Okonomiyaki is such a delicious Japanese food, chefs decided they needed to find a way to make it portable…so they wrapped it around a pair of chopsticks.
This way, it is easy to eat at festivals or while walking on the street.
Of course, to truly understand what hashimaki is, you’ll have to understand what okonomiyaki is.
Read on to find out more about both dishes and how they are best enjoyed.
In this post we'll cover:
What is Okonomiyaki?
Okonomiyaki is a type of savory Japanese pancake. It is made from a wheat-based batter, therefore, it is an example of konamon, a flour-based type of Japanese cuisine.
The word okonomiyaki is a derivative of the word okonomi which means ‘how you like’ or ‘what you like’. Its ingredients can vary greatly according to the region it is being served in.
However, it is commonly associated with the Kansai or Hiroshima regions.
In these regions, the batter is typically made of flour, grated nagaimo (a type of yam), water or dashi, eggs, and shredded cabbage. Other ingredients include green onion, meat (typically pork belly although this can vary), octopus, squid, shrimp, vegetables, mochi or cheese.
Both okonomiyaki and hashimaki are usually topped with some sort of condiment like mayonnaise or okonomiyaki sauce.
How Do You Make Hashimaki?
The word hashimaki means chopstick roll. Hashi means chopsticks while maki means role or something rolled.
When prepared street fair style, a large grill is used to make many at a time. A batter is placed on the grill.
Then fillings are added and another ladle of batter is layered on top. Once they begin to dry, they are flipped.
When the pancake is cooked, disposable chopsticks are placed in the center and it is then rolled around the chopstick.
The vendor may then top the hashimaki with a variety of toppings to give customers a few options.
Hashimaki Chopstick Rolls
- 2 large eggs
- 7 oz plain flour (200g)
- 7 oz water
- 4 oz cabbage finely shredded (120g)
- 1 spring onion chopped
- 4 crabsticks sliced
- 2 tsp dashi powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 8 pairs disposable chopsticks
- Okonomiyaki sauce
- Japanese mayonnaise
- Katsuobushi (bonito flakes)
- Furikake or Aonori (green laver)
- Mix the cabbage, carrot, egg, flour, dashi powder and water in a large bowl until there are no lumps.
- Heat oil in a pan over medium heat and spread one ladle full of batter in the pan in an oval shape.
- When the edges start to dry, place a pair of chopsticks in the center and roll the okonomiyaki around them. Set aside and continue cooking the batter
- Once you are done, put them all back in the pan, cover and cook over a low fire until done, then cook on the other side until golden brown.
- Top with okonomiyaki sauce, mayonnaise, bonita flakes, Furikake and Aonori.
These are my favorite ingredients to use:
Here’s ochikeron with her own recipe:
Other Types of Okonomiyaki
There are many different types of okonomiyaki and any of these can be made into a hashimaki treat. Here are some options.
- Modan-yaki: This is a dish where okonomiyaki is combined with a layer of fried noodles, usually yakisoba or udon.
- Negiyaki: This is a thinner pancake made with a lot of scallions. It can be compared to Korean pajeon or Chinese green onion pancakes.
- Hiroshima Style: In Hiroshima, the ingredients are layered rather than mixed. Noodles are typically included and the pancakes may be topped with a fried egg and a good amount of okonomiyaki sauce. There also tends to be three or four times more cabbage in Hiroshima style okonomiyaki as compared to Osaka style.
- Tsukishima Style: This Tokyo district is famous for both okonomiyaki and monjayaki. Monjayaki is a runny variant of okonomiyaki.
- Hamamatsu Style: In this region, takuan, a pickled preparation of daikon radish, is mixed with the okonomiyaki.
- Okinawa Style: In Okinawa, okonomiyaki is called hirayachi and it is thinner than many of its cousins.
- Hinase, Okayama Style: In this part of Japan, oysters are mixed with the batter to make a dish called kaki-oko.
- Kishiwada, Osaka Style: Kishiwada is home of kashimin-yaki, a type of okonomiyaki that uses chicken and tallow instead of pork.
- Fuchu, Hiroshima Style: In Fuchu, ground meat is used instead of bacon.
- Tokushima Prefecture: Sweetened kidney beans called kintoki-mame are mixed with okonomiyaki in this region.
Now that you know more about hashimaki, which variation will you be enjoying when you visit Japan?