March 7, 2011

Easy Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki is a savoury Japanese pancake. A traditional Osaka style okonomiyaki is usually made with flour, grated yam, dashi, eggs and cabbage and the toppings usually include meat (usually pork / bacon) and or seafood such as octopus, squid or shrimps. The Osaka people have way better marketing skills as this is the version that is predominant throughout the world. The Hiroshima style okonomiyaki has the ingredients in layers instead of being mixed in the batter and they sometimes have noodles, cheese and a fried egg as topping options and I have personally never tried the Hiroshima version. Like I often say, marketing is very important. Go Osaka!

Now, this homemade easy-peasy version is made from basic, common day to day ingredients. The flavours will definitely be enhanced with actual bonito flakes, japanese mayonnaise and the proper okonomiyaki sauce. However, not everyone has access to these wonderful japanese goodies and so, we make do. And I’m happy to say that it’s still as tasty. If you’re keen to try out the traditional recipe, see this.

Makes about 6-8 small pancakes

  • 1 cup – all purpose flour
  • 1 cup – dashi stock (I used diluted chicken stock instead)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 – head of cabbage, shredded
  • 6 – 8 strips of streaky bacon (1 strip per pancake)
  • Makeshift okonomi sauce (1/4 cup bbq sauce mixed with 1 tsp worchestershire sauce)
  • Regular mayonnaise

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and stock with a pinch of salt and whisk till you get a smooth batter.

2. Add in the shredded cabbage and beaten egg. Mix well.

3. In a hot greased skillet, place about 5 – 6 tablespoons of the cabbage mixture – keeping it as round as possible. (Just like you would a pancake) Lower the heat and keep an eye on the bottom to make sure it doesn’t burn.

4. In the meantime, slice one strip of bacon into 4 one inch pieces and place them on the topside of the cooking pancake. After about 2 – 3 mins or until the bottom is nicely golden, flip the pancake. The bacon should now be on the underside, busily browning away. Cook another 2 – 3 minutes or until bacon and the rest of the pancake is cooked, crisp and golden brown.

4.  Remove from skillet, and top with mayonnaise and the