What is Okonomiyaki?

Categories: blogPublished On: 2021年6月13日47.2 min read
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History of Okonomiyaki

The ancestor of okonomiyaki is said to be “fu no yaki”, a tea snack invented by Sen no Rikyu in the Azuchi-Momoyama period (1573-1603), but directly speaking, the predecessor of today’s Hiroshima okonomiyaki is “one sen yoshoku”, which was popular as a snack for children around the Taisho period (1912-1926). The flour is dissolved in water, baked thinly, and topped with green onions and shavings. In the days when anything with sauce could be called “Western food,” the simple taste of eating it at a candy store or street stall was a pleasure for the common people and children. In the early Showa period (1926-1989), regional konamon culture, such as monja-yaki and dodan-yaki, which developed from monji-yaki, began to take root as a taste of the common people, and after the war, mixed yaki became popular in the Kansai region and took root in the whole Kansai area.

Soul and Power Food of Hiroshima People! Okonomiyaki -Recovery from the burning field

When the atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Hiroshima in August 1945, the city was instantly burnt to the ground. While people were suffering from disappointment and starvation due to food shortages, a steel plate found in the burnt-out area and flour (Meriken flour) provided as food aid from the U.S. came together, and “one sen Western-style meals” began to be made again. This nostalgic taste must have soothed the hearts of the people of Hiroshima. After the war, okonomiyaki became popular in Hiroshima, and okonomiyaki stalls appeared. By 1950, the present-day Shintenchi area was crowded with stalls. It was around this time that okonomiyaki sauce was born. It was during this time that okonomiyaki sauce was born, the result of many conversations with okonomiyaki store owners who wanted a sauce that would go well with their okonomiyaki. On the other hand, in the suburbs, women who lost their husbands in the war often remodeled the eaves of their houses and opened okonomiyaki shops with a teppan. The reason why many of the stores were called “00-chan” was because it was easy to find for those who came back from the war. Eventually, Hiroshima Okonomiyaki evolved into what we know today as “okonomiyaki” with the addition of eggs, pork, soba noodles, and other ingredients as the post-war reconstruction progressed.

The history of Hiroshima Okonomiyaki goes hand in hand with the history of the reconstruction of the city and its people. Food has always been a driving force for the mind and body. Hiroshima’s okonomiyaki, born in a place where it was said that not a single plant or tree would grow for 70 years after the war, is the food that gave vitality to the people who rose from the burnt ruins, and is the “soul food” that symbolizes the post-war reconstruction that grew together with the city and its people.

Sharing the charm of okonomiyaki with the world

Okonomiyaki is a food that has been enjoyed by many people, not only in Hiroshima and Osaka, but also in other parts of Japan. As the name implies, all okonomiyaki can be made easily with ingredients of your choice, but they all have one thing in common: they use a lot of vegetables such as cabbage and green onions. However, what they all have in common is the use of plenty of vegetables, such as cabbage and green onions, as well as meat and eggs, and by adding other ingredients of your choice, you can have a healthy yet filling meal with excellent nutritional balance in one meal. The size and ingredients can be changed according to the time of day and the age of the person, making it a menu that can be enjoyed by everyone from small children to the elderly. The appeal of okonomiyaki is not only its nutritional balance. Each person has his or her own mental image of okonomiyaki. The conversation with the owner on the teppan at the restaurant, the taste of the food stalls at summer festivals, making delicious okonomiyaki on a hot plate or frying pan with family and friends. The communication that is created around a round okonomiyaki will probably leave a warm memory in each person. Okonomiyaki can be made on a teppan, a hot plate, or a frying pan. In Japan, okonomiyaki is a popular dish that often appears in both restaurants and home-cooked meals, but it is now gaining popularity overseas as well. Okonomi-yaki is popular among health-conscious people because of its healthy nature, which makes it possible to eat a large amount of vegetables that would be difficult to eat in a raw vegetable salad before you know it. The okonomi-yaki sauce, made from more than 50 different ingredients, is also a unique flavor that is indispensable for okonomi-yaki. Furthermore, the ingredients for okonomiyaki are readily available and inexpensive anywhere in the world, so it is easy to make okonomiyaki using local ingredients. Our mission is to contribute to the health, taste, and happiness of people by spreading the history and feelings of Hiroshima as a food that symbolizes peace and recovery, and at the same time, spreading the joy of eating and making okonomiyaki around the world.

Learn How to Shop and Cook for Okonomiyaki

F2L Academy brings joy to your table with Okonomiyaki on/offline cooking class with our secret sauce.
PLUS, you will learn how to find good ingredients and shop at local super market with our short Japanese lesson.
Let us maneuver your way online while you sit back and enjoy.

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