Taken after I poured the batter into the large skillet. (Next time I will make smaller pancakes because they will be easier to turn. For this huge pancake I had to use a large platter over the skillet to flip it into before it went back into the pan.
Okonomiyaki is a very ubiquitous Japanese Street Food that is quite delicious and I would compare it with pizza, whose topping choices abound - except with okonomiyaki, it's what you put into it, as well as what you top it with, that make it so delicious.
I used a recipe from Debra Samuels "My Japanese Table". I won't reproduce the entire recipe here, but tell you have the ingredients are mixed into a batter that's made from a cup of flour mixed with a cup of water to which a beaten, foamy egg white is added, and after the variety of stuffings are added a well is made in the center of the bowl and two eggs were added and distributed through the bowl to thoroughly coat everything. My fillings: 2 cups of thinly shredded cabbage, 10 medium shrimp, 6 fake crabmeat sticks, scallions and chives, benishoga (red pickled ginger sticks), AND some crushed French Fried Onions for crunch.
By the way, I decided to give this a try after listening to a discussion about okonomiyaki on "The Splendid Table" on our public radio station. http://www.splendidtable.org/story/okonomiyaki-the-japanese-pancake-you-will-want-at-4-am The method discussed is different from the one I used.
After all is coated well, divide into 4 bowls, weighing them so you have the same amount in each bowl.
Preheat over medium heat a heavy skillet into which you've put about 1/2 tbsp of oil (I used grapeseed) and heat for about 45 seconds. Pour the batter mix in and spread to even thickness and fry for three minutes till nicely brown, turn, pat down, and fry for an addition 2 or 3 minutes, turn and fry for an additional 1 minute, turn....fry 1 minute, turn...fry one more minute. Make sure it's really cooked through (experience will tell!).
If you don't cook it enough it will be gummy.
Choice of Toppings: Tonkatsu sauce, a mix of rice vinegar, light soy sauce and sugar - perhaps with a bit of sesame oil...or whatever you think would taste good with it. Traditional topping is katsuobushi (bonito flakes). I used a seaweed sprinkle "Nori Komi Furikake (blue label from JFC).
Note: I made some of the homemade tonkatsu sauce from the recipe in the Samuel's book. It tasted very similar to the commercial brand I've bought. It tastes heavily of Worcestershire sauce...and I'm not crazy about that taste. I think these taste best with a similar soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and sugar dip.
I'm thinking the served at room temp, this will make a great item to put in Bill's hiking bento, since hot or cold, these are delicious.