Easy Okonomiyaki Recipe - Japanese Savoury Pancakes (2024)

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Okonomiyaki are Japanese savoury pancakes packed with flavour and SO easy to make! Ready in less than 30 minutes, this ‘as you like it‘ pancake recipe is sure to be the new family favourite.

Easy Okonomiyaki Recipe - Japanese Savoury Pancakes (1)

Why We Love This

This is one of our favourite (and most cooked) Japanese recipesever from our blog. That’s because when it comes to delicious, healthy and quick recipes, nothing beats Japanese style savoury pancakes!

The batter is super simple to prepare and cook, with a mouth-watering mix of toppings including okonomiyaki sauce (similar to bbq sauce) and Kewpie mayo.

It’s such a versatile recipe – literally make it as you like it! Go for the traditional ingredients listed below, add others to suit your tastes, or use up leftover veggies from the fridge.

Related: Fried Tofu Patties (Ganmodoki) / Potato Pancakes (Gamja Jeon)

Easy Okonomiyaki Recipe - Japanese Savoury Pancakes (2)

What is Okonomiyaki?

As a quick translation,okonomi (as you like it) +yaki (grilled) stands for a simplepancake batter made from flour, eggs and stock flavoured water (usually dashi), filled with cabbage and other tasty ingredients like pork, shrimp or corn.

You’ll find this classic Japanese street food dish at markets, festivals and specialty okonomiyaki restaurants where it’s cooked on large hot plates in the middle of the table. It’s also a popular meal Japanese families will cook at home, usually tweaking the recipe to suit their own tastes, methods or to use up ingredients they already have on hand.

Where We Learned This Recipe

Out of all of Japan’s delicious street food dishes (piping hottakoyaki, yakisoba noodles,hand-rolled sushi andonigiri rice balls) this is the dish that takes us right back to Osaka (the city that’s our beloved second home).

We first tried okonomiyaki with our Osaka-mum Rieko and her friend Noriko. They took us to their favourite restaurant in Osaka, where the piping hot pancakes were cooked on a teppan hot plate right in front of us. One taste and we were hooked! We’ve since been back to Japan and tried it at a few different places around the city and on our adventures across the country.

Each region does it a little differently, with different batter and topping ingredients. Our favourite version is Kansai/Osaka style Okonomiyaki because that’s where we first tried it, but we also enjoyed Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki made with soba noodles.

What You’ll Need

See the recipe card below for the full ingredients and quantities. Here’s a little more info about the key ingredients you’ll need:

For the pancake base:

  • Pork / Bacon – While Osaka/Kansai-style okonomiyaki is usually topped with thin strips of pork belly, at home we’ll substitute with bacon slices for convenience. If you’re after thinly sliced pork, shabu shabu hot pot style, you can usually find these at Asian grocers in the freezer section.
  • Cabbage – We usually use Asian cabbage (known as wombok or napa cabbage), but frequently make it with savoy or cannonball cabbage and they work just fine.
  • Flour – The batter is made with a mix of all purpose flour and cornstarch to give it a little extra crispiness.
  • Dashi Powder – We usually use dashi powder instead of dashi stock as it’s much quicker to use, especially when you only need such a small amount to flavour the batter. If you have the time, you can also make your own dashi stock at home.

For the toppings:

