Disclaimer: This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. Sudachi earns a small percentage from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. See disclaimer for more info.
What is Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki?
Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き) is a type of Japanese savory pancake, often filled with meat or seafood and vegetables topped with a sweet and fruity okonomiyaki sauce.
The word “okonomi” (お好み) means “as you like,” which is why there are so many variations using different ingredients. It’s a dish that is literally made to be customized! While you can basically add any ingredients you like, the two most famous types of okonomiyaki are “Osaka style” and “Hiroshima style.”
As the name suggests, Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki is a variation of an okonomiyaki from Hiroshima prefecture in Western Japan.
There are often arguments about which is the “real” okonomiyaki, Osaka style or Hiroshima style, but there’s really no answer for that. If anything, you shouldn’t talk about it to avoid serious arguments with proud foodies from the rivaling areas.
From a neutral point of view (as I’m not from either of these areas), I tend to think of them as simply different ways to make okonomiyaki. Sometimes, we call them Hiroshimayaki and Osakayaki so that the word “okonomiyaki” is not used and we can avoid upsetting anyone.
How I Developed This Recipe
When I started developing this recipe for Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, I was well aware of the common perception in Japan that making it at home is a daunting task. This belief largely stems from the traditional preparation method, which involves cooking on a large griddle — something not typically found in home kitchens. Many assume it’s impossible to recreate this beloved dish without the proper restaurant equipment.
However, my primary focus was to debunk this myth and create a recipe that could be easily managed in a standard frying pan. I wanted to ensure that anyone could enjoy Hiroshima-yaki’s unique layers and flavors without needing specialized equipment.
While the recipe does involve several steps, I’ve streamlined the process and made it surprisingly straightforward. I encourage you to give this recipe a try, even if you’ve never attempted to make okonomiyaki before!
Osaka vs Hiroshima
Despite the shared name, it is interesting that there are distinct differences between the Hiroshima style and the Osaka style. Here are the main differences between the two:
|Thin and crepe-like
|Thick and filling
|Mixed into the batter
|Sweet sauce, green onions, egg yolk
|Savory/fruity sauce, mayonnaise, bonito flakes, aonori
Let’s go over each element in more detail.
Osaka-style okonomiyaki contains less water and more flour, so the batter is thick. Because the ingredients are mixed in, the batter needs to have good stability to hold everything together.
On the other hand, Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki contains more water, and the batter is extremely thin. The ingredients are piled on top of the batter rather than mixed in. The thin crepe-like batter is one of the defining characteristics of Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki.
Both kinds of okonomiyaki contain white cabbage as an ingredient, but the way cabbage is cut is different.
Osaka style goes for small, roughly cut pieces, whereas long, thin strips of shredded cabbage are used for the Hiroshima style.
Osaka style generally doesn’t contain noodles; if you eat it in a restaurant, you usually have to order extra noodles on the side. On the other hand, Hiroshima style pretty much always contains yakisoba-style noodles and, in restaurants, comes with noodles by default.
4. Ingredient arrangement
Osaka-style okonomiyaki has a thicker dough, and most of the ingredients are mixed in before cooking. This results in quite a uniform pancake because all of the ingredients are cooked in the batter, which stops them from falling out.
On the other hand, the ingredients are not mixed into the batter for Hiroshima style. First, a thin crepe-like layer is made using the runny batter, then the other ingredients are piled on top of the crepe. Hiroshima style is essentially a “layered” okonomiyaki.
Osaka style tends to be coated in a savory and fruity sauce topped with a generous helping of mayonnaise, bonito flakes, and aonori (powdered dry seaweed).
On the other hand, Hiroshima style is usually topped with a sweet sauce and sprinkled with chopped spring onion (scallions) and sometimes even a raw egg yolk.
Ingredients & Substitution Ideas
- Green Cabbage: Shredded for easy incorporation. While cannonball or pointed cabbage can also be used, green cabbage is preferred for its crisp texture.
- Fried Squid Snack (Ikaten) or Tempura Flakes (Tenkasu): Adds a unique flavor. Choose either based on availability or preference.
- Beansprouts: An addition that brings freshness to the dish.
- Pork Belly Thinly Sliced: Other thinly sliced pork parts or streaky bacon can be substituted, but remember to adjust the salt content if bacon is used due to its higher saltiness.
- Egg: Medium-sized eggs are used here, but small or large can be substituted based on what’s available.
- Yakisoba Ingredients: A flavorful mix of oyster sauce, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, tomato ketchup, sake, sugar, black pepper, sesame oil, and precooked and drained ramen noodles.
- Batter Ingredients: Combine cake flour, dashi stock, sugar, mirin, and bonito flakes (katsuobushi) for a rich and flavorful base.
