1. What takes this batter to another level is that we add dashi instead of water, however if you cant make dashi at home then simply just add water or even stock. Place a hand sized piece of kombu and 2 dry shiitake mushrooms into a pan with approximately 175ml of water. Allow to sit for 15 minutes then after place onto a medium heat and bring the stock up to a temperature of approx 70°c. At this point now add a handful of bonito flakes and remove from the heat and allow to steep again for 15 minutes. To finish the stock pass through a sieve and store the stock to one side for now.
2. Now let’s move onto prepping the fillings for the okonomiyaki. Essentially you can add what ever fillings you like but this is a good base. Finely slice 1/2 white cabbage, julienne 1/2 red pepper, chop 2 spring onions, mince a 4cm piece of ginger or you could use Japanese pickled ginger and fry approx 100g of bacon lardons until crispy. Place all the prepped ingredients to one side for now.
3. For the pork belly slice 200g of pork belly into thin long strips if possible or get your butcher to do this for you. You want to slice as thin as possible to ensure a quick cook. If you cant get hold of pork belly sliced like this then you could also use streaky bacon instead.
4. Next onto the all important batter, in a large mixing bowl add 125g sieved plain flour, 35g cornflour and 1 tbsp baking powder. Mix all the dry ingredients first then make a well in the centre, then add 175ml of our dashi stock and 1 whole egg. Use a whisk to incorporate the liquid into the flour until a smooth batter is made. You want the consistency of the batter to be able to coat the back of a spoon. If the batter is too thick at this point add a drop more water if needed.
5. Now we have everything ready its time to add all the prepared ingredients to the batter, add the sliced cabbage, sliced pepper, minced ginger, chopped spring onion, mozzerella cheese, and fried lardons. Season well with salt and pepper then mix ensuring all the ingredients are coated nicely the batter. The consistency when all mixed should almost look like a slightly thick coleslaw.
6. To cook you can choose to either make one really large or 3-4 smaller individual okonomiyakiy. Okonomiyaki is usually made on a teppanyaki although at home use a skillet or large heavy frying pan if possible to replicate that. Add a drizzle of oil to a pan and place onto a medium heat. Then add a generous amount of the batter mix into the centre of the pan and use a spatula to shape the mix to tidy things up. Now add layers of the sliced pork belly over the top of the batter and place a lid on top. Cook the okonomiyaki for 5-7 minutes on a medium to low heat depending on the size you made your okonomiyaki.
7. After 5-7 minutes use a spatula to carefully flip the okonomiyaki over. Brush the cooked side generously with the okonomi sauce and cook the other side again for 5-7 minutes with a lid over the top. When ready flip one last time and brush again with okonomi sauce. Now place a serving plate over the top and flip out the okonomiyaki making the pork belly side on the bottom.
8. Time to finish the dish, first drizzle Japanese mayo over the top (you can make it fancy by using a squeeze bottle). Now add some chopped spring onions, julienned nori seaweed and finally finish the okonomiyaki with bonito flakes. Have fun making okonomiyaki!
As for what ingredients to add to the filling as long as you have cabbage as a base you can go nuts really. Pickled ginger, tempura flakes, seafood, meat, tofu, different cheeses, various veg and mushrooms etc…If you cant find okonomi sauce you can make a batch at home by using 2 tbsp ketchup, 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 tbsp oyster sauce, 1 tbsp white sugar and 1 tsp light soy. Mix together and there we are…Have fun and I hope you like this simply delicious recipe…