  • Okonomiyaki Sauce – This is the key to the classic okonomiyaki flavour. You can make your own homemade okonomiyaki sauce with a few simple sauces you probably already have on hand, buy it online (look for the “Otaf*cku” brand), or from Asian grocers. It’s similar(ish) to yakisoba sauce or tonkatsu sauce, so feel free to use either if you already have one on hand.
  • Kewpie Mayonnaise – It’s best to use Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise because it has a unique flavour compared to regular mayonnaise. You’ll sometimes find it in well stocked supermarkets (head to the International aisle), online or from Asian grocers, or make your own Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise at home. You can also find more Kewpie recipe ideas here.
  • Dried Seaweed Flakes – Known as aonori in Japanese, this is finely chopped seaweed that adds a beautiful colour and subtle flavour to the pancakes. Substitute with nori seaweed if you need to (tear it or slice it up into small flakes).
  • Dried Bonito Flakes – Known as katsuobushi in Japanese, this is dried, smoked bonito fish that is finely shaved into flakes. The umami flavour is out of this world, and not as ‘fishy’ as it smells. We also love watching the flakes curl up and dance when topped over piping hot okonomiyaki! If you’re not a fan, just leave it out.
  • Pickled Red Ginger (Optional) – Also known as beni shoga, it adds a hint of tangy flavour and crunch. It’s also a popular topping for takoyaki. Super easy to make your own red pickled ginger at home! It’s becoming more common at regular supermarkets, otherwise buy from an Asian grocer or online. If you don’t have any or can’t source it, just leave it out.
  • Japanese 7 Spice (Optional) – Also known as shichimi togarashi, this seasoning is as common as salt and pepper in Japanese cuisine, usually paired with aonori. You can buy it online, find it at Asian grocers or even make it at home like we did.
Easy Okonomiyaki Recipe - Japanese Savoury Pancakes (3)

How to make Japanese ‘As You Like It’ Pancakes:

Easy Okonomiyaki Recipe - Japanese Savoury Pancakes (4)
Easy Okonomiyaki Recipe - Japanese Savoury Pancakes (5)
Easy Okonomiyaki Recipe - Japanese Savoury Pancakes (6)
  1. Fry the bacon until cooked through and crispy, then set aside to cool.No need to use oil here, as the bacon will release its own oil as you cook it.
  2. To make the batter, combine the eggs and dashi powder dissolved in the warm water in a small mixing bowl and beat gently. In a separate large mixing bowl add your flour and cornflour, then pour over with the egg and dashi stock mixture. Stir and combine until smooth.
  3. Next, add the shredded cabbage, half of the green onion slices, cooked bacon and corn into the batter mixture. Mix until all the dry ingredients are evenly coated (but don’t overmix, we want to keep that cabbage nice and fluffy). There shouldn’t be much excess batter liquid at the bottom – if there is, just add a little more chopped cabbage and mix through gently.
Easy Okonomiyaki Recipe - Japanese Savoury Pancakes (7)
Easy Okonomiyaki Recipe - Japanese Savoury Pancakes (8)
  1. Scoop out the mixture onto a large frying pan over medium heat. We like aiming for a circle shape about 10 cm / 4 inches wide. Cook each pancake for a few mins per side, until lightly browned on both sides.
  2. Transfer your freshly cooked pancakes to serving plates, then top with drizzles of kewpie mayonnaise and okonomiyaki sauce. For even better tasting okonomiyaki, top with sprinklings of dried seaweed flakes, bonito flakes and a few slices of green onion to taste. You can also optionally top with the pickled ginger and Japanese 7 spice here.

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Thinly Sliced Protein is Key – Whether you use pork, bacon or a different protein, always make sure it’s thinly sliced so it will cook through quickly.
  • For Cool Visual Effect – add a layer of bacon or pork on the the pan before topping with the batter. When you flip the pancake, the meat will be visible on top.
  • Pre-heat your Pan – This will help ‘seal’ the bottom of your pancake quickly and hold the round shape. Use your spatula to scrape any rogue batter back to the pancake.
  • Medium Heat – Medium heat works best to cook the pancakes as it allows the inside of the pancake to steam and cook through the middle, without burning the outsides.

FAQs

How do you eat okonomiyaki?

Much like the name of the dish ‘however you like!’. Either chop it up into pieces with a spatula and eat them with chopsticks, or just grab a knife and fork if that’s easiest for you. No stress!

Can you reheat Japanese pancakes?

You can easily reheat okonomiyaki. We usually recommend cooking all the pancakes, then for any you won’t eat that day, just store in an airtight container in the fridge. Eat within 1-3 days and reheat for 1-2 minutes in the microwave, then top with sauces and seasonings.

