I had my first opportunity to try okonomiyaki or Japanese pancakes in Hiroshima. Although these pancakes are served all over Japan, the chefs in Hiroshima are famous for the number of layers their okonomiyaki have -and their ability to keep their many-layered pancakes intact till they serve them. We went to a place called Okonomi- Mura which literally translated means Pancake- Village and that’s what it was- a tall building with floor after floor of restaurants- each one serving okonomiyaki.
Our tiny- kerchiefed chef was a true artist. She created the base shape of our pancakes on her piping hot grill with her spatula- fashioning each dollop of batter into a perfect circle. After the batter had cooked she added layers of crisp shredded cabbage, crunchy bean sprouts, baked fish croutons and meaty bacon. She was cooking noodles in a wok at the same time and when they were done she added them as layer number six. She broke eggs onto the griddle and twirled and swirled them creating a scrambled egg mixture. Shrimp were dumped on the grill next and after they were sizzling our chef chopped them deftly with a razor sharp knife and then attacked an onion and green pepper with the same blade. The shrimp, onion and pepper bits were mixed together with the egg and placed on top of the pancake to form layer number seven.
Other posts about Japan…….