Here it is, everyone! Let’s see what this okonomiyaki (what a mouthful of a name for a pancake!) is all about.
I did a little scouring on the Internet, and this place called Mifune popped up. It’s pretty close to where I live, about an 18 minute walk, close to the JR Osaka train station–an old establishment with grills that looked a little ancient (but sturdy) and a good reputation because plenty of people were seated and gleefully grilling away.
Okonomiyaki is basically just as easy as making pancakes with Bisquick. It’s not like those Pinterest recipes/hair tutorials that are supposed to make life simpler but actually make life more despairing. (Like not everyone can make hair look like a cute bow, okay.)
Granted, everything’s prepared for you beforehand, but then you can just enjoy yourself and find a slight glimmer of satisfaction at “cooking” your own food. The hardest part for me was just getting across the language barrier, to be honest. (Thank goodness my mom was there to help!)
I ordered the combination option, which includes pork, chicken, octopus, shrimp,and squid. The waitress helped by greasing the griddle and demonstrated how to mix everything together. For example, before it looks like this:
I mixed it all up, scooping and churning the egg into the ingredients. Once the griddle was hot the waitress helped me plop it all onto it and spread the batter into a thick pancake.
Thus ensued an agonizing wait as the pancake sizzled and browned, then flipped for the other side. I arrived at the restaurant at 6 pm but didn’t end up eating until around 6:45 pm. Much blood, sweat, and tears were poured into this masterpiece (mine’s on the left, Mom’s on the right).
I wasn’t sure whether I would like the sauce, so I spread it onto only about half the pancake. Then I sprinkled lots of chives and onions on top, and leaned back to survey my work.
It was delicious. Hot, fried, and chock full of fresh food. The restaurant folk certainly didn’t skimp on the meat or seafood, and there were a lot of different textures in the okonomiyaki–slight crunch from the cabbage, tenderness from the meat, thick chewiness from the octopus and squid. And it turned out that I did enjoy the sauce very much! It’s a mixture of flavors between Worcestershire and oyster sauces. A little sour, a little sweet.
That sauce was also rather necessary because without it, the pancake would have honestly lacked much flavor. None of the ingredients, except for the meat, had been marinated or seasoned. Just straight up freshness. So if any of y’all are seeking to try this, I’d recommend going for the meat options versus the seafood.
Nevertheless, okonomiyaki is the “soul food” of Osaka, and it was a wonderful experience trying it!