Okonomiyaki is an Osaka speciality. It’s also a Hiroshima speciality. Osaka and Hiroshima people disagree as to which one is tastier.
Today we went to an okonomiyaki restaurant, Chibo, for lunch. We ordered one Hiroshima-style and one Osaka-style okonomiyaki, to carry out a taste comparison and decide once and for all which one is nicer.
The waitress served the two okonomiyaki onto a hot plate in the centre of the table and, with a rapid back-and-forth movement, drizzled each of them with fine lines of mayonnaise.
She then drew the spatula across the lines of mayonnaise to create a lovely scalloped pattern on the top of the okonomiyaki.
I have to say, the two dishes were remarkably similar. In the end, we decided that while both were delicious, one was indeed very slightly tastier than the other. But we weren’t really sure which was which, so the question remains unresolved.
A note on the word of the day:
Okonomiyaki is a dish made with flour and eggs, like a savoury pancake or omelette. Inside, you can put various fillings such as cabbage, bacon, shrimp or noodles. Then you spread worcestershire sauce and mayonnaise on top, and optionally sprinkle it with toppings such as katsuo fish flakes and aonori seaweed powder. Yuko makes delicious okonomiyaki (usually incorporating Irish bacon rashers). She says the secret to success is using proper okonomiyaki flour, that’s hard to get outside Japan.
お好み焼き o-konomi-yaki contains the word konomi, meaning preference or something you like, and yaki meaning grill. 好み konomi is written with the same kanji as 好き suki meaning to like or to love; this kanji is made up of the symbol for woman 女 and child 子.