Some examples of 'yaki' are yakitori (tori meaning 'bird' or 'chicken') and tamagoyaki (tamago meaning 'egg'). With both of these examples, adding 'yaki' to it doesn't simply mean to cook or grill it, it implies a specific preparation that is different for each thing. For yakitori it means that the chicken is cut into chunks and grilled on skewers, generally served with a sauce. For tamagoyaki, it means that the eggs are cracked into a bowl, stirred up with salt, sugar, and dashi (depending on what recipe you're using) and rolled during the cooking to make a cylindrical-ish hunk of eggy goodness. For okonimiyaki it means that you take stuff you like, mix it with a batter and cabbage, cook it like a pancake, and then dump stuff on it. Go figure.
(some okonomiyaki has the 'liked things' cooked on the griddle first, then the batter with cabbage poured over it and cooked that way, just so you know. But the most prevalent on the internet, and reportedly easiest to make, has the ingredients mixed in)
The okonomiyaki I made are probably gross Americanizations. I've never had authentic okonomiyaki, and probably won't until I go to Japan. So don't count on this being right. This is the product of an American kitchen and American ingredients.
This is the recipe that I based mine off, basically because it made a small amount and it used ingredients that I have. It's a very, very basic recipe and I pretty much don't trust it for authenticity worth a flip, after reading through several okonomiyaki recipes. But it was a place to start.
I omitted the green onion, beat the egg then discarded some of it (the first time I used the recipe, it tasted too eggy to me), and reduced the baking powder by half. Oh, and increased the water a bit to make up for the egg. The cabbage I used, just to make things easy on me, was store bought shreds intended for coleslaw production. It seemed to work fine
Since I plan on using okonomiyaki for bento, I wanted to make smaller ones. The first time I made okonomiyaki, I found that it was difficult to split it into smaller portions for the griddle once everything was mixed up. So I split the 'batter' (flour, baking powder, salt, egg, and water) into four bowls and added the rest of the ingredients from there.
My 'liked things' this time were bacon bits (which is what I used last time), and cocktail shrimp left over from Easter. I just pulled off the tails and chopped them up.
Here's the batter, shrimp, and bacon bits
I just eye-balled the cabbage. I ended up adding a bit more than what's here, and I found that it was a bit coarser than I wanted, so I snipped at the cabbage with kitchen shears
More cabbage, snipped, and mixed up
Into the frying pan and shapped into a vaguely flat disk.
After the flip
Off the frying pan, into the plate. Spread with a mixture of ketchup and stirfry sauce (couldn't find okonomiyaki sauce at Asian market) and drizzled with Kewpie mayo.
Yummy, yummy. Blurry because of the movement of me ravenously digging in. Don't you just love Photobooth on Mac?