I couldn’t understand (much less pronounce) what Jo kept raving about. Now I do.
“Okonomiyaki” is a Japanese pancake—Okonomi means “what you like” or “what you want” and yaki means “grilled”. (If only French could be that logical).
After a couple months of hearing Jo telling me we had to go for Japanese pancakes on rue Saint Anne, she, Sarah and I had dinner at Aki last night. And now I understand why she was so keen to share this delectable treat.
It’s the most curious thing ever. The recipe mainly consists of flour, grated yam, water or dashi, eggs and shredded cabbage. And then you can order different varieties like pork, squid, shrimp, cheese or veggie. I opted for the asparagus and tomato option.
They grill it up, and then douse it in sauces:
one that is like a sweet barbecue sauce…
followed by another heavy mayonnaise-type sauce.
Finally, they sprinkle fish flakes (katsuobushi) on top, and these paper-thin shavings ripple and wave like live grubs.
It looks and sounds not in the least bit appetizing. But trust me, once you’ve eaten the okonomiyaki, there’s no going back.