Thursday, November 3, 2011

Easy Japanese Modanyaki

Mini Modanyaki with Okonomiyaki sauce, mayonnaise, bonito and aonori flakes

Modanyaki refers to "modern-yaki", or in other words, modern okonomiyaki. It's like okonomiyaki (a Japanese savoury pancake, or otherwise known as the Japanese-pizza), except that it has noodles as one of the fillings. So, if I'm not wrong, okonomi-yaki literally means "as you like it - fried". That means you can't really go wrong with okonomiyaki as long as you have the basic cabbage and pancake batter, and the rest is really as you like it! Then, add some thin egg noodles (I used yakisoba noodles) in between and you have the upgraded modern version. And since we're on the topic of okonomiyaki, there are basically two ways of preparing them. One is to mix all the ingredients into the batter before frying them, which is the Kansai or Osaka style. The other is the Hiroshima style where the ingredients are layered one at a time. Check out this modanyaki video to see what I mean.

Large Modanyaki without bonito and aonori flakes

So, after watching the video, I'm sure you're tempted to make some at home too! I made mine simply by using cabbage, mixed seafood (salmon, white fish, calamari, mussels and prawns), yakisoba noodles, eggs and a pinch of dried wakame. Even without the other frills like tenkasu (tempura flour bits), bonito flakes and aonori (green nori flakes), it still tasted really good with the okonomiyaki sauce and mayonnaise drizzled over the top. Don't have okonomiyaki sauce? Don't worry. You can make a really good one with just ketchup, worchestershire sauce, sugar and soy sauce. If not, you can also substitute with tonkatsu sauce. The tangy sauce with the sweet mayonnaise goes perfectly with the savoury cabbage pancake. Here is the recipe, easy and delicious!

Modanyaki / Okonomiyaki Recipe
Adapted from "Japanese Cooking at Home" by Hideo Dekura


5 tbsp self raising flour
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup dashi (or 1/4 tsp dashi-nomoto mixed with 1/4 cup water)
A pinch of salt
1 egg
1 scallion, chopped
1 cup firmly packed thinly chopped cabbage
Oil for frying

A pinch of dried wakame, soaked in hot water
100g mixed seafood or thinly sliced pork
60g yakisoba noodles (optional, if omitted, then you're making okonomiyaki)
1 egg

Aonori (green seaweed) flakes (optional)
Dried bonito flakes (optional)
Japanese mayonnaise
Okonomiyaki sauce (see below)

Okonomiyaki sauce (combine in a bowl):
2 tbsp worchestershire sauce
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp caster sugar


Prepare okonomiyaki sauce and set aside.

Cook / blanch the yakisoba noodles and set aside.

Combine flour, milk, dashi and salt in a bowl and lightly stir. Add the egg and stir to combine. Spoon out 3 tbsp of the batter into a separate bowl and reserve for later. Add scallions and cabbage to the main batter and mix well.

Heat a large non-stick frying pan with a little oil over medium heat. Pour the batter with the cabbage into the pan to make a round. Spread the cabbage out evenly. Add wakame. Then top with seafood/meat. After 3-4 minutes, add the noodles. Make a hole in the centre of the noodles and break an egg into it. Take the reserved batter from earlier and pour over the noodles and egg. After 1-2 minutes, carefully flip the pancake over using a spatula and fry the other side. Use the spatula to flatten it slightly. Fry for 4-5 minutes until cooked through. Transfer to a serving plate.

Brusth the top with okonomiyaki sauce and mayonnaise. Sprinkle with aonori and bonito flakes if used. Cut into bite-sized pieces and serve hot.


Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

Okonomiyaki is one of my favorite food! Yours look so delicious Fern! I got to try this Okonomiyaki sauce recipe. I've been trying to make my own which is similar to Otafuku brand Okonomi Sauce (most famous brand in Osaka/Hiroshima). Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Fern @ To Food With Love said...

@Nami: Gosh, I should get YOUR recipe for the sauce then! :D
@Emily: Thanks for stopping by! :)

Anonymous said...

This used to be my staple food! everyday, no fail.... i miss these!!!!