Matsumotos Corner Vol.16

Osaka vs Hiroshima

- The Okonomiyaki Battle -

As I spend increasing time at home, I have more opportunities to cook. I’m not a good cook, but adding new dishes to my menu little by little. Okonomiyaki is one of those dishes that I make when I have trouble deciding what to cook.

That’s why I tried to study the history of Okonomiyaki, but I found it’s much more complicated and hard to write than I imagined. There’s a battle of authenticity. The most popular type of Okonomiyaki in Japan is like the one shown in the picture. In this style, the cabbage and other ingredients are mixed into the dough and then baked. Osaka is the centre of this style.

The other style is to cook the dough, cabbage and meat in layers on the teppan or iron plate. In Hiroshima, this is the main style of Okonomiyaki, and it seems that Okonomiyaki has its roots in this style. People in Osaka often refer to this as “Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki”, but you should never say this to someone from Hiroshima.

Well, I was born and raised in Osaka, and I’m happy enough with what you see in the picture. I occasionally made it when I was in Malaysia because it’s easy to make if you have special flour, sauce, and dried bonito shavings at the minimum. Other than pork, squid and prawns are also very popular as the main ingredients in Okonomiyaki.