This post is also available in: 日本語
Hiroshima, besides famous for its world heritage sites such as Itsukushima Shrine and the Atomic Bomb Dome, it is also known as a gourmet town with a number of exquisite gourmets such as oysters and anagomeshi (broiled conger eel on top of rice).
One the popular Hiroshima’s gourmets is Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki. Many of the traditional okonomiyaki uses animal ingredients such as pork and dried bonito, and it was extremely difficult to find vegan-friendly okonomiyaki. However, the increasing of vegan needs in these recent years led to the increase in number of okonomiyaki shop that serves vegan-friendly meals.
Today we went to Hiroshima to cover vegan-friendly okonomiyaki in that sanctuary of okonomiyaki.
Learn to Make Okonomiyaki at Studio OKOSTA
We were visiting OKOSTA, a cooking studio managed by the popular okonomiyaki sauce Otafuku Sauce that is opened on October 2018 to share okonomiyaki as one of the food cultures. In this studio, visitors can learn how to make okonomiyaki directly from the Otafuku staff.
Even beginners can rest assured that they will carefully lecture each process so that even people who have never baked okonomiyaki can cook it well.
What is Okonomiyaki? What to Note When Making It? The Staff Lecture Us in English!
Okonomiyaki is often translated to English as “Japanese pancake or Japanese pizza”, a kind of teppanyaki dish that uses flour, chicken eggs, and cabbage.
For many people, the Kansai area (Osaka, Hyogo, etc) has a strong image of okonomiyaki, but that should be the case. There are about 16,000 okonomiyaki restaurants all over Japan, including Osaka, Hyogo, and Hiroshima where the number of stores in these three prefectures accounts for about 40% of the national total. (Source: Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry 2016 Economic Census Activity Survey (detailed information))
Interestingly, however, each region has a different concept of okonomiyaki, if reflected in a word will be “mixing Kansai, overlapping Hiroshima”.
Kansai’s okonomiyaki is mixing all the ingredients. Cabbage, green onions, squid, shrimp, etc (ingredients may vary) are mixed into the dough which is made from flour and soup stock, then baked together.
Hiroshima’s okonomiyaki is not mixing the ingredients. First, bake the dough thinly then put shredded cabbage, bean sprouts, pork, fried noodles, eggs, etc in layers. This method is called “layered grilling”
Today we challenge to make Hiroshima’s okonomiyaki!
These are ingredients we are using this time. All the ingredients, from sauce and mayonnaise to yakisoba noodles and dough are all animal-free!
Otafuku Sauce company that runs OKOSTA, has a slogan of “Making small happiness into the happiness of the earth. ~ BORDERLESS HAPPINESS ~” and actively supports food diversity such as vegan and Muslim friendly.
Let’s Start Making Okonomiyaki!
Before we start the experience, we were brought an apron and chef’s hat.
First, pour the dough onto the iron plate. The place to pour and how to stretch the dough is important points in making a beautiful dough.
After the dough has hardened, add cabbage and bean sprouts in quantity your liking. Season it with salt and pepper and add soy meat.
Next is, time for the biggest challenge, “turning over” the okonomiyaki! There is a trick to beautifully turning it over that you will learn during the experience, which we will not share here.
After that, we bake fried noodles while steaming soybean meat and cabbage.
Then combine steamed cabbage with yakisoba and the dough. This is the reason why it is called “Hiroshima okonomiyaki = layered grilling” as mentioned above.
After combining the yakisoba, vegetables, and dough, turn it over again and top it with your favorite sauce, mayonnaise, and green laver in an order.
Enjoy Your Own Hiroshima Okonomiyaki!
Voila! Here it is, vegan-friendly Hiroshima okonomiyaki!
It is common to eat Hiroshima okonomiyaki with a spatula.
We found ourselves very satisfied with the taste of okonomiyaki we made, the fun process we experienced… We believe that this experience would be one of the unforgettable memories of your trip to Japan.
Don’t Miss to Check the Souvenir Corner
In the souvenir corner, you can find various okonomiyaki ingredients and sauces, including the organic okonomiyaki sauce we used in the experience.
It will be cool to making okonomiyaki by yourself after returning to your home country.
When Corona has settled down and is now able to travel to Japan, put OKOSTA on your bucket list!
【About Studio OKOSTA】
Hiroshima Station Experience Studio OKOSTA
Address：Hiroshima station’s ekie, 1-2 Matsubara-cho, Minami-ku, Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima Prefecture
Reservation：A day before・on the day 082-207-1277（reservation time 10:00〜20:00）
【Behind the coverage】
This coverage was conducted as part of the “Eating Project” carried out by Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries. The purpose of this project is to create an environment where foreigners who have experienced foods during their visit to Japan can re-experience Japanese food even after returning to their home country, which is expected to leads to the expansion of exports of Japanese agriculture, forestry, and fishery products, and food products.