage, bean sprouts, slices of pork and a variety of seasonings.  What comes next is yakisoba noodles which is what makes it Hiroshima style.  It’s then finished with a fried egg, a brushing of okonomiyaki sauce (or oyster sauce) and aonori (seasoned seaweed flakes).  This savoury pancake is full of vegetables and protein and the okonomiyaki sauce gives it that punch of flavour – well worth the trip to Hiroshima!

The famous Okonomimura located in downtown Hiroshima.

The famous Okonomimura located in downtown Hiroshima.

One of the many stalls in Okonomimura that specialize in making Okonomiyaki.

One of the many stalls in Okonomimura that specialize in making Okonomiyaki.

The owner/chefs at Suigun.

The owner/chefs at Suigun.

Setting the base with a simple thin pancake and tons of cabbage.

Setting the base with a simple thin pancake and tons of cabbage.

Adding thin slices of pork as the cabbage starts to cook down.

Adding thin slices of pork as the cabbage starts to cook down.

Cooking a fried egg per pancake.

Cooking a fried egg per pancake.

With the noodle and cabbage side up, you top each mound with the fried egg.

With the noodle and cabbage side up, you top each mound with the fried egg.

Finishing off each pancake by brushing on okonomiyaki sauce and aonori (seaweed flakes).

Finishing off each pancake by brushing on okonomiyaki sauce and aonori (seaweed flakes).

The famous okonomiyaki, Hiroshima style.

The famous okonomiyaki, Hiroshima style.

All the different layers that go into making the okonomiyaki.

All the different layers that go into making the okonomiyaki.

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