Let’s see how Monjayaki is cooked!

Monjayaki is Japanese food that is eaten in the Tokyo Shitamachi area. Cooking this food on a hot iron plate and eating with a group of people can be a very fun experience. In this article, I will show you the best place to enjoy this special dish.

2018-09-05   Food & Drinks, Tokyo,

Eastern Tokyo, Shitamachi soul food

Japanese foods are famous around the world, but Monjayaki is relatively less popular than Sushi, Ramen and others. I visited the Tsukishima shitamachi area for Monjayaki, and would like to introduce this special dish.

Tsukishima Monja Street

It’s difficult to describe Monjayaki. I would say that this food is something between a pizza and a crape. The basic ingredients are batter and shredded cabbage, fried together on a hot iron plate and eaten directly from the plate. This was originally a snack for children, sold and eaten at family-run sweet shops. Nowadays, it’s much improved and is considered a main dish.

Delicious toppings on a set of Monjayaki.

Rice Cake and Seasoned Cod Roe (もち明太)
Rice Cake and Seasoned Cod Roe (もち明太) Monjayaki

A variety of Monjayaki

Monjayaki is exciting to eat, because you can pick from a variety of ingredients. The flavours’ and tastes are all different. For example, Rice Cake and Seasoned Cod Roe (もち明太) tastes very much like typical Japanese food. The Curry and Baby Star Crispy Noodle Snack (a famous Japanese snack) tastes much like Indian food, and the Tomato and Cheese has an Italian flavour.

 The Curry and Baby Star Crispy Noodle Snack
The Curry and Baby Star Crispy Noodle Snack, Monjayaki

In the Tsukishima districts, there are more than 50 Monjayaki restaurants. Each shop prepares their own, unique ingredients. I recommend exploring the area and visiting a shop to find your favorites.

My love of Shrimp took me to the Monjayaki shop “ Kurumi (来る実) ” (Japanese text only), located on a narrow back street in Tsukishima.

A Tsukishima back street

I will show you how to cook Monjayaki!

This is Sweet Shrimp Monja, a specialty of Kurumi.

Let’s see how it’s cooked.

Sweet Shrimp Monja

First, put the cabbage and the shrimp (ingredients) on the iron hot plate. (Keep the batter in the bowl)

cabbage and shrimp

Use the short metal spatulas to chop up and fry the cabbage and shrimp.


Make a ring out of the fried ingredients.

This is the most important step, because if you don’t, the batter leak out of the ring during the next step.


Pour half of the batter in and cook it halfway, after which pouring the rest in.


The restaurant staff had another, ‘secret step’ to keep the sweet shrimp juicy.

Lastly, flatten it out to bake it. Done!


Eat it directly from the iron plate with a tiny iron spatula, but be careful not to burn your tongue!

If cooking Monjayaki looks difficult, don’t worry, the restaurant staff will also cook it for you. I suggest you observe and learn from the staff for your first cup of Monjayaki, and then try cooking the next one yourself.

Sharing a plate of Monjayaki while drinking beer will leave you with many memorable conversations!

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Writer / Translator

I love travelling and tourists! Where to next? Wherever it is, I hope to find a good onsen (hot spring bath), delicious drinks, and friendly people. I enjoy telling Japanese stories in English, and it fills my life with plenty of learning opportunities!


Address 3-8-5 Tsukishima, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 104-0052
Hours Weekday 18.00-22.00 (Last order 21.00)
Sat, Sun and National Holidays 17.00-22.00 (Last order 21.00)
Price approximately 2000 yen
Close Monday (Except when a national holiday falls on Monday. In this case, the shop is open on the holiday and is closed the next day, Tuesday)
Access A 5min walk from Tsukishima Station Exit 7 (either Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line or Toei Subway Oedo Line)
Phone 03-3531-5733
Language Japanese
Website http://www.monja-kurumi.com/index.html (Japanese Text Only)