Translated by Hanni T.
No Chopsticks? No Problem! Eating Okonomiyaki Kansai-Style
Written by Hiromasa Uematsu
How to cut okonomiyaki and set it up before enjoying this great Kansai comfort food.
Okonomiyaki is a staple Japanese food cooked on a grill. It is delicious, affordable, and very popular in the Kansai area. Anyone can easily enjoy okonomiyaki as there are many shops selling this comfort dish all across Japan.
However, eating okonomiyaki is different from eating ordinary Japanese food. It might seem a bit confusing at first, since it isn't quite like any dishes overseas.
This article will introduce an easy way to eat okonomiyaki for people who are not familiar with Japanese food.
Step 1: Insert the Edge of the Spatula into the Okonomiyaki
For a regular-sized okonomiyaki, it is impossible to eat it all in one bite. Therefore, you need to cut off small portions to eat.
A spatula prepared by the restaurant is used to cut it. A spatula (hera or kote) is a spoon-shaped tool with a flat surface where you put things on.
Also, its edge can be used as a knife. In the case of eating okonomiyaki, insert the edge of the spatula and cut the okonomiyaki just as in the pictures.
Step 2: Cut the Okonomiyaki in Half
Once the spatula is inserted, cut the okonomiyaki in half, just like drawing a straight line on a circle.
Ingredients such as pork can't be cut easily. Oftentimes the bottom part of the okonomiyaki is still connected even when you think you had cut all the way through.
Please make sure to press the spatula firmly to cut it completely.
Step 3: Rotate it 90 Degrees and Cut it into 4 Pieces
Once the okonomiyaki has been cut in half, it's time to rotate the okonomiyaki 90 degrees.
Insert the spatula again and cut it in half once more. The whole idea is to cut the okonomiyaki into four even quarters.
Step 4: Put a Section of the Okonomiyaki on Your Plate
Once the okonomiyaki has been cut into 4 pieces, put a quarter of the okonomiyaki on your own plate, or just move it closer to you on the grill.
Sometimes, people eat okonomiyaki on the grill directly instead of moving it into their own plate. It all depends on that particular restaurant's style.
Step 5: Enjoy！
The process is completed once a piece of the okonomiyaki is put on your plate. You can eat directly from the section on your plate by using a different spatula, or you can use your chopsticks to divide it again into smaller pieces before eating.