I had friends staying for the last few days. Wil, an old PhD student from where I work, needed somewhere to stay for a couple of days after having an arthroscopy here in Dunedin. He and his girlfriend, who accompanied him, went shopping before they arrived and deliberately bought, in addition to some fruit, something they were completely unfamiliar with just to see what I'd make out of it! It was taro, which is a staple starchy vegetable in the diet of Pacific Islanders.
I have used it once before to make okonomiyaki from a modified version of Maki's recipe at Just Hungry. My friend Yoshio says taro is an acceptable substitute for nagaimo, although it is nowhere near as slimy and is rather more substantial.
I also used a mixture of Chinese greens from the garden instead of cabbage, and used thinly sliced chicken thigh (sliced mushrooms for Nic's, as she's vegetarian) instead of pork slices, but apart from that I stuck pretty closely to Maki's recipe.
Okonomiyaki as first constructed in the frypan:
Okonomiyaki after it's been covered and steam cooked for 10 minutes or so, flipped to brown the chicken, then flipped again:
Okonomiyaki fully dressed in okonomiyaki sauce, katsuobushi, crushed Korean seasoned seaweed, and Kewpie mayonnaise:
Wil and Nic were well impressed, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if okonomiyaki makes its way into their regular diet. Healthy fast food!