Friday food…okonomiyaki: best food you’ve probably never heard of

Posted: January 17, 2020 in Food
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What on earth is okonomiyaki? Nami, a Japanese cook based in San Francisco at defines it thus:

Okonomiyaki (literally means ‘grilled as you like it’) is a savory version of Japanese pancake, made with flour, eggs, shredded cabbage, meat/ protein and topped with a variety of condiments. Better known as ‘Japanese pizza’ in the US, you can definitely prepare the filling and toppings however you like it. A wonderful way to use up your leftovers!

In Chicago, Stephaine Izard of Girl and the Goat fame serves a marvelous okonomiyaki, certified to taste authentic by our younger daughter who’s been to Japan, at her Little Goat Diner. The first time I ate there, my dish was overwhelmingly voted the best of the three dishes, according to the other two diners. This time, we all ordered okonomiyaki (with a giant, homemade cinnamon roll as our appetizer!) and all agreed it was amazingly delicious. That’s a soft-yoked egg on top, ready to meltingly join the rest of the dish, which includes eggs, cabbage, pork belly, scallion, and tasty Japanese mayonnaise.

You can get Stephanie’s recipe and even watch her make okonomiyaki by clicking here. If you don’t feel like making it, you won’t be sorry to find a restaurant that serves it. If you’re in the Chicago area, make a reservation at Little Goat Diner. If not everyone wants to try this, they have plenty other delicious choices. Here’s a link to the diner menu, from which you can also access the bakery and coffeehouse menus and other of Stephanie’s restaurants.

There are other restaurants in the Chicago area serving okonomiyaki, including one that just opened and is dedicated to various styles of this dish, but I haven’t tried any of them, so I’ll stick with what I know and perhaps have a chance to try another place before we move.

January 21 update. One of my online friends tried this dish, putting her own spin on it and making it more user-friendly. Take a peek and see what you think (and what her husband thought): Down-home Okonomiyaki.

  1. beth says:

    This sounds wonderful

  2. Looks delicious – will try the recipe link 🙂

    • There are sure to be simpler recipes online, including probably the one at the blog from which I took the opening quote. But this one is SO good. 🙂 It helps if you have access to a store with a great Japanese food selection, of course.


  3. That’s a new one on me so thanks for the learning opportunity. Presentation gets an A+ for sure.

    • Everything there is presented beautifully and mostly homemade, even to the sausage, etc. This is so good that I’m just shaking my head thinking about how much I’d like to have it for lunch (having already had breakfast.) 🙂

  4. We haven’t got any Japanese restaurants in my town or the two over, and I have been missing my Soba soup with grilled chicken on the coldest days this winter. This sounds good. I’d try it.

    • You’d love it, Deborah. I don’t know what I’ll find in Arizona, but there’s a Korean supermarket nearby with a huge selection of all things Asian, and if I want to drive for half an hour or so, Mitsuwa, a Japanese marketplace that is absolutely amazing! They also have a killer food court and I think every Japanese person within a five-state area must come there at least once a month, mostly on the weekends. 🙂

  5. Dan Antion says:

    That menu looks so tempting. I think I could sit there for all three meals.

  6. John Hric says:

    It is on my list of now I can’t say I haven’t tried that before. Sounds delicious.

  7. marianallen says:

    That looks AMAZING!

  8. Su Leslie says:

    Looks delicious (though I’d probably hold back on the mayo). My son cooked Korean pancakes for me recently. They are (unsurprisingly) very similar and were also delicious.

  9. What a crazy coincidence! I JUST had okonomiyaki too, and it’s such a rare thing to find vegan, I really lucked out. This was a very fancy version at Millennium restaurant, made with parsnip, oyster mushrooms, black truffle sauce, and more. Not at all tradition, but quite creative and of course, so delicious.

  10. pattimoed says:

    I’ve always wanted to go to the Girl and the Goat, but we’ve never been. It really looks like we’ve been missing out! I’ve never tried okonomiyaki either. Well, I’ve just got to go! How soon do you move? Very soon, right? I hope it’s as smooth and easy as possible!

  11. Prior... says:

    Janey – sounds so good – Japanese pizza ?? Mmmm

  12. Now, that is something I would like to try!

  13. […] online friend Janet at This, That, and the Other Thing (she doesn’t use the Oxford comma, but I do!) posted …. It sounded good, so I decided I’d try […]

  14. Forestwood says:

    That does look and sound nice. I can imagine the flavour!

  15. […] Our younger daughter spent some time in Japan years ago and quite some time learning Japanese. Okonomiyaki is a fantastic food taste from Japan, sort of a Japanese omelet or maybe more like a frittata. This one from Chicago’s famous Girl and the Goat was fabulous! You can read my post about it as well as find a link to a recipe here. […]