One of the most memorable experiences of our trip to Japan earlier this year was visiting Hiroshima. It happens to be the city from which my mom's family emigrated over 100 years ago, but it obviously has great international historical significance. Peace Plaza was incredibly powerful, and the bleakness of the events that occurred here 65 years ago seemed accentuated by the cold, rainy weather. Whether it was the emotion or the walking, we worked up quite an appetite and soon went in search of Hiroshima's famous okonomiyaki.
We found it in a place called Okonomimura -- literally, "okonomi town." A 4-story building, each floor houses several stalls specializing in a different type of Japanese "pizza" (for lack of a better comparison). The difference between Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki and, say, the varieties found in Osaka, is the fact that each ingredient is layered on top of the next. Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki also frequently uses noodles -- typically yakisoba or udon -- as one layer in the pie. The stall we eventually chose offered toppings, from Hiroshima's famous oysters to kimchi, but you can also just eat it on its own, which I find equally delicious. For the recipe, read on.