Monjayaki vs. Okonomiyaki: What’s the Difference?
Monjayaki (もんじゃ焼き) and Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き) are similar Japanese dishes consisting of various ingredients mixed in wheat flour batter.
They are both cooked on an iron griddle or Teppan (鉄板), categorized as Teppanyaki (鉄板焼き).
Monjayaki vs. Okonomiyaki
Okonomiyaki is more popular than Monjayaki in Japan and commonly enjoyed in households.
Meanwhile, Monjayaki is available in Okonomiyaki restaurants and some Dagashiya, but we rarely make it at home.
Then, how does Monjayaki differ from Okonomiyaki pancake? Today, I will talk about that for those who haven’t tried the dish yet.
Wheat Flour Batter
First, the batter for Monjayaki is a combination of wheat flour, Japanese Worcester sauce, and dashi stock and is watery and runny.
On the other hand, Okonomiyaki batter typically consists of wheat flour, grated yam or Tororo, eggs, and water. Hence, it is plain and close to pancake batter.
As for other ingredients, representatives for Monjayaki include finely cut cabbage, Beni Shoga, Agedama, Aonori, bite-sized squid meat, sakura shrimps, Mentaiko roe, bite-sized Mochi, and processed cheese.
Okonomiyaki pancake can use almost the same ingredients as Monjayaki, but a wider variety of food materials tend to be prepared, such as pork belly slices, bean sprouts, beef tendon, kimchi, and noodles.
Cooking & Eating Manner
We cook Monjayaki on an iron plate by mixing its watery batter with other ingredients and enjoy the resulting crispy fried bits directly using small iron spatulas.
Regarding Okonomiyaki, after mixing ingredients (except raw meat or seafood) in a bowl, we bake the mixture on a Teppan the same way as other pancakes. Once cooked, the cake is cut into small pieces and served individually.
Okonomiyaki with Okonomiyaki Sauce and Mayo
Since we pre-season Monjayaki batter with Worcestershire sauce and dashi, there is no additional sauce for the dish.
Meanwhile, after baking Okonomiyaki, we usually apply Okonomiyaki sauce and mayonnaise to the pancake.
Okonomiyaki sauce is a brown sauce similar to Japanese Worcester sauce. But as the former contains various vegetable/fruit purees, it is thicker, sweeter, and richer in taste than Worcester sauce.