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food

The best Osaka souvenir is Okonomiyaki Senbei, and here’s why

31 Comments
By SoraNews24

Osaka is so famous for food that the saying kuidaore (“eat ’til you drop") has famously been connected to the city. So when it comes to buying souvenirs for yourself and people back home after a visit, you can be swamped for choice with so much on offer.

However, when you strip it all back to the core of what lies at the heart of Osaka, the choice becomes infinitely easier. As the birthplace of okonomiyaki, a now world-famous savory pancake, this is the only thing you need to take away with you, but as it’s not really possible to pack the gooey fried meal away in your suitcase, we suggest going for the next best thing…

▼…Okonomiyaki Senbei.

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If you need any more convincing about how good this product is, take it from our reporter Udonko, who loves okonomiyaki but has never had the chance to actually try it in Osaka.

As she was passing through Shin-Osaka Station the other day, she decided to pick up a box of Okonomiyaki Senbei, and now she’s become obsessed with it, ranking it as her newest favorite souvenir.

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Priced at 345 yen for a set of six, this is one of Osaka’s top-selling souvenirs, and with good reason, because not only do the crackers look like discs of okonomiyaki, they contain real freeze-dried ingredients.

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The box Udonko purchased contained three “Mayonnaise Yaki” and three “Cabbage Yaki’‘ and when she took one of each out to try, her mouth gaped in amazement.

▼ They looked just like okonomiyaki.

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Sprinkled with a variety of toppings such as shrimp, green seaweed, and tempura flakes, each one looked like a smaller version of a real okonomiyaki.

▼ At first glance, you wouldn’t think this was a rice cracker.

Screenshot-2024-02-02-at-10.07.22.png

She first tried the Mayonnaise Yaki (pictured above), and after only half a bite, the taste of okonomiyaki had already filled her mouth. She could clearly taste the familiar ingredients, alongside the usual seasonings, such as sauce and mayonnaise. Everything about it was okonomiyaki, but with a crunchy texture that blew her mind and excited her palate.

Screenshot-2024-02-02-at-10.07.31.png

Upon trying the Cabbage Yaki (above), she fell even deeper in love with the treats, as the taste of cabbage sang out above the other ingredients, with a more refreshing taste due to the lack of mayonnaise, giving her not one but two different varieties of okonomiyaki to enjoy in one sitting.

The Cabbage Yaki crackers contained 16 kilocalories, while the Mayonnaise Yaki variety contained 18, making them extremely low in calories compared to the real thing. So if you’re watching your weight but craving okonomiyaki, these are ideal, and you can eat a few of them without having to feel too guilty afterwards.

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When it comes to Osaka souvenirs, Udonko had heard of famous products like 551 Pork Buns, but the Okonomiyaki Senbei were a dark horse that she hadn’t seen coming.

She was amazed by how well okonomiyaki could be recreated as a rice cracker, and after looking at the back of the pack, she was in for another surprise, when she found that the product name (商品名) was simply listed as…

▼…Okonomiyaki (お好み焼)!

Screenshot-2024-02-02-at-10.07.49.png

She’d expected it to be written out as “Okonomiyaki Senbei”, so to find that it was simply “Okonomiyaki” upped the authenticity even further, making her realise that you really can take okonomiyaki from Osaka home with you!

So despite never having technically eaten okonomiyaki in Osaka, she now feels she can say she’s eaten okonomiyaki from Osaka, and if you’d like your friends and family to feel that way too, be sure to keep an eye out for these next time you’re travelling through the city.

Photos © SoraNews24

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- How to make okonomiyaki at home【SoraKitchen】

-- Okonomiyaki you can eat with one hand? We try a revolutionary new frozen food【Taste test】

-- Japanese politician apologizes to prime minister for calling wife’s cooking “Hiroshima-yaki”

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

31 Comments
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Probably. You should avoid them if it concerns you.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

 Whole wheat flour or corn starch. Grated mountain yam (nagaimo/yamaimo). Eggs. Chopped onions. Daishi. Benito. Pork slices or seafood. Ginger. Never use mayo. Okonomiyaki Sauce.

Something missing, I think. Or is it only in the Osaka suburb of Scotland that two tons of finely chopped cabbage is used?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Burning Bush

Okonomiyaki and pizza are similar in that you can have whatever toppings you fancy including pineapple.

> That something Wallace would say.

