If you read my blog, you'll know that my family are okonomiyaki fans. We're also cheese fans, so I thought, why not combine okonomiyaki and cheese? Now I'll admit that cheese isn't the first thing you might think of when you think of Japanese food but I find it makes a great ingredient in a lot of Japanese dishes and that's certainly the case when you add it to an okonomiyaki.
Adding 80 - 100g of good cheddar cheese enriches the flavour and provides protein, calcium and Vitamin A. As well as the cheese, I use a sweet pointed cabbage, onion a red pepper but you could use other vegetables (after all okonomiyaki does literally mean "fried the way you like it"!) About 4 minutes frying time on each side will achieve a nice, golden brown finish to your okonomiyaki so you need to make sure that the vegetables will cook within that time. That means not leaving any vegetable too thick that it won't cook quickly. It also means, in the case of the pointed cabbage, that I slice out and discard the tougher stem parts of the leaves. That consideration apart, this is a fairly easy recipe that you can have ready in 15-20 minutes for a simple Okonomiyaki lunch or supper. Once your okonomiyaki are out the pan, you can make a nice drizzly decorative effect with okonomiyaki sauce or Bulldog sauce and/or mayo. (My husband is quite partial to eating his okonomiyaki with mayo and a little English mustard.) I also dressed the tops of these okonomiyaki with katsuobushi bonito flakes and powdered laver seaweed to provide some additional richness and umami tones.
Is your appetite whetted? If you'd like to try this recipe out, you can find the written instructions below or click Okonomiyaki with Cheddar Cheese for the Youtube tutorial or find it at the bottom of the page.
Happy cooking! Kurumi XXXX.
Okonomiyaki with Cheddar Cheese.
(makes 2 okonomiyaki in a 24 cm / 9 inch frying pan)
150g / 5.3 oz sweet pointed cabbage (or any soft cabbage)
40g / 1.5 oz onion
40g / 1.5 oz bell pepper
130g / 4.5 oz plain / all purpose flour
80g / 2.8 oz cheddar cheese
150ml / 5.3 fl oz water
1 tsp Japanese dashi stock or vegetable stock
2 tbsp vegetable oil
brown sauce, mayonnaise, some bonito flakes & powdered laver (Japanese "aoko") or chopped nori
finely slice the onion, cabbage and pepper
(if the cabbage leaf stems are quick thick, then remove them at this stage)
put the vegetables, flour, egg, cheese, water & Japanese dashi granules into a bowl and mix well
heat 1 tbsp oil in a 24cm / 9.5 in frying pan
add 1/2 the okonomiyaki mixture and fry over a medium heat with the lid on for 4-5 minutes
turn over & fry for a further 3 - 4 minutes
repeat for okonomiyaki #2
your okonomiyaki are ready - top with your choice of brown sauce, mayonnaise, bonito flakes and powdered laver seaweed.