- Sauce & Toppings: Enhance the dish with Worcestershire sauce, oyster sauce, tomato ketchup, honey, soy sauce, finely chopped green onion, and pasteurized egg yolk.
As the word okonomi (as you like) suggests, there are no strict rules for what to add or not. Being creative is the spirit of okonomiyaki. Here, I will list 3 common ingredients you can find at restaurants for Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki.
- Mince Meat (Fuchuyaki): A variation of okonomiyaki that uses ground meat instead of pork belly, named after Fuchu city in Hiroshima. It provides a crispy outside and fluffy inside to the dish and is an alternative for those who prefer minced meat or can’t easily find thinly sliced pork belly.
- Meltable Cheese: Adding melty cheese to okonomiyaki is a popular choice for an additional layer of flavor and texture. It’s particularly enjoyed in both Hiroshima and Osaka styles and is recommended for cheese lovers.
- Shiso Leaves: Perilla, or shiso leaves, are a popular ingredient that adds a new level of complexity to the typically sweeter Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki. They are recommended for those who appreciate a more complex flavor profile.
Curious about the exact brands and products that bring my recipes to life? Discover the brands and ingredients behind my recipes at the Sudachi Amazon Storefront. Explore my handpicked pantry essentials and find your next kitchen favorites!Jump to Full Recipe Measurements
Visual Walkthrough & Tips
Here are my step-by-step instructions for how to make Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki at home. For ingredient quantities and simplified instructions, scroll down for the Printable Recipe Card below.
One of the characteristics of Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki is its layers. The structure of standard okonomiyaki from bottom to top goes as follows:
- Crepe-like batter
- Shredded cabbage
- Tenkasu or fried squid snack (ikaten)
- Thinly sliced pork
- Yakisoba noodles
- Egg crepe
- Toppings (okonomi sauce, spring onions and egg yolk)
The batter is poured out into a thin circular shape on a pan and fried. You can then start adding layers of the ingredients and place a lid over it so that the ingredients cook in the steam.
Mix the yakisoba sauce ingredients in a bowl. This is made with oyster sauce, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, sake, sugar, black pepper and sesame oil.
Fry pre-cooked ramen noodles with a drizzle of vegetable oil until slightly crispy and then add the sauce.
Stir fry until the noodles are evenly coated, then turn off the stove and set the noodles aside for later.
Mix the cake flour, dashi stock (or water), sugar, and mirin in a jug.
Heat a large frying pan on low/medium-low, add a drizzle, and wipe away the excess with kitchen paper. Pour 3/4 of the batter into the middle of the pan and spread it out using a ladle.
Sprinkle some bonito flakes for extra umami while the batter is still wet!
Next, add the ingredients one layer at a time, starting with the shredded cabbage.
Then the squid snack (ikaten) or tenkasu.
Next, add the beansprouts and drizzle the leftover batter over the top. The batter will drip down and help bind the ingredients together slightly.
Finally, lay the pork slices over the top.
Add a lid and leave to cook for 5 minutes.
Carefully flip it over, add the lid once more, and cook on the other side for 5 minutes.
If you’re not confident in your pancake-flipping skills, you can slide it onto a large plate, place the pan on top, and flip it with less risk of breaking it!
While the okonomiyaki is cooking, take a small bowl and mix Worcestershire sauce, oyster sauce, ketchup, honey and soy sauce to make the okonomi sauce.
In another bowl, whisk the egg until the white and yolk have combined.
Once 5 minutes are up, and the pork is cooked through, transfer the okonomiyaki to a plate and set it aside. Wipe the pan clean, add a drizzle of oil, and spread it evenly using kitchen paper. Pour the whisked egg into the pan and swirl it around to make a thin, even layer.
Place the yakisoba noodles on top once the egg is 80% cooked.
Next, add the other half of the okonomiyaki with the crepe side facing up.
Use a spatula to peel up the edges of the egg crepe to loosen it, then flip the whole okonomiyaki onto a serving plate. The egg crepe should be on top.
Coat the top generously with your homemade okonomi sauce.
Add toppings of your choice.
Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki is typically topped with chopped spring onion and an egg yolk.
Cut into easy-to-pick-up pieces and enjoy!Jump to Full Recipe Measurements
Tips & Tricks
- Shred the cabbage – Shredded cabbage tends to tangle together, which helps keep it together as a layer in Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki.
- Use fresh cabbage – If it’s slightly dried out, sprinkle with a little bit of water after shredding.
- Use cooked noodles for yakisoba – If using dry noodles, boil them for 1-2 minutes less than the time stated on the packaging and drain thoroughly before frying.
