We went on a great trip to Japan this Christmas. Tom and I tried  a traditional version of Japanese Pancakes at the street food market at the Inari Shrine in Kyoto (First picture). The Japanese name for these is Okonomiyaki. The picture below shows how the professionals make them on a large griddle. Don’t be worried about the masks a lot of Japanese people wear them if they have a slight cold or are worried about getting one. We saw them being made in most street food markets and they are really tasty. We weren’t really sure what was in them but the large queues and the great smell convinced us to try them.

Inari Shrine Street food







bonito flakesApparently each region has there own twist on ingredients  on what to include in their Japanese pancakes. Cabbage and pickled ginger is a must, and bacon is always good and if you want a surf and turf taste you can add some chopped prawns. Once they are cooked they are sprinkled with dried seaweed and bonito flakes and drizzled with mayonnaise and Okonomi Sauce. I hadn’t heard of Bonito flakes until I had visited Japan. They are dried fish flakes  and look a bit like pencil shavings and are used as a seasoning. They are most commonly used in Dashi stock which is the basis for most soups. A Japanese supermarket will definitely sell them, for sprinkling try and get the smaller ones. The packet in the picture was imported from Japan but I have seen then in Dusseldorf around Immermann Strasse. I didn’t have any Okonomi sauce so I mixed together ketchup, barbeque and teriyaki sauce.


Japanese pancake bento


I took 1/3 of my pancake into work as a Japanese inspired Bento Box. If you need some further inspiration on great lunch ideas check out my Bento Box page.




Definitely a great alternative to the traditional European or US pancakes give these a try.

Japanese pancakes 2









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