~Please read everything~
For the past month or so I've been making okonomiyaki and trying various recipes on YouTube. It generallly tastes great, but one thing that bothers me is the texture. The outside is cooked, but when I cut into the pancake it's still doughy and uncooked (not cold; it's still rather hot). If I were to cut a piece and apply slight pressure with my fork, the ingredients would fall out. Sometimes I don't even need to apply pressure as when I cook it will simply fall apart, which lately it's to the point where trying to use chopsticks to eat the pancake have become useless and so I just switched to a fork. If I had to use a parallel to describe the texture, it would be similar to a chocolate lava cake (the outsides versus the insides).
I normally cook it on medium to medium-high temperature for about 15-20 minutes. I've tried about 30 minutes as well but it doesn't seem like it helps the longer I cook it. In terms of how I put the pancake on the pan, first I put olive oil and let that heat up and then I usually make the pancake about 3/4"--I don't press it down to form it's shape as I've been recommended by various recipes. I've also made mine very thin and it typically doesn't change the texture that I'm trying to fix. I also will use another pan to cover the pancake as it cooks so the moisture doesn't get out (I've tried without it and the result is the same).
Typical ingredients I use are of course cabbage, sometimes kimchi (without excess juice), chinese sausage, oyster mushrooms, scallions, shrimp/calamari/scallops, pickled ginger, and slices of pork shoulder that go on top. of one side as it cooks. The dough isn't a lot; it's generally enough to coat the cabbage but not enough to have like a bath of dough mix.
I've also tried using a cast iron skillet versus a regular non-stick skillet and the difference is naught. I actually prefer the non-stick skillet as I'm able to flip it without a spatula that way.
Note: I've never eaten authentic okonomiyaki before, so I have nothing to compare it to.
Also there's no excess water from the vegetables. Initially I used freshly chopped cabbage, and then I switched to cole slaw mix and the cabbage in that mix is rather dry, even after the package has been opened.
The current recipe I use is this, with cooking instructions as to what I do with it:
- 0.5c flour mix (made of all-purpose flour, corn starch, and baking powder) + 1/3c water (sometimes dashi/chicken stock or plain water; doesn't affect anything) and I mix these very will so that there's no dry flour and no lumps
- next I add in 2 cups of cabbage. Initially I used fresh chopped cabbage but switched to cole slaw cabbage mix since it's easier to use. I add in the rest of the ingredients such as 1TBSP pickled ginger, 0.25c seafood (shrimp/calamari), 1 link of chinese sausage, 0.25c oyster mushrooms, and either 0.5c eggbeater or an egg (using either or has made no different in my experience).
- Before I would initially try not to mix it too heavily, as I read a number of tips advising that mixing the ingredients too much with the egg is going to make the dish more "bread" like so I avoided doing that. But over-mixing it and making sure everything is mixed together makes no difference in terms of the product.
- next I add the batter to a skillet with some oil on medium heat and form the pancake. I try not to flatten as in my experience flattening the pancake makes the crust stick to the pan, even with oil in it. The depth of the pancake is about 3/8 to 3/4 of an inch and it's never made a difference as to whether it's thick or thin; it's typically too doughy.
- next I cook one side for 5 minutes, then I add sliced pork shoulder > next side for about 4-5 minutes > I use a toothpick to check the wetness on the inside and there's generally some wetness but no matter how long I cook it (I've cooked it for up to 20 minutes) it tends to remain the same. I also use another skillet to keep the moisture in so it (hopefully) cooks the entire pancake rather than just one side.