This smoked duck okonomiyaki recipe is a super easy crowd-pleaser. It’s so much fun to prepare this dish with friends from beginning to end. Use the toppings and condiments to decorate each pancake as it’s finished, then split it up between friends to eat while the next one is cooking. It’s an easy meal that can feed a lot of people, and you can make it as cheap as you like!
We made Japanese okonomiyaki with smoked duck meat we got in Yilan, a county on the east coast of Taiwan famous for its duck and its…scallions. (People in Taiwan get really excited about food in general, but scallions have never really gotten me going.)
The duck had an awesome flavor, like bacon but sweeter. It was meatier and less fatty, too. I tried a few bites before we started cooking, and then I had to police myself the rest of the time I was in the kitchen getting things ready to make sure I didn’t eat most of it before it was time to cook.
Looking for something a little different? Try making sweet or savory crepes on the raclette grill.
This time we have some more okonomiyaki-making and okonomiyaki-eating experience under our belts, so I didn’t have to spend hours trying to understand the differences between Hiroshima okonomiyaki (noodles, cabbage, meat, and raw eggs are stacked like laundry) and Kansai/Osaka okonomiyaki (everything is cooked into the pancake batter like the Godzilla of latkes).
Smoked Duck Okonomiyaki Recipe
For the batter:
- 1/2 cup dashi (usually made with dashi powder), or vegetable broth
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 a teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 head of Napa cabbage, sliced or chopped into small pieces
- 1 cup smoked duck meat, chopped into small chunks
- Cooking oil (a peanut blend or vegetable oil)
- bonito flakes (flakes of dried fish meat that actually look like fish food flakes)
- thin strips of pork or beef
- raw shrimp
- raw calamari rings
- seaweed flakes
- okonomiyaki sauce
- sweet mayo/kewpie mayo
- Sriracha or other hot sauce
- spring onions, white and green parts sliced thin
- pickled ginger, chopped small
- If you need to, prepare the dashi by adding a little of the dashi powder to some hot water.
- Mix the dashi, flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and eggs in a large bowl. Add in the Napa cabbage in big handfuls and stir. Add in the smoked duck meat.
- Stir everything together until it looks like a Caesar salad with too much dressing.
Serving your Smoked Duck Okonomiyaki
- Heat the smooth side of the raclette grill. If you can adjust the heat, adjust the dial to medium-high. Oil the cooking surface.
- When the grill is nice and hot, spoon about half of the batter onto the grilling surface. It should make a pretty big, scary-looking pancake.
- While the bottom is cooking, layer the top with some of your toppings. We used bonito flakes and strips of pork belly.
- It’ll take at least five minutes for the bottom to cook through. Talk to your friends. Give everyone a beer.
- When the batter is cooked on the bottom, carefully flip over the entire hefty pancake. This may require two spatulas or even two people for some people, like me.
- Let the other side cook thoroughly so that the cabbage and especially any raw meat is cooked all the way through.
- When it’s finished, flipped it right side up onto your plate. Top it with the condiments. Get creative with your sauces and decorate the top of your okonomiyaki with a grid, swirls, happy faces, or your best version of Van Gogh’s Starry Night.
- Cut the okonomiyaki like a pizza. J and I split the first one and ate it up while the second one was cooking. It was all so good that I made another batch after that. In the end, he ate nearly three whole okonomiyakis by himself! (I am dainty, so I only ate one.)