Would he? I don't know. You can ask him yourself. You do know the meaning of Okonomi or whatever you like. It was a poor person's dish in the beginning. They couldn't afford any meat. Leftover food from the previous night.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Okonomiyaki originates from funoyaki, which was a kind of sweet pancake eaten during Buddhist ceremonies, from the 16th century. Then during the Meiji era (1868-1912), this dish spread beyond monasteries and renamed mojiyaki. Then after the Kanto earthquake, a savory version of this dish was eaten regularly.

https://www.japan-experience.com/plan-your-trip/to-know/japanese-food/okonomiyaki-in-japan#:~:text=Okonomiyaki%20originates%20from%20funoyaki%2C%20which,this%20dish%20was%20eaten%20regularly.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

We put mochi in our お好み焼き。It cooks like mozzarella.

When I eat it my missus says "cor blimey ducks. You got yonself a right captain white beard you. ewe luk like bleeden' Lord Nelson don't yeah!!! Eh?"

Might have a savoury pancake or two tonight.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Lord Birdseye.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I love a good Hiroshima okonomiyaki with the noodles.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Souvenir? Well, yes, but I would buy it for me. Okonomiyaki is one of the dishes I liked best when I was in Japan. As with pizza, anything you want goes into it and is delicious.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It's been a while but I make okonomiyaki. Not very difficult and tasty. Whole wheat flour or corn starch. Grated mountain yam (nagaimo/yamaimo). Eggs. Chopped onions. Daishi. Benito. Pork slices or seafood. Ginger. Never use mayo. Okonomiyaki Sauce.

Different regions have their recipes.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Okonomiyaki made with Buckwheat flour is good for those with gluten allergies.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

A Captain Birdseye okonomiyaki would be a good combination. Fish fingers. I haven't had those since I was a child.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

What's disgusting about cod on okonomiyaki?

Oh please you try too hard

You boys in for a treat.

https://www.japanfoodaddict.com/beef/mochi-cheese-okonomiyaki/

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Indeed. Maybe the chopped onions substitute for the cabbage. Double yucky; Onions and cod

0 ( +3 / -3 )

albaleo

yes, I always use cabbage.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Okonomiyaki and pizza are similar in that you can have whatever toppings you fancy including pineapple.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Lord Nelson never had a beard and probably never ate okonomiyaki or mochi, although mochi would have made a food ration at the time.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Nah. That sounds disgusting.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I like the Osaka okonomiyaki with wagyu beef and a red wine.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Wallace 2:58pm says

Hiroshima okonomiyaki are twice the calories of the Osaka ones. Twice the fat.

And then he says 7:56pm

Mochi Cheese Okonomiyaki is high in calorie

Indeed One track mind.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

It's a must. no cabbage no okonomiyaki; regardless how you like it

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The first okonomiyaki I had was the best. If I recall correctly, it was when I first came to Japan in a little place called 下北沢, before I knew any Japanese.

My buddy and I chose the establishment because they had an English menu. We ordered the 'special'. Which turned out to be Hiroshima savoury pancake (the one with noodles). It was delish hence my fondness for it to this day as stated below.

We didn't think of the calories then. And even now, as an occasional treat, my partner who is a qualified nutritionist says "Elvis, you are healthy with the correct BMI it's ok to live a little once and a while"

In 下北沢 my iffy and I giggled at the 納豆 savoury pancake on the menu. 'No way Jose' we said.

As the birthplace of okonomiyaki, a now world-famous savory pancake,

I wonder why they are not called "savoury hotcakes" in English? Pancakes are usually thinner, like crepes. Like the ones we will have on Shrove Tuesday, February 13th. Don't forget the Jif.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Imagine if Udonko had bought another pack of this senbei…

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Probably Captain Birdseye.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

What's disgusting about cod on okonomiyaki? We often use that. Mochi does not match and is dangerous.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

"Okonomi" “whatever you like”. We like fish.

Mochi Cheese Okonomiyaki is high in calories.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

After World War II when there was a short supply of rice okonomiyaki emerged as an inexpensive and filling dish for all ages. We see your true colors

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Hiroshima okonomiyaki are twice the calories of the Osaka ones. Twice the fat.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Wallace

Sounds ruddy tasty to me my old mucker. Missus makes a blinding okonomiyaki, when she makes the smells coming out of the kitchen drive me potty. Mind you we usually get out, there’s places selling dirt cheap all over round here you see.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

That senbei so special just like other senbei that anyone will have in any souvenir shop across Japan.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Wallace

Day out today with missus and the boy, bought one day Osaka Metro passes today, 620 for adults 310 for nippers on weekends. What culinary delights will we enjoy on this lovely sunny day.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

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