Silver Travel Cook Club

May 2022 – Japanese Cookbook for Beginners

This month the Silver Travel Cook Club is visiting Japan with Wendy Wu Tours. You could win a copy of Japanese Cookbook for Beginners: Classic and Modern Recipes Made Easy by Azusa Oda.

Try the recipe below for Okonomiyaki – Japanese pancake with seafood, it’ll be a good way to get started!

Japan Uncovered

For authentic dishes, you could travel with Wendy Wu Tours on the Japan Uncovered guided trip: 17-days from £7,090pp

This 17 day fully inclusive immersive tour covers all the classic sights from the buzzing city of Tokyo to the dramatic contrast city of Kyoto, and the key cultural activities in each city. Combining the old with the new, this Japan tour is the perfect insight to the top destination for 2022 and 2023 travel.

Starting in the foodie haven of Osaka, travel through to meet the deer of Nara and the temples of Himeji. Travel to the symbolic city of Hiroshima and take step back in history to uncover the tragedy and uproar the city experienced, before heading over to the gorgeous city of Kyoto. After wandering through the winding streets and enjoying an authentic tea ceremony, explore the traditional cities of Kanazawa and Takayama, before meeting the mischievous snow monkeys. Gaze in awe at the stunning Mount Fuji before ending the tour in the bustling city of Tokyo.

Recipe: Okonomiyaki – Japanese pancake with seafood

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Total time:
10 minutes (plus 2 hours resting)


  • 100g plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 100ml cooled fish, vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 baby potato
  • ¼ white cabbage, shredded
  • 1 spring onion, finely sliced
  • Thumb-sized ginger piece, grated
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp mirin
  • 100g lightly cooked squid or prawns (own preference)
  • Vegetable oil for frying

For the sauce:

  • 3 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp brown sauce
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ tsp mirin
  • 1 tsp honey

To garnish:

  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • Dried bonito flakes
  • Powdered seaweed or togarashi seasoning
  • Sliced spring onion


  1. Mix the flour, baking powder, egg and stock until smooth, ensuring there are no lumps. Add the potato, season with salt and white pepper. Cover and let it rest for around 2 hours.
  2. While the mix is resting, combine the ingredients for the sauce. Once smoothed, set aside.
  3. Take the batter from the fridge, add the cabbage, spring onion, ginger, soy, mirin and chosen seafood. Thoroughly coat the mix in the batter.
  4. In a frying pan, heat a thin layer of oil on a medium heat and pour the mixture into the pan. Fry for up to 5 mins, keeping it as circular as possible. Flip the pancake and cook for a further 5 mins.
  5. Once cooked through, flip the pancake onto the board and serve with sauces and garnishes, and enjoy.

How to win a copy of Japanese Cookbook for Beginners by Azusa Oda

Comment below to tell us why you would like to visit Japan, and what would you like to see.

A winner will be chosen in early June 2022.
The competition closes on 31 May 2022.

See all of our Silver Travel Cook Club recipes.

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26 Responses

  1. I would love to visit Japan, to see the unusual gardens and the golden temple and all the other interesting castles/ temples especially Kyoto and Nara. I understand inside their houses are very different to western layouts, with a different way of life. The food sounds simple but nutritious and it s a visit to Osaka is a must to visit. A site of seeing Mount Fuji with its snow covered tip is a must to see with I hope good information about the area and all the other places one would visit.

    1. For health benefits because Japanese food is very good for you. Simple but nice 👌 .

  2. It would be fascinating to explore this exciting country, walk the streets of mountainous arrays of cooking stalls and get the buzz and aromas. Experience a very different culture.

  3. To gain a better understanding of a unique culture so different to ours, and to see breath-taking landscapes, inspiring natural wonders, striking architecture, and amazing peoples.

  4. I’d love to explore all that Tokyo has to offer and then take the bullet train to Osaka to explore there also, plus that is where one of my best friends is from and it would be awesome to see her home town.

  5. Would love to visit Japan to be able to learn more about its history & culture which I find very interesting especially the samurai culture & its demise.I would also like to learn more about food culture.

  6. As my nephew is teaching in Japan near Osaka I would love to visit and see all the beautiful cherry trees he talks about and experience the culture and food.

  7. Having missed out on the Spectacular Blossom Time on the 3 previous trips to and tours of the wonderful Japanese islands ,we have hopefully in 2022 booked the right time with the right company and will visit the right places so as to feast our eyes on this amazing sight .

  8. Would like to visit to learn about the contrasts between the Japanese history and traditions, and the ultra modern technologies and commercial ways. See temples, bullet trains, snow monkeys, cherry blossom – all whilst enjoying fantastic food!

  9. Japan is an amazing country, would go back in a heartbeat and winning the book would enable be to cook some of the fabulous food we ate.

  10. Would love to see the islands of Japan, plus the wonderful Blossom Time. Plus I once saw a documentary on television, about the training a ‘Geisha Girl has to do, to entertain at the various functions, making tea being one of them. Something so simple , yet so bound up with tradition etc. How long it takes them to dress, just so. Do their hair, fascinating!

  11. The Wendy Wu Tours itinerary sounds great and if my wife and I could afford such a holiday it would be a holiday of a lifetime and as we are both in our 70’s and it would probably be our last overseas visit. My wife is a good cook and the book would open up more ideas of cooking and maybe give the feel of a Japan holiday.

  12. Japan is so different from many of the other countries I have been fortunate enough to visit – I would love to experience the bullet train, the cherry blossom and their fantastic cities!

  13. Japan is home to some of the best natural scenery in the world. I would like to see the wilderness in Hokkaido and the beaches of Okinawa.

  14. I would like to see some of the islands and the more off the beaten track places in Japan as I am expecting that the food would be really authentic than on the tourist hot spots so really wonderful. I would love to cook some of the traditional dishes too. I want to try as many seaweeds as they serve in Japan as so very good for one. Would love to see the snow monkeys on Hokkaido.

  15. I would love to take my partner to Japan as her Daughter spent a year there do her masters

  16. I would love to visit Japan, as I am facinated by the culture and would love to experience it and their way of life. Also to see the golden temple and all the other interesting castles and temples especially Kyoto and Nara. I have had Japanese food in the UK but would love to try the real thing. I would also like to see Mount Fuji.

  17. Many years ago I read a book about Japan. Ever since then I have wanted to go there. Learning to cook the food in the book would be wonderful.

  18. My friend says Japan is full of beautiful places and lovely people, so I want to go and see it for myself.

  19. Having tried to both make and pronounce Okonomiyaki, one more successfully than the other, I’d like to visit the area the dish is associated with, Hiroshima. Having read there are around 2000 okonomiyaki restaurants in and around the city, I’d head for Okonomiyaki Village, an okonomiyaki theme park where okonomiyaki stalls used to gather after World War II which now has several restaurants each with their own take on the traditional dish.

  20. Travel, the best way to learn about other cultures, meet people from across the world, eat their food and see what they see. I have a Japanese pen pals who I have been writing to for many many years so the opportunity to meet up with her would be wonderful. I would travel in spring to enjoy the wonderful cherry blossom and would be thrilled if Mariko would show me her Japan.

  21. I’d like to see the different way of life, experience some of the Japanese culture. I’d like to visit Tokyo & a few more cities & towns to see the contrast between a busy city & the country.

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