ORIGIN/ HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF NEGIYAKI
Negiyaki Historical Background : Ever since a long time ago, people around the world, including Greeks and Romans, enjoyed pancakes. Back in the 16th century, there was a variety of pancakes called “funo-yaki” that was first enjoyed in Japan. It has a fried batter served with a sweet miso. Although funo-yaki disappeared in the Japanese diets and were absent for several centuries now, there are still some sweet Japanese pancakes that everyone can savor during lunch, dinner, or for snacks. Negiyaki is an example among them.
Negiyaki, a type of Okonomiyaki, has distinct characteristics. Instead of cabbage, it includes green onions. Originating in the city of Osaka, it represents another type of savory pancake from the Kansai region. Negiyaki came into existence around the 40th year of the Showa era, just before the establishment of a restaurant. In 1994, an Okonomiya restaurant called “Yamamoto” from Yodogawa-ku, Osaka registered its trademark name “Negiyaki”. This restaurant, the founder of Negiyaki, has maintained the same taste since 1965. The dish originated when the hostess in the restaurant prepared it to feed her children after school. Some customers discovered this and requested the restaurant to add it to their menu. At that time, they referred to it as the “Okonomiyaki with green onions”, but it became “Negiyaki” by 1994. From then on, it became a part of the shop and many restaurants improved it until it reached its current style.
HOW IS NEGIYAKI MADE?
The Process of Negiyaki
Negiyaki, also known as Green Onion Pancake, is a savory pancake from the Kansai region. Traditionally, cooks prepared it with round-baked dough and topped it with a large amount of green onions and other ingredients. However, some shops have improvised its taste by offering a “Mixed Grill”. This means they mix finely diced Japanese leek (negi) into the batter, resulting in a thinner pancake. They can also add a small amount of cabbage and mix it with green onions.
Negiyaki shares its main ingredients with Okonomiyaki. Generally, it consists of “sujikon”, a blend of beef tenderloin and “konjac” or a sweet and spicy variety of taro plant. You can also add eggs. Traditionally, you eat it with homemade soy sauce or a sweet barbecue-style sauce, topped with Japanese Kewpie mayo.
What is so unique about negiyaki?
Negiyaki, a sweet savory pancake in Japan, emits a unique scent of green onions, unlike the cabbage-based Okonomiyaki. This aroma can stimulate your appetite. Instead of pairing it with Okonomiyaki sauce, people typically eat it with a soy-sauce-based dip and top it with additional green scallions. The special dip, containing lemon juice, tastes refreshing and complements the sweetness of the green onions. In Kobe, people have traditionally paired Negiyaki with Doro sauce, a special Olive sauce from Kobe, since before the war.
RECOMMENDED NEGIYAKI RESTAURANTS
If you want to experience the aromatic taste of Negiyaki/ Green Onion Pancake, you can easily find them in Osaka. It is an Osaka’s specialty after all. Here are some recommended Negiyaki’s restaurants:
Negiyaki Yamamoto Main Store
This restaurant, founded in 1965, made the first Negiyaki in Japan. They added the dish to their menu and it became popular by then. This restaurant is a popular line-up shop. It is the best restaurant for Negiyaki that you can eat even if you are lined up with Osaka people who hate waiting.
Okonomiyaki “Mizuno” Restaurant
This restaurant serves an onion that was made by a well-known okonomiyaki restaurant listed in the Bib Gourmand section. It has an aromatic soy sauce and since it uses chopped green onions, you can thoroughly enjoy the original sweetness of the green onions and the texture as well, and the sesame and kaiware radish toppings are also effective. It is convincing that it has gained the No. 3 popularity among many menus.
Fukutaro’s green onion menu has a wide variety of dishes such as “pork”, “mochi and cheese”, and “mix” with pork, squid, and shrimp in addition to the standard “beef line”. The perfect distribution of plenty of ingredients connected with a solid dough is an exquisite balance that you will not get tired of eating while being volume. You can enjoy the harmony of the taste on your tongue as it goes well with the rich homemade soy sauce.
A long-established okonomiyaki store that has been protecting Naniwa’s taste for over 65 years in the noisy Osaka/Namba area, is a well-known restaurant listed in the Bib Gourmand section of the Michelin Guide Kansai 2016. Green onion grilled with plenty of Kyoto’s Kujo green onions is a style in which you can choose your favorite ingredients from seafood such as squid, shrimp and oysters and meat such as pork and beef and bake it. Enjoy the rich flavor of Kujo green onions, which changes depending on the ingredients used.