Mom’s tricks for easy okonomiyaki and fried fish

Greetings from San Francisco once again!  Just came back to spend some time with my family for the holidays.  I’ve been here for only a couple days, but boy did I get some great inside tips on some delicious food.  Yes, of course, I’ve done very little cooking and these handy tricks are all courtesy of my mom.  First two nights here, some of the food we had was fried fish (cod) and okonomiyaki and as delicious as they are, they are very simple to make with a couple of key ingredients that we will show here.

The fried fish on the left and the okonomiyaki on the right

First the okonomiyaki.  For those who are not familiar with the term, okonomiyaki is a Japanese pancake made with savory ingredients like vegetables, meat, and/or seafood.  It is a very popular dish in Western Japan, particularly in the Kansai region (where Osaka and Kobe are located).  The word “okonomi” means “however one likes” and the word “yaki” is a Japanese prefix or suffix (as in this case) used for foods that are grilled or pan fried.  So basically, its a pancake made with whatever ingredients you choose.  Of course, typically, you choose from a set of options, not literally from anything you like.  For example, you can’t really put chocolate or strawberries in an okonomiyaki.  Doing so would make it taste kinda funny, haha.  There’s a good webpage with images on okonomiyaki found here:  But for those who are curious about my mom’s tactics on making the dish, here are some of the ingredients:

My mom with a handy okonomiyaki mix. Just add a few ingredients and you're set to make okonomiyaki

The ingredients necessary for the okonomiyaki batter. See translation below

The mix that my mom got can be found at most Japanese and Asian supermarkets.  For making the batter for 2 pancakes, you add 1 cup (100 grams) of the mix, 1 raw egg, 120 ml of water, and 150 grams of cabbage.  For 3 pancakes, you add 1.5 cups (150 grams) of the mix, 2 raw eggs, 180 ml of water, and 200 grams of cabbage.  Then of course after, you may add whichever appropriate ingredients you like.  Some good choices are “Beni Shoga” or red pickled ginger, green onions, sliced pork, shrimp, or squid.  Mix together until well-mixed and place in a pan or electric griddle as you would for an ordinary pancake and cook until golden brown and crispy.  My mom also added some fried wheat flour to the mix as shown below:

Japanese Fried Wheat Flour used for the okonomiyaki. A nice bonus.

Popular toppings for the okonomiyaki once its cooked include tonkatsu sauce or otafuku sauce (a thick sweet sauce similar to Worcestershire sauce), “katsuobushi” or smoked benito shavings, “aonori” or dried bits of seaweed, and of course, my favorite, mayonnaise!  We only used sauce and mayo for our okonomiyaki, but still quite delicious nonetheless!

Mom’s fried fish was a simple and standard dredge in flour, seasoning, egg wash, and bread crumb recipe.  The secret was in the bread crumbs, shown below:

Middle eastern bread crumbs gave fried fish an excellent touch. A good choice for fried chicken or pork too

You can most likely find these at specialty markets, including those that specialize in selling Middle Eastern and kosher ingredients.  Although, I’m not sure where my mom got these ones.  If you’re having trouble finding them, you can also order them online at

Hopefully I’ll be able to make my own variations of these two delicious dishes.  I’ll keep you posted if I do.

Bon Appetit!


One Response to “Mom’s tricks for easy okonomiyaki and fried fish”

  1. hahahha your mom is wonderful. 🙂

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