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Easy Okonomiyaki Recipe – Step-by-Step Guide

19 Jul 2023

Okonomiyaki recipe

Are you craving a delicious and savory Japanese dish that you can easily prepare at home? Look no further than Okonomiyaki! This popular Japanese pancake is not only mouthwatering but also fun to make. In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to prepare a simple and tasty Okonomiyaki right in your own kitchen.

Exploring Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki is a traditional Japanese dish that combines a savory pancake base with various toppings and sauces. The word “okonomi” translates to “what you like” or “what you want,” while “yaki” means “grilled” or “cooked.” This versatile dish allows you to customize the ingredients based on your preferences, making it a favorite among both locals and tourists in Japan.

Ingredients Needed

To make a delicious Okonomiyaki, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 small cabbage, finely shredded
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup sliced cooked bacon or pork belly
  • ½ cup cooked shrimp, chopped (optional)
  • 1 cup tenkasu (tempura scraps) or substitute with panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil for cooking
  • Okonomiyaki sauce (available in Asian grocery stores)
  • Japanese mayonnaise
  • Aonori (dried seaweed flakes)
  • Katsuobushi (bonito flakes)

Step 1: Preparing the Batter

In a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, water, eggs, baking powder, salt, and pepper. Whisk the ingredients together until you achieve a smooth and lump-free batter. The consistency should be similar to that of pancake batter. Set the batter aside for a few minutes.

Step 2: Adding the Vegetables and Meat

Next, add the finely shredded cabbage, sliced green onions, cooked bacon or pork belly, and cooked shrimp (if desired) to the batter. Mix all the ingredients together until they are well-incorporated. The vegetables and meat should be evenly distributed throughout the batter.

Step 3: Cooking the Okonomiyaki

Place a large non-stick frying pan or griddle over medium heat and add a generous amount of vegetable oil. Once the oil is hot, pour a ladleful of the batter onto the pan and spread it out into a circular shape. Cook the Okonomiyaki for approximately 4-5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crispy.

Step 4: Adding Toppings and Sauce

Once both sides of the Okonomiyaki are cooked, transfer it to a serving plate. Drizzle a generous amount of Okonomiyaki sauce over the pancake, followed by Japanese mayonnaise. Sprinkle aonori (dried seaweed flakes) and katsuobushi (bonito flakes) on top for added flavor and visual appeal.

Step 5: Serving and Enjoying

Your homemade Okonomiyaki is now ready to be served! Cut it into wedges using a spatula or a knife and garnish with additional green onions, if desired. Okonomiyaki is often enjoyed with a side of pickled ginger and a cold beverage such as Japanese green tea or a refreshing glass of beer. Dig in and savor the delightful flavors of this traditional Japanese pancake!

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Tips and Variations to Try

  • Experiment with different fillings: Besides cabbage, you can add other vegetables like shredded carrots or bean sprouts to the batter for added texture and flavor.
  • Try different proteins: Instead of bacon or pork belly, you can use thinly sliced beef, chicken, or even seafood like squid or octopus.
  • Vegetarian or vegan option: Omit the meat and seafood, and add more vegetables and tofu to create a delicious vegetarian or vegan Okonomiyaki.
  • Make mini Okonomiyaki: Prepare smaller-sized pancakes for a fun and bite-sized twist. They are perfect for parties or as appetizers.
  • Explore regional variations: Different regions in Japan have their own unique styles of Okonomiyaki. Consider trying Hiroshima-style or Osaka-style Okonomiyaki for a taste of regional authenticity.

Health Benefits of Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki can be a nutritious and balanced meal when prepared with wholesome ingredients. The cabbage in Okonomiyaki is rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The dish also offers a good source of protein from the meat and seafood. Additionally, you have the flexibility to control the amount of oil and sodium used during the cooking process.


In conclusion, making your own Okonomiyaki at home is a delightful experience that allows you to unleash your creativity in the kitchen. With a few simple steps and readily available ingredients, you can prepare a scrumptious Japanesepancake that will impress your family and friends. Customize it to your liking, experiment with different fillings and toppings, and enjoy the wonderful flavors of this beloved Japanese dish. So, what are you waiting for? Get into the kitchen and start flipping those Okonomiyaki pancakes!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Can I make Okonomiyaki without eggs?

  • Yes, you can substitute eggs with a flaxseed or chia seed mixture as a vegan alternative. Mix 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed or chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and let it sit for a few minutes until it thickens.

Q2: Where can I find Okonomiyaki sauce?

  • Okonomiyaki sauce is available in most Asian grocery stores. If you can’t find it, you can make a homemade version by combining Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, soy sauce, and sugar.

Q3: Can I freeze leftover Okonomiyaki?

  • While Okonomiyaki is best enjoyed fresh, you can freeze any leftovers in an airtight container. Reheat them in a pan or oven until heated through.

Q4: Can I use a different type of flour for Okonomiyaki?

  • All-purpose flour is the most commonly used flour for Okonomiyaki. However, you can experiment with other flours like buckwheat or gluten-free flour blends for variations.

Q5: Is Okonomiyaki a main course or a side dish?

  • Okonomiyaki can be enjoyed as both a main course and a side dish. It can be a satisfying meal on its own or served alongside other Japanese dishes.