Okonomiyaki is a Japanese savoury pancake made with a cabbage-based batter and all sorts of unique toppings! It is served with a Worcester-based sauce, Japanese mayonnaise, and bonito flakes on top. Similar to pizza, it is a fun, quick, and tasty dish that’s great for solo dining, group gatherings, and home parties!
In Japan, you can find this dish in okonomiyaki specialty restaurants and in Japanese households! This okonomiyaki recipe is both gluten-free and vegan.
Simply combine the rice-flour mix, water, shredded cabbage, and cooked toppings. Mix until combined and then pour the batter onto a heated skillet. Flip and let the other side cook through. Top with okonomiyaki sauce, Japanese mayonnaise, katsuobushi (bonito flakes), and ao nori (green seaweed) to serve!
What is Okonomiyaki?
“Okonomi” translates to “as you like” and “yaki” means to grill. Similarly to the name, okonomiyaki comes in a variety of toppings and batter ingredients that can be used to make “as you like”! The pancake batter typically has a base of flour, water, and shredded cabbage. Some may add dashi, cornstarch, eggs, yamaimo (mountain potato), or yakisoba (fried noodles) to add texture and taste. If you increase the cabbage to flour ratio, it also becomes a fun and healthy way to eat more vegetables! Once your batter is ready, you can add your favourite topping combinations into the batter!
There are so many ways to enjoy okonomiyaki and you can easily arrange this recipe with your favourite toppings! Here are a few common topping ideas:
- Seafood style: squid, shrimp, octopus
- Meat style: thinly sliced pork, beef, chicken
- Mentaiko, cheese, and mochi
You can also try mixing the combinations (ie. shrimp and pork) or make it vegan by adding your favourite vegetables!
- 100g okonomiyaki mix
- 140ml water
- 150g cabbage (shredded)
- 50g thinly sliced pork belly or beef (can also substitute other proteins such as chicken, shrimp, octopus, squid, etc. or omit to make it vegan-friendly)
- Oil for cooking
- Okonomiyaki sauce (if available or mix ketchup and Worcester sauce in a 1:1 ratio). You can also substitute soy sauce*, mayo, ponzu or salt.
- Additional toppings (as desired): Japanese mayonnaise,aonori (seaweed flakes), katsuobushi (bonito/skipjack tuna flakes), pickled red ginger, chopped green onions
- Chop and precook the chicken, shrimp, octopus, squid, etc. if using. Set aside.
- In a bowl, combine the okonomiyaki mix with 140ml of water. Mix until smooth. Add the shredded cabbage and cooked protein from step 1 if using. Mix and combine well.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan or griddle on medium heat. Once the pan or griddle is hot, pour on the batter from step 2 to make one large, flat pancake. Add the thin slices of pork or beef to cover the top of the pancake. Cook until the bottom surface becomes light brown (about 4 mins). Then flip using a large spatula, and cook the opposite side for about 4 mins.
- Serve hot with okonomiyaki sauce and any of your favorite toppings. Cut into portions for each person.
Introduction courtesy of Tiffany Furukawa
Tiffany spent her childhood exploring Japanese food in the suburbs of Tokyo and helping her Obaachan (grandmother) in the kitchen. These experiences nurtured her passion for food and she is now studying environmental sustainability and food sciences at university. In her free time, Tiffany loves discovering hidden restaurants in Japan, trying out new recipes in the kitchen, and going on runs!