Chefs' Recipes

Watch: how to make okonomiyaki with Sokyo's Chase Kojima

The Sokyo chef puts his Osaka okonomiyaki down, flips it and reverses it.

Chase Kojima's earliest memory of okonomiyaki is not connected with Osaka nor Hiroshima, but with San Francisco and anthropomorphised turtles.
"My mum and I went to a restaurant in Japantown in San Francisco, and there were [people dressed as characters from] Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I managed to take some photos with Shredder, one of the evil guys," says the executive chef of Sydney's Sokyo and Simulation Senpai.
Kojima's mother, who had specified no Kewpie mayonnaise with their order, was upset when the pancake arrived adorned with squiggles of the Japanese condiment. "I don't really remember how it tasted, but I remember my mum freaking out."
These days, Kojima is free to add Kewpie to his okonimayaki as well as okonomiyaki sauce, beni shoga, shredded nori and katsuobushi. (For the record, his cat Kani is a big fan of the super-savoury fish flakes.) It's important to get the right sauce-garnish-to-pancake ratio. Don't add too much Kewpie, and go easy on the sauce in the first instance. You can always add more later.
There are two types of okonomiyaki in the Japanese street food oeuvre. The Hiroshima version consists of noodles sandwiched between two crêpes but here Kojima demonstrates his take on the Osaka-style okonomiyaki, where seafood, meat – traditionally pork, though Kojima likes to use wagyu – and cabbage are combined in a batter then fried into a thick pancake.
There are no hard and fast rules to okonomiyaki making, but it's critical for it to be made fresh, and eaten immediately. "The presentation doesn't matter too much, but you really care about the temperature," says Kojima. "You want to go, 'Damn, that's hot!'"
Videographer: Vivian Lam, supporting cast: Kani
Words by Yvonne C Lam, video editing by Maggie Whitehouse

Ingredients

100 gm wagyu brisket, thinly sliced
2 cuttlefish, cleaned, thinly sliced
½ bunch of chives, sliced
⅛ wedge of white cabbage, finely cubed
3 tbsp plain flour
½ packet (20gm) frozen yamaimo (Japanese yam), defrosted
1 egg
2 tbsp dashi stock (if dashi is unavailable, make with dashi powder and water)
1 tbsp grapeseed oil
To serve: Kewpie mayonnaise, beni shoga, shredded nori, katsuobushi
Okonimiyaki sauce
2 tbsp tonkatsu sauce
2 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp kewpie mayonnaise