What do you serve with okonomiyaki?

If you’re eating these pancakes for dinner, they go well served with a light miso soup. Usually at restaurants, we’ll order them alongside a serve of yakisoba noodles as well. If you’re looking to round it out with dessert, finish it off with a plate of our 5 minute mochi!

Variations & Substitutes

  • As You Like It – If you don’t like the traditional ingredients or toppings, you can substitute your “as you like it” pancakes with an endless variety of flavour combinations. For example, we love adding corn and occasionally cooked/chopped prawns (shrimp) to the batter base for extra protein. You could add thinly sliced chicken, beef, calamari, scallops, cheese or soba noodles if you’re feeling adventurous! You’re only limited by your imagination, your tastebuds, and what’s available in your fridge.
  • Add Tenkasu – These are scraps of cooked tempura batter that add a little extra texture to your pancakes, helping to make the batter fluffier once cooked. You can also use it as an extra garnish for little bites of crispiness. You can buy ready made tenkasu online or from Asian grocers, or make them yourself by flicking tempura batter into hot oil and scooping them out once cooked.
Easy Okonomiyaki Recipe - Japanese Savoury Pancakes (9)

Keen to try more homemade Japanese recipes? Here are some of our favourites:

Easy Okonomiyaki Recipe - Japanese Savoury Pancakes (10)
Easy Okonomiyaki Recipe - Japanese Savoury Pancakes (11)
Easy Okonomiyaki Recipe - Japanese Savoury Pancakes (12)
Easy Okonomiyaki Recipe - Japanese Savoury Pancakes (13)

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating below!

Easy Okonomiyaki Recipe – Japanese Savoury Pancakes

Okonomiyaki are Japanese savoury pancakes packed with flavour and SO easy to make! Ready in less than 30 minutes, these 'as you like it' pancakes are sure to be the new family favourite.

5 from 79 votes

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Prep Time: 10 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes minutes

Course: Dinner

Cuisine: Japanese

Servings: 4 pancakes

Calories: 161kcal

Author: Wandercooks

Cost: $5

Ingredients

For the Batter:

Toppings:

  • 2 tbsp kewpie mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp okonomiyaki sauce
  • 1 tsp seaweed flakes / aonori
  • 1 tsp bonito flakes / katsuobushi

MetricUS Customary

Instructions

  • Fry the bacon until cooked through and crispy, then set aside to cool. No need to use oil here, as the bacon will release its own oil as you cook it.

    4 bacon slices

  • To make the batter, combine the eggs and dashi powder dissolved in the warm water in a small mixing bowl and beat gently. In a separate large mixing bowl add your all purpose flour and cornflour, then pour over with the egg and dashi stock mixture. Stir and combine until smooth.

    ⅔ cup plain flour / all purpose flour, 2 tbsp cornstarch / cornflour, 1 tsp dashi powder, 3 eggs, ½ cup warm water

  • Next, add the shredded cabbage, half of the spring onion, cooked bacon and corn into the batter mixture. Mix until all the dry ingredients are evenly coated (but don’t overmix, we want to keep that cabbage nice and fluffy). There shouldn’t be much excess batter liquid at the bottom – if there is, just add a little more chopped cabbage and mix through gently.

    ¼ cabbage, 1-2 spring onion / green onion, ½ cup corn

  • Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add in the vegetable oil and allow to heat up. Scoop out the mixture onto the pan, aiming for a circle shape about 10 cm / 4 inches wide. Cook each pancake for a few mins per side, until lightly browned on both sides.

    1 tbsp vegetable oil

  • Transfer your freshly cooked pancakes to serving plates, then top with drizzles of kewpie mayonnaise and okonomiyaki sauce. For even better tasting okonomiyaki, top with sprinklings of dried seaweed flakes, bonito flakes and a few slices of green onion to taste. You can also optionally top with the pickled ginger and Japanese 7 spice here.

