Okonomi-yaki is a Japanese-style pancake or pizza. It includes cabbage and lots of other ingredients (see the list below). As the name indicates (okonomi means favorites in Japanese), you can add your favorite ingredients in okonomi-yaki. Seafood and meat are usually added. In some okonomi-yaki restaurants, customers cook their own okonomi-yaki on the iron table. Okonomi-yaki is also sold by street vendors.
There are two areas where okonomi-yaki is very popular: Osaka and Hiroshima. Okonomi-yaki is cooked differently in the two regions. In Hiroshima-style okonomi-yaki, chopped cabbage is cooked on top of thinly spread batter. Yakisoba noodles are usually added in Hiroshima-style okonomi-yaki. In Osaka-style okonomi-yaki, chopped cabbage is mixed with the batter and cooked together.
Osaka-style Okonomi-yaki (2 servings):
Toppings: Thinly sliced pork or beef, Squid, Shrimps/Dried shrimps (sakura-ebi), Katsuo-bushi (dried bonito flakes), Beni-shoga (red ginger), Ao-nori (green seaweed), Okonomiyaki sauce (or tonkatsu sauce), Mayonnaise
Cut the cabbage into very thin slices. Beat an egg in a bowl and add dashi soup stock or water in it. Add flour in the bowl and mix well. Combine sliced cabbage in the flour mixture. Fry meat/squid/shrimps (your choice of toppings) in an electric cooking pan or a frying pan. Pour the flour mixture over the toppings in the pan. Cook a few minutes and flip pancakes and cook for a few more minutes. Pour some okonomiyaki sauce and mayonnaise on top of the pan cakes. Sprinkle katsuobushi flakes, aonori, beni-shoga on top.
Hiroshima-style Okonomi-yaki (2 servings):
*grated yamaimo (Japanese yam) can be added.
Toppings: finely chopped cabbage, thinly sliced pork, red ginger, yakisoba noodles, tenkasu (tempura crumbs), corn, green onion, squid, shrimp, dried bonito flakes, bean sprouts, and more.
Heat a pan or an iron table. Spread batter into thin round. Place one handful of finely chopped cabbage and other your chosen ingredients on top of the pancake. If you are adding meat, place it on top of other ingredients. Pour some batter over the ingredients. Fry yakisoba noodles with okonomi-yaki sauce on the side. Flip the pancake over with spatula. Push the top of the okonomi-yaki firmly with a spatula and cook it in low heat until ingredients are cooked. Place the okonomi-yaki with spatula on top of yakisoba noodles and push on the top firmly. Fry an egg on the side. Place the okonomi-yaki on top of the fried egg and push on the top firmly. Place the okonomi-yaki on a plate with the egg side up. Sprinkle dried bonito flakes and ao-nori (dried seaweed powder).
Cut okonomiyaki into bite-sized pieces and eat with sweet okonomiyaki sauce or worcester sauce and mayonnaise.
Adapted from japanesefood.about.com