The Hiroshima’s local specialty food is “Hiroshima-style okonomoiyaki”.
While there are several other dishes made by topping or mixing vegetables and sliced pork with wheat flour batter, such as Kansai-style okonomiyaki and Monja-yaki (from Tokyo), Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki is made with a unique recipe.
First, wheat flour batter is thinly spread in a round shape on a large griddle, topped with a generous quantity of vegetables, such as cabbage, bean sprouts and green onion, so that the inside is steamed. After being topped with Chinese noodles, it is flipped and the other side is grilled. The cooking process is finished by topping with okonomi sauce and sprinkling green laver.
Entering an okonomiyaki restaurant and taking a seat in front of a griddle, you may be able to watch the actual preparation.
The most popular menu is called “soba-niku-tama”, which includes Chinese noodles, sliced pork and an egg, and can be enjoyed for around 700 yen (per dish).
Another regular menu item is called “udon-niku-tama”, which includes udon noodles instead of Chinese noodles, and can be further topped with cheese, rice cake and oysters.
The palatability of Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki can be emphasized with a dedicated sauce. In Hiroshima-style okonomoiyaki, the dedicated sauce differs by restaurant. Some restaurants make their original sauce. This dedicated sauce can be bought as a souvenir at some okonomiyaki restaurants.
When eating Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, you can choose “griddle” or “plate”. “Griddle” means eating directly from the griddle, while “plate” means eating from a plate.
As a utensil, you can also choose either “spatula” or “chopsticks”. The spatula, a spoon-shaped steel tool, is used to scoop pieces of okonomiyaki from the griddle and transfer them to your mouth. There’s a knack to this!
Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki restaurants are found all over the city.
There are even Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki complexes such as Okonomi-mura, Okonomi Kyowakoku Hiroshima-mura, and Hiroshima Okonomi Monogatari Ekimae Hiroba. Some restaurants serve Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki alone, and some restaurants offer side dishes such as Korean-style barbecue, sauteed vegetables, broiled oysters and oden (Japanese-style hotchpotch).