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Hudson Hayden/The Globe and Mail

When friends pop over for drinks, use this recipe as a guide to create the okonomiyaki of your dreams. If you prefer squid to shrimp, swap it in. Want different vegetables? Go for it. When it comes to toppings, take a trip to your local Asian food store and gather up goodies like nori, bonito flakes and Kewpie mayonnaise or simply fry and crumble some bacon, slice a few scallions and set out a dish of sesame seeds and let everyone dress their own.

Servings: 4 pancakes

Okonomiyaki

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp sugar

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth or dashi, at room temperature

2 eggs

4 cups finely shredded Japanese, savoy or green cabbage

1/3 lb raw shelled shrimp (about 15 medium-sized shrimp), well dried and chopped, with tails removed

1 to 2 tbsp canola oil

1/2 tsp sesame oil

Toppings, as desired

Mayonnaise

Okonomiyaki sauce

Shredded nori (kizami) nori

Bonito flakes

Chopped scallions

Method

Preheat oven to 400 F. Combine flour, salt, baking power and sugar in large bowl and mix well. Stir in broth slowly until mixture becomes a smooth paste. Beat in eggs one at a time and continue stirring into a thick batter. Add cabbage, folding over into batter until slightly softened and well coated. Mix in shrimp pieces.

Heat 1 tbsp of canola oil with sesame oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When oil starts to shimmer, add a quarter of the pancake mixture and press into a circle ½ to ¾-inch thick and 7 to 8 inches in diameter. Fry 5 to 6 minutes over medium-high until bottom is crisp and golden brown. Flip carefully with a spatula and fry on the other side for 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet and pop in the oven to keep warm. Repeat process with remaining batter, adding more oil as needed. Serve piping hot with toppings.

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