Teppanyaki vs Okonomiyaki: What is the Difference?
Teppanyaki and Okonomiyaki are unique Japanese dishes fairly well-known to overseas people.
There are many specialized restaurants offering these 2 dishes in Japan and we sometimes enjoy them at home as well. Therefore, Teppanyaki and Okonomiyaki are dishes very familiar to us Japanese.
The Difference between Teppanyaki and Okonomiyaki
Actually, the name of the dish, Teppanyaki is composed of 2 words, “Teppan (鉄板)” literally meaning iron plate and “Yaki (焼き)”, a Japanese suffix meaning to grill, broil, bake, or pan-fry food.
Thus, Teppanyaki is the generic name for the dishes cooked using a Teppan, or iron griddle, or means cooking something on a Teppan.
The dish representative of Teppanyaki is steak, and at Japanese Teppanyaki-style steak restaurants, the dish is typically cooked by chefs in front of eaters.
Since all the dishes cooked on Teppan, or the iron griddle, can be called Teppanyaki, Okonomiyaki is a dish included in Teppanyaki. In fact, in Japanese households, Okonomiyaki is usually cooked on an iron griddle or a frying pan.
As the Japanese word in its name, “Okonomi (お好み)” means “how you like” or “what you like”, Okonomi Yaki is a savory pancake made from wheat flour dough mixed with a variety of ingredients you like.
The combination of ingredients prepared for Okonomiyaki varies depending on the region, the restaurant, and each house, but typically includes raw meat like pork belly slices, fresh or frozen seafood like bite-sized squid and shrimps, and fresh vegetables such as shredded cabbage, chopped green onions, and corn kernels.
Other than these, processed cheese, Mentaiko, Mochi, or Yakisoba noodles are commonly used in Okonomiyaki. As you can guess by now, uncooked food materials are usually prepared for Okonomiyaki, added to the flour dough, and cooked.
As for the cooking, first put together Okonomiyaki flour, egg, water, and fresh vegetables in a bowl and mix well. Okonomiyaki flour is available at Japanese grocery stores and consists mainly of wheat flour.
Next, place the mixture on an iron griddle or a frying pan, add meat, seafood, or other ingredients, and cook in the same way as a pancake.
After the flour dough and ingredients are cooked through, transfer it onto a plate and dress with mayonnaise and Okonomiyaki sauce (Okonomi sauce), a sweet Japanese brown sauce with a rich flavor similar to Worcestershire sauce.
Lastly, sprinkle Katsuobushi bonito flakes and Ao-Nori green seaweed powder over the pancake and enjoy.