Okonomiyaki became popular among the masses after World War II due to food shortages and starvation. The Japanese had to be creative in using any readily available ingredient for cooking. They found this dish cost-effective, filling, and easy to make as a wide range of ingredients from cabbage to pork belly can be thrown into it.
Today, the choice of ingredients and cooking style varies by region. Two of the most popular modern versions are the Osaka-style and the Hiroshima-style. The first is a simple batter mixed with cabbage and pork, while the latter adds layers of yakisoba noodles and bean sprouts within the pancake.
Currently, there are more than 300,000 Okonomiyaki restaurants in Japan.