Modanyaki (Modern Yaki) is a kind of Okonomiyaki that also contains Yakisoba. It is a regular item on the menu at any Okonomiyaki restaurant in Japan. Because Modanyaki is a combination of 2 starchy dishes, it is quite hearty and filling, especially when drenched with sweet and savory sauce and mayonnaise.
Okonomiyaki, the savory cabbage pancake, is a very popular kind of food throughout Japan but especially in western Japan, such as Osaka. There are a lot of restaurants and small to-go Okonomiyaki shops there. Modanyaki is said to be first invented in the 50s at an Okonomiyaki restaurant in Kobe. They used Udon noodles originally instead of thin Chukamen (Chinese style noodles). As Modanyaki gained its popularity and spread to all over the region, the dish had become more or less the way it is today, and now it can be found at every Okonomiyaki restaurant in Japan. Still, whether noodles are cooked with or without sauce depends on the restaurant or each household. Some people simply put steamed noodles with no seasonings. Sometimes noodles are sandwiched with two Okonomiyaki pancakes (probably not for those on a low carb diet!). Typical meat or seafood to use are sliced pork, squid, and shrimp, but also beef, oyster, and other ingredients work too. We made our Modanyaki using cooked noodles with sauce, and pork. Also we put a little batter on top of Yakisoba so that the noodles and pork can adhere better to the Okonomiyaki base.
If you have a portable electric grill, it is so great that you can make this at the dinner table with your family. Everybody can help cooking part of it by stir-frying and flipping. It could be a fun party dish to make together. If you don’t have the grill, don’t worry, it is easily made with a frying pan on the stove top.
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup Dashi (fish broth)
- 1 egg
- 3-4 Tbsp Nagaimo (long yam), grated
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp Soy Sauce
- 1/4 cabbage (about 12oz), chopped fine
- 3-4 green onions, chopped fine
- 2-3 Tbsp pickled red ginger (Benishouga, not sushi ginger), chopped fine
- 1 Tbsp oil
- 6 pieces thinly sliced pork belly
- Okonomiyaki sauce or Tonkatsu sauce
- dried bonito flakes
- dried green seaweed (Aonori)
- 1 packages Chuka Men (Chinese style noodles)
- 1 Tbsp water
- salt and pepper
- 1 Tbsp Tonkatsu sauce
- 1 Tbsp Worcester sauce
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp Mirin
- In a big bowl, whisk flour and Dashi (fish broth) together until smooth. Stir egg and yam into flour mixture. Season it with salt and soy sauce.
- Add cabbage, onions, and ginger to the batter and mix. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a frying pan at medium heat, and add Chuka Men noodles. Sprinkle water and cover for a minute. Then loosen noodles and stir-fry. Add salt and pepper and Yakisoba sauce. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a skillet, pour a quarter of the pancake batter into an 8" circle. Put half of Yakisoba noodles on top. Cover the Yakisoba with another quarter of the batter and flatten the top a little. Lay 3 pieces of pork slices on it. Fry at medium heat until the bottom becomes golden brown, about 5-7 minutes.
- Flip to fry the other side until the pork becomes crispy, about 5-7 minutes.
- Flip one more time, pork side up, and spread Okonomiyaki sauce and mayo on the pancake and pork.
- Sprinkle dried green seaweed, then dried bonito flakes over the pancake. Serve hot.