Issen Yoshoku (literally, one cent Western food) (一銭洋食)

Issen Yoshoku consists of a wheat flour mixed with water, baked on a cast-iron pan, with green onion added onto it. It is a dish which has developed into Kansai-style and Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki (savory pancake with various ingredients).


It was evolved from the dondon-yaki (okonomiyaki wrapped around a wooden stick to take away), and in the Taisho period wheat flour mixed with water and baked with chopped green onion and sauce added onto it was sold at mom-and-pop candy stores in the Kinki region. In those days anything with sauce (or seasoning) added onto it was regarded as Western food, and so it became widespread as commoners' dish, and developed into okonomiyaki.

In the postwar period Issen Yoshoku was made under the eaves of stores in the name of 'ju-yen (ten yen) yaki,' 'goju-yen (fifty yen) yaki' or 'cabbage yaki.'
The ingredients varied greatly among stores, including konjac (gelatinous food made from devil's-tongue starch), bean sprouts, fish powder and egg. For comparison, unlike okonomiyaki, meat used in Issen Yoshoku was largely beef.

In some areas flour dishes similar to Issen Yoshoku are still being made, such as kashiminyaki in Kishiwada City, Osaka Prefecture and nikuten in Nagata Ward, Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture. Negiyaki was commercialized by the owner of an okonomiyaki restaurant "Yamamoto," based on makanai ryori (meals which staffs of the restaurant cook for themselves) which the owner had prepared using green onion instead of cabbage. It returns from the okonomiyaki-style in which flour is mixed with other ingredients to the Issen Yoshoku style in which flour is separated from other ingredients.


In 'Adolf (comic)' by Osamu TEZUKA, a dish called 'Issen Teishoku' (one-cent set meal), not Issen Yoshoku, appeared.

It was also called 'cabbage-yaki' (but it was not the same dish as the one currently sold in the Kansai area).

Issen Yoshoku exists in the name of 'issen (one cent)-yaki' in Gion (on the east of Shijonawate Agaru), Kyoto City.

There is also a restaurant called 'Issen-yaki' in Shimanto City, Kochi Prefecture, but it does not seem to serve anything like Issen Yoshoku.

[Original Japanese]