- Make crispy yakisoba – Fry the noodles more than you would usually, preferably until slightly crispy, this will help them stand out amongst the other layers.
- Use a medium-low heat to make the crepe – This will prevent burning. The ideal temperature is about 160°C to 170°C.
- Add some crispy ingredients – Whether it’s Japanese-style tenkasu or ikaten (squid snack) or regular potato chips, adding a crispy layer is recommended for texture and extra umami!
- Save batter for binding – Since Hiroshima okonomiyaki is made up of layers, it’s common to use a bit of batter and drizzle it over the last layer (I personally add it before the pork). This won’t bind it completely but will add a bit of stability for when you have to flip it.
- The perfect flip isn’t essential – Don’t worry if you can’t flip it perfectly! The beauty of Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki is that you can easily fix small mishaps. Just tuck any escaped ingredients back in, and it’s all fine, no one will be the wiser!
Regardless of which type of okonomiyaki you make, they are usually made on an iron plate (teppan) if it’s in restaurants or food stands, and an electric hot plate if it’s made at home.
With Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, using a teppan is very convenient because you have more space. You can cook the ingredients separately at the same time on a wide surface and then pile them up.
However, if you don’t have a teppan or hot plate at home, do not fear; I’ve put this recipe together with home cooking in mind! You will need a large frying pan with a lid to cook the okonomiyaki and a smaller frying pan or wok to cook the noodles.
I hope you enjoy this Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki recipe! If you try it out, I’d really appreciate it if you could spare a moment to let me know what you thought by giving a review and star rating in the comments below. It’s also helpful to share any adjustments you made to the recipe with our other readers. Thank you!
More Japanese Street Food
- Japanese Fried Octopus Balls (Takoyaki)
- Authentic Yakisoba (Japanese Stir-fried Noodles)
- Authentic Chicken Karaage (Crispy Japanese Fried Chicken)
- Chicken Tsukune (Japanese Glazed Meatballs)
Want more inspiration? Explore my Street Food Roundup Post for a carefully selected collection of tasty recipe ideas to spark your next meal!
Hiroshima Style Okonomiyaki (in a frying pan)
- 50 g green cabbage shredded
- 4 tbsp fried squid snack (ikaten) or tempura bits (tenkasu)
- 50 g beansprouts
- 100 g pork belly thinly sliced
- 1 medium egg(s)
- 1 pinch salt
- Make a simple yakisoba sauce by mixing ½ tbsp oyster sauce, ½ tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, ½ tsp tomato ketchup, ¼ tbsp sake, ¼ tsp sugar, 1 pinch black pepper and ½ tsp sesame oil in a small bowl.
- Heat a frying pan on medium-high and once hot, add 1½ tsp cooking oil. Fry the yakisoba noodles until slightly crispy.
- Pour the yakisoba sauce over the noodles and stir fry until they’re evenly coated. Remove from the stove and set aside for later.
- Take a large frying pan and heat on medium-low. Add 1½ tsp cooking oil and wipe it around the pan with kitchen paper to remove the excess.
- While the pan is heating up, make the crepe batter by whisking the 30 g cake flour, 60 ml dashi stock, 1 pinch of sugar and 1 dash mirin in a small jug until smooth.
- Pour 3/4 of the mixture into the center of the pan and spread it out using the back of a spoon. Sprinkle 1 tbsp bonito flakes over the batter while it's still wet.
- Add 50 g green cabbage, 4 tbsp fried squid snack (ikaten) and 50 g beansprouts one layer at a time, then drizzle the leftover batter over the top.
- Place the 100 g pork belly slices over the top and add a lid. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Flip it over and cook on the other side for another 5 minutes, again with the lid.
- While it's cooking, make the okonomi sauce by mixing the 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce, 1 tbsp tomato ketchup, 1/2 tbsp honey and 1/2 tsp soy sauce in a small bowl. Set aside for the end.
- Crack 1 medium egg(s) into a separate bowl with a pinch of salt and whisk until the yolk and white have combined.
- Once 5 minutes have passed and the pork is cooked through, transfer the okonomiyaki to a large plate.
- Use kitchen paper to wipe the pan clean, then add a drizzle of oil and spread it around using kitchen paper to remove the excess. Pour the whisked egg into the pan and swirl it around to evenly coat the bottom of the pan.
- Once it’s about 80% cooked, place the cooked yakisoba and the other half of the okonomiyaki on top so the crepe side is on top.
- Use a spatula to peel the edges of the egg and loosen it from the pan and carefully flip the whole thing onto a plate (so the egg is on top). and
- Generously coat with the homemade okonomi sauce, 1 tbsp finely chopped green onion(s) and an 1 pasteurized egg yolk (optional).