Do you guys remember this jackfruit okonomiyaki?
Well, I promised that I would come up with a version of the Hiroshima type and it’s finally here!
If you have never heard of Hiroshima Okonomiyaki, it’s a Japanese savory pancake that consists of several layers. There is usually a thin crepe at the bottom, topped with noodles, fried bacon, cabbage, and an egg or omelet on top. Then it’s brushed with a sweet and savory tomato sauce, drizzled with mayo and topped with green onions.
To make it vegan, I went with a silken tofu omelet on top, smoky tofu, soba noodles (let’s keep it gluten-free while we are at it), cabbage, and a buckwheat crepe at the bottom. If that is not a complete and nutritious meal I don’t know what is!
I’m not going to lie, this recipe takes time. I wish this recipe was a bit less time consuming so I could make it twice a week, at least. The thing is, Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki requires some preparation because of all the different layers. If you want an easier version check out my recipe for The Best Vegan Okonomiyaki, this version is easier to make as all the ingredients are mixed together to make a batter. If you ask me, I would say both are different and equally delicious.
The recipe starts with the tofu that you let marinate in soy sauce, maple syrup, and liquid smoke for that “bacon” flavor. Then prepare the sweet tomato sauce that will be used to flavor the soba noodles and brush the top of the okonomiyaki at the end.
The sauce requires just 4 ingredients: ketchup (I used a low-sugar one), soy sauce, maple syrup, and Worcestershire sauce. Make sure to use a vegan one as the original is not. This Worcestershire sauce, for example, is totally vegan and gluten-free.
Once your sauce is ready and the tofu marinading, you start by cooking the crepe. I went with a buckwheat flour batter to keep the whole recipe gluten-free. Cook the crepe for a few minutes before topping with cabbage, scallions, and the marinated tofu.
Next, drizzle the remaining crepe batter on top of the tofu and carefully flip the whole thing. The drizzle of batter helps bind everything together so the okonomiyaki is easier to handle. By the way, here’s a quick tip: don’t use an iron skillet for this recipe, use a non-stick skillet. There is a lot of flipping going on here, you definitely don’t want your okonomiyaki to stick to the skillet at each step. I made this mistake at first and things became very messy.
The next layer is noodles. Place your okonomiyaki on the side of the skillet and sautée the noodles with some okonomiyaki sauce for extra flavor. Then, shape the noodles into a round and transfer the okonomiyaki on top of the noodles. We are almost done, just one more layer and your okonomiyaki will be ready to be served!
The last layer, which will happen to be on top since we will flip it one last time, is a silken tofu omelet. The omelet is very soft and literally melts in your mouth, thanks to the addition of silken tofu. To flavor the omelet, I added nutritional yeast, onion powder, and a pinch of kala namak, which is a salt that has an eggy flavor. A game changer if you make tofu scrambles or omelet!
I recommend cooking the omelet in another skillet, then top it with the okonomiyaki (noodles, tofu, cabbage, crepe), and finally flip it one last time directly on a serving plate. This is the method that worked the best for me.
Finally, brush the top with a generous amount of okonomiyaki sauce, drizzle with mayo and top with green onions! To make it slightly healthier you can swap the mayo for a yogurt-tahini sauce. It’s just as delicious!
Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!
Smoky Tofu & Noodles
- 2.5 (70g) ounces firm tofu (or tempeh)
- 2 tbsp (30ml) soy sauce
- 1 tsp (5ml) maple syrup
- 1/8 tsp liquid smoke
- 1.5 ounces (45g) soba noodles (or yakisoba noodles)
- 1/4 cup (60ml) ketchup
- 1 tbsp (15ml) soy sauce
- 2 tbsp (30ml) maple syrup
- 1 tbsp (15ml) vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tbsp (23g) buckwheat flour
- 1 tbsp (7g) tapioca starch
- 1 tsp ground flaxseeds
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup (60ml) water
- 1 cup (70g) shredded cabbage
- 2 tbsp chopped scallions
- 3.5 ounces (100g) silken tofu
- 2 tbsp (11g) chickpea flour
- 1/4 tsp nutritional yeast
- 1/8 tsp onion powder
- a pinch of kala namak salt
- a pinch of turmeric
- topping: green onions
We will start by marinating the tofu, cooking the noodles, and preparing the okonomiyaki sauce.
Smoky Tofu & Noodles
- Press the tofu between two sheets of kitchen paper towel to remove excess moisture. Cut it into 4-5 thin slices and arrange the slices in a small baking dish. Pour the soy sauce, maple syrup, and liquid smoke on top of the tofu and mix with your hands to make sure all the slices are coated with the marinade. Let marinate at least 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, bring a pot of water to a boil, add the soba noodles and cook according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Combine all the ingredients together in a small bowl. We will use this sauce to flavor the noodles and glaze the top of the okonomiyaki at the end.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the buckwheat flour, tapioca starch, ground flax seeds, and salt. Add the water and whisk until well combined. Let the batter rest 7-10 minutes.
- Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add a tablespoon of oil and spread into an even layer using a sheet of kitchen paper towel. Pour about 3/4 of the batter into the skillet and lightly spread into a thin round crepe. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until it doesn’t stick to the skillet anymore.
- Top the crepe with the shredded cabbage, scallion, and arrange the marinated tofu slices on top.
- Drizzle the rest of the batter on top of the tofu. Next, carefully (and quickly) flip it using two spatulas. It’s okay if some cabbage escapes, just use a spatula to replace it under the crepe.
- Cook for about 5 minutes. Using a spatula, move everything to a side of the skillet to leave room to sautée the noodles.
- Add the cooked soba noodles to the skillet, top with about 2 tbsp of okonomiyaki sauce and stir to coat the noodles with the sauce. Sautée the noodles for 2 minutes before shaping them into a round (approximately the same size as your crepe that is on the side).
- Once again, using two spatulas, transfer the okonomiyaki on top of the soba noodles. Lower the heat to low and cook for 3-5 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the last layer: the tofu omelet.
- Combine the silken tofu, chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, onion powder, kala namak, and turmeric in a blender (I used a manual hand chopper). Blend until smooth, if the batter is too thick, add 1 tbsp water.
- Heat another non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add one teaspoon of oil and spread it evenly. Pour the batter into the skillet and spread into a thin crepe/pancake, it should have the same size as your okonomiyaki.
- Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the top appears cooked. Next, transfer the okonomiyaki on top of the tofu omelet.
- Finally, flip the okonomiyaki one last time using two spatulas, or by placing a plate on top of the skillet and flipping it so the okonomiyaki is transferred directly on the serving plate.
- Brush the top with a generous amount of okonomiyaki sauce, drizzle with mayonnaise, and top with chopped green onions.
- Serve immediately!
- Serving Size: 1 (without mayo)
- Calories: 279
- Sugar: 15.9g
- Fat: 3.9g
- Carbohydrates: 51g
- Fiber: 3.3g
- Protein: 14.2g