    2 tbsp kewpie mayonnaise, 2 tbsp okonomiyaki sauce, 1 tsp seaweed flakes / aonori, 1 tsp bonito flakes / katsuobushi, 1-2 spring onion / green onion

Video

Easy Okonomiyaki Recipe - Japanese Savoury Pancakes (15)

Recipe Notes

  • Thinly Sliced Protein is Key – Whether you use pork, bacon or a different protein, always make sure it’s thinly sliced so it will cook through quickly.
  • For Cool Visual Effect – add a layer of bacon or pork on the the pan before topping with the batter. When you flip the pancake, the meat will be visible on top.
  • Pre-heat your Pan – This will help ‘seal’ the bottom of your pancake quickly and hold the round shape. Use your spatula to scrape any rogue batter back to the pancake.
  • Medium Heat – Medium heat works best to cook the pancakes as it allows the inside of the pancake to steam and cook through the middle, without burning the outsides.
  • Reheating – You can easily reheat okonomiyaki. We usually recommend cooking all the pancakes, then for any you won’t eat that day, just store in an airtight container in the fridge. Eat within 1-3 days and reheat for 1-2 minutes in the microwave, then top with sauces and seasonings.
  • As You Like It – If you don’t like the traditional ingredients or toppings, you can substitute your “as you like it” pancakes with an endless variety of flavour combinations. For example, we love adding corn and occasionally cooked/chopped prawns (shrimp) to the batter base for extra protein. You could add thinly sliced chicken, beef, calamari, scallops, cheese or soba noodles if you’re feeling adventurous! You’re only limited by your imagination, your tastebuds, and what’s available in your fridge.
  • Add Tenkasu – These are scraps of cooked tempura batter that add a little extra texture to your pancakes, helping to make the batter fluffier once cooked. You can also use it as an extra garnish for little bites of crispiness. You can buy ready made tenkasu online or from Asian grocers, or make them yourself by flicking tempura batter into hot oil and scooping them out once cooked.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts

Easy Okonomiyaki Recipe – Japanese Savoury Pancakes

Amount per Serving

Calories

161

% Daily Value*

Fat

9

g

14

%

Saturated Fat

13

%

Cholesterol

71

mg

24

%

Sodium

181

mg

8

%

Potassium

143

mg

4

%

Carbohydrates

14

g

5

%

Fiber

1

g

4

%

Sugar

2

g

2

%

Protein

6

g

12

%

Vitamin A

165

IU

3

%

Vitamin C

11

mg

13

%

Calcium

27

mg

3

%

Iron

1

mg

6

%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks

Easy Okonomiyaki Recipe - Japanese Savoury Pancakes (16)

About Wandercooks

Wandercooks is an Australian recipe site reaching over 9 million views annually. Our recipes are here to inspire you with fresh and exciting food ideas from a range of Asian, European and Australian cuisines. As seen on Google.com, Today.com, Buzzfeed, Jetstar Asia and Lonely Planet.Read more...

Easy Okonomiyaki Recipe - Japanese Savoury Pancakes (2024)

FAQs

What is a basic okonomiyaki pancake made of? ›

What is Okonomiyaki? As a quick translation, okonomi (as you like it) + yaki (grilled) stands for a simple pancake batter made from flour, eggs and stock flavoured water (usually dashi), filled with cabbage and other tasty ingredients like pork, shrimp or corn.

Can you use pancake mix for okonomiyaki? ›

Pancake mix: I use Bisquick, but you can use any other box mix, or make your own from flour and baking soda if you prefer. Oil or butter: This keeps the pancake from sticking to the pan. I tend to use olive oil, but any vegetable oil or butter will work.

What are Japanese pancakes called? ›

Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pancake)

What are the two types of okonomiyaki? ›

The main difference is in how they are prepared and the relative amounts of each ingredient. In Osaka style okonomiyaki, all of the ingredients are mixed together and cooked together. In Hiroshima style okonomiyaki, all of the ingredients are layered almost like a cake.

What's the difference between pancakes and Japanese pancakes? ›

Unlike traditional pancakes, Japanese versions often incorporate soufflé-like qualities, creating a unique sensory experience. The key lies in using egg whites, whipped to stiff peaks, and abundant eggs in the batter. This meticulous approach results in a texture that is light, airy, and almost ethereal.

What is a substitute for okonomiyaki flour? ›

If you cannot find okonomiyaki flour, use 100g of plain flour mixed with 2g of dashi stock powder and 1 tsp of baking powder.

Why does my okonomiyaki fall apart? ›

Okonomiyaki Recipe Tips

These come out best when they're made with really thin shreds of cabbage. If your cabbage is too chunky, they won't hold together well, and they'll have a denser, less delicate texture.

Is Korean pancake mix same as okonomiyaki? ›

No, unfortunately they're not the same thing. The first problem is a problem of base seasoning—Korean pancake mix usually has a more savory flavor profile of onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, etc. Okonomiyaki has sugar and dashi as primary flavoring.

Do you flip okonomiyaki? ›

Once one side of the okonomiyaki has been sufficiently cooked, the spatulas are used one in each hand to flip it onto the other side. This is the most difficult part of the process, and one needs to make sure that the okonomiyaki has been cooked through enough to hold together.

What are fluffy pancakes in Japan called? ›

These have developed over the years into a fluffy Japanese-style of pancake commonly known as “hottokeki” (hotcakes). Japanese hotcakes are distinguished by their souffle-like texture which creates a thick yet light and fluffy pancake that may be up to several inches high.

What's the difference between okonomiyaki and negiyaki? ›

There's one main difference between negiyaki and standard okonomiyaki; there's no cabbage in this option. Instead, the cabbage is swapped with green onion. You'll have a much stronger onion flavor, though your pancakes will be equally delicious.

How much does okonomiyaki cost? ›

Cheap street food like okonomiyaki, takoyaki, ramen, soba and udon costs between 500 and 1,000 JPY (4.60 to 9.25 USD).

What is that flaky stuff on okonomiyaki? ›

Katsuobushi (Japanese: 鰹節) is simmered, smoked and fermented skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis, sometimes referred to as bonito). It is also known as bonito flakes or broadly as okaka (おかか).

What does okonomiyaki mean in English? ›

The word "okonomiyaki" is derived from "okonomi" meaning "as you like" and "yaki" meaning "grilled. It's commonly referred to as being a Japanese pancake. Accurate to its name, okonomiyaki can be served with a variety of toppings which include everything from meat and seafood to vegetables and cheese.

What is the Tokyo version of okonomiyaki? ›

A type of pan-fried batter or savoury pancake, monjayaki is Tokyo's answer to okonomiyaki, the iconic dish of Hiroshima and Osaka. Monjayaki retains a slightly runny appearance much like melted cheese even when cooked – but the delicious concoction tastes better than it looks.

What are potato pancakes made of? ›

More like hash browns than the style of pancake made using leftover mashed potatoes, the primary ingredient here is uncooked shredded potato that's combined with onion, egg, and flour. The potato mixture is then formed into patties and fried until each round is crisp and golden brown.

What does okonomiyaki contain? ›

Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き) is a popular pan-fried dish that consists of batter and cabbage. Selected toppings and ingredients are added which can vary greatly (anything from meat and seafood to wasabi and cheese). This variability is reflected in the dish's name; "okonomi" literally means "to one's liking".

What is okonomiyaki flour made of? ›

Okonomiyaki flour is made of unbleached wheat and soy flours, leavening and spices such as kelp for flavor. It's designed to rise naturally on its own, meaning you don't need to add extra ingredients like nagaimo to get thick, fluffy pancakes.

What are fluffy Japanese pancakes made of? ›

Soufflé pancakes are all about eggs.

The egg whites are beaten until stiff peaks form and then folded gently and carefully into the rest of the batter. The soufflé pancakes are extra fluffy because the air bubbles hold their shape inside the pancake batter.

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