Japanese pizza, or Oknonmiyaki as they call it, is a cabbage batter mixture fried and covered with a dark barbecue sauce, mayonnaise, bonito flakes (dried flakes of fish used to add flavour) and shredded seaweed. That's the basics, but the real secret with this dish is it's all about using up leftovers. Tuna, bacon, crab sticks, shrimp, whatever you happen to have leftover, can be used to add bulk and flavour to the pizza. For mine, I have shrimp, crab-sticks, bacon, carrot and spring onion to use up. It reminds me of the Spanish fritata rather than a pizza.
For easily cooked items like tuna, add them to the cabbage batter mix, for more difficult items like bacon, fry them first then pour the cabbage batter mixture over the top. Otherwise you'll end up with overcooked cabbage and undercooked bacon.
Dashi is used to flavour the batter, but fish or chicken stock, or chicken seasoning powder in water can also be used. Without the flavouring you have only plain cabbage flavour, so it's worth adding something! The dark sauce on the top, Okonomiyaki sauce, is similar to barbecue sauces, if you need to make a substitution a strong deep barbecue sauce is what you're aiming for.
60 gms Flour
70 ml Dashi, or Fish Stock
150 gms Chopped Cabbage
50 gms Chopped Carrots
20 gms Chopped Spring Onion
30 gms Crab-sticks
30 gms Chopped Shrimp
2 Bacon Chopped
1 Sheet Dried Seaweed
Dried Fish Flakes (Katsuo Bushi or Similar)
1. Mix Flour egg and stock together until it forms a smooth batter. The batter should be thick enough to stick to the cabbage, adjust the flour as necessary.
2. Finely chop the cabbage and mix into the batter.
3. If you are using leftovers that are already cooked, or easily cooked, mix those in with the batter too. I finely chopped and mixed in the crab sticks.
4. Heat a frying pan with a little oil
5. Partially fry the bacon pieces, add the shrimp just to lightly cook them - they will cook more once you've added the cabbage mixture.
6. Spoon on the cabbage batter mixture over these shrimp and bacon pieces to form a round pizza disc with the bacon on the bottom of it.
7. Fry it on a low heat with a lid, you are finishing the cooking of the bacon and shrimp and cooking the batter on one side. Lift the base with a spatula to check it's not burning.
8. Now the difficult part - turning it over without breaking it! I slid it out onto a plate, then tipped the plate over back, into the pan.
9. Repeat the cooking process on the other side, fry with a low heat covered with a lid to brown off the other side of the pizza, lift it with a spatula to check how it's browning.
10. Take it out and place it on a serving plate bacon side up.
11. Next the fun part, Oknonmiyaki traditionally has a grid of sauces over it. If you don't have Oknonmiyaki sauce, you can do what I did and make the recipe below. Then pipe it in a criss-cross pattern over the pizza.
12. Squeeze the mayonnaise out over the pizza in a criss-cross pattern too.
13. Cut the seaweed into very fine strips and sprinkle over the top of the pizza.
14. Sprinkle the dried fish flakes over the top.
15. Serve immediately.
Ingredients for Okonomiyaki Sauce
3 tablespoons Tomato Ketchup
4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons Dark Soy Sauce
1 teaspoon Sugar
1. Put everything into a pan, over a low heat, and stir until the sugar has dissolved and some of the vinegar in the Worcestershire sauce has boiled away.
2. Leave to cool before piping it. If you want a good pattern on the pizza, you want this sauce quite thick when it cools, if it's not thick enough cook off some more of the liquid.