4.91 from 11 votes
Okonomiyaki is the famous Japanese savory pancake that is usually cooked at the dining table so you can customize it to your taste.
Okonomiyaki (Japanese Savoury Pancake)
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 
Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き) is another Japanese street food, like Yakisoba (Japanese Stir Fried Noodles) which I posted few weeks ago. The batter with loads of shredded cabbage is pan fried with egg, sliced meat, bonito flakes on top. Drizzle sweet Worcestershire sauce, mayonnaise and sprinkle aonori (青のり, green seaweed flakes), benishoga (紅しょが, red pickled ginger) and katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) over it to make it a complete okonomiyaki. The recipe is to make one pancake at a time but you can make two at once if you have extra fry pan or large iron plate to cook on. Please note that cooking time is the time to cook one okonomiyaki or to cook two okonomiyaki at once.
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Japanese
Serves: 2 pancakes for 2-3 Servings
Author: Yumiko
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
Batter
  • cups flour
  • 350ml (11.8oz) dashi stock
  • 1 egg
  • 140g (4.9oz) shredded cabbage
Topping
  • 70g (2.5oz) shredded cabbage
  • 2 eggs
  • 120g (4.2oz) thinly sliced pork (Note 1)
  • ¼ cup katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)
Sauce
  • Bulldog tonkatsu sauce (Note 2)
  • Kewpie Japanese mayonnaise (optional, Note 3)
Garnish (optional but strongly recommended, Note 4)
  • Aonori (dried seaweed flakes)
  • Benishoga (red pickled ginger)
  • Katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)
Instructions
Making Batter
  1. Place flour and dashi in a bowl. Mix well until the batter becomes smooth and lump free. I use a whisk.
  2. Add cabbage, an egg and mix well.
Making the Pancake (One at a time)
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large fry pan or an iron plate over medium heat.
  2. Using a ladle, pour little bit less than half of the batter (Note 5) onto the fry pan/iron plate and spread the batter to make a round pancake (diameter is about 18cm/7”).
  3. Place half of the Topping cabbage on the pancake. Make a well in the middle of the cabbage. Crack an egg in the well.
  4. Spread half the pork over the pancake covering the entire surface. Then sprinkle half the katsuobushi over it.
  5. Fill a bit of batter in a ladle and drizzle it back and forth in across the surface (Note 5). Do not cover the entire surface. All you need is to drop some batter across the meat pieces so that they don’t get separated when cooked.
  6. Cook for about 10 minutes until the bottom of the pancake is light golden brown and when you lift the pancake with a spatula, the pancake does not bend much.
  7. Turn it over with a spatula and cook for another 10 minutes or until the bottom of the pancake is light golden brown.
  8. Turn it over again so that the topping side is facing up. Stick a chopstick in the centre of the pancake and remove it to see if the middle of the pancake is cooked through. If the chopstick is clean and dry, then it is ready to eat.
  9. Transfer the pancake to a plate.
  10. Repeat for the second pancake.
Serving (Note 6)
  1. Drizzle sauce over the surface of the pancake, then Kewpie mayonnaise in the same way if using. Sprinkle aonori, benishoga and katsuobushi if using.
  2. Cut the pancake into quarters and serve immediately.
Recipe Notes

1. There is no rule as to which part of pork to use. As long as it is not for stewing, you can use any kind. I sometimes use thinly sliced pork belly.

You could use beef or chicken instead of pork, or mixture if you want. But the meat needs to be thinly sliced.

You could also use seafood such as squid, prawns, scallops. In the case of squid, I find that slicing it into thin strips work the best. You may also want to slice prawns and scallops thinly if they are large.

2. Bulldog brand tonkatsu sauce is available at Asian/Japanese grocery stores. It is like a thick sweet Worcestershire sauce. You could also buy sauce specialized for okonomiyaki at Japanese grocery stores if you wish. Okonomiyaki sauce is sweeter and less spicy than Tonkatsu Sauce. As a last resort, you can substitute with a mixture of Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce/ketchup and sugar (2:2:1 ratio respectively).

3. This is Japanese mayonnaise which is quite different from Western style mayonnaise. It has less acidity in it and the flavor is enhanced with umami. You can buy Kewpie mayonnaise at Asian/Japanese grocery stores and sometimes at super market in Australia.

4. Aonori is dried seaweed flakes and benishoga is red pickled ginger. In the section “About Yakisoba Garnish” in my post Yakisoba (Japanese Stir Fried Noodles), you can find more details of these ingredients.

Although these are optional, I strongly recommend to eat okonomiyaki with them on top as it enhances the flavor of okonomiyaki.

5. The reason for taking a little bit less than half of the total quantity of batter is that you will need a small amount of batter to pour over the topping. You don’t need to be accurate about the quantity. If you took too much for the first pancake, then make the second panbcake slightly smaller. But make sure that you leave a small amount of batter when the batter for second pancake is placed on the pan.

The recipe is to make one pancake at a time but if you are making two at once by using two frying pans, a BBQ iron plate or an electric teppanyaki plate, then it’s easier to equally divide the batter. But don’t forget to leave some to spread over toppings.

6. If you have a hot plate like mine or a portable cooktop which can be placed on the dining table, then you can leave the pancake on the plate or the fry pan, add sauces and garsnishes and turn the heat off. You can then divide the pancake to eat directly off the plate/fry pan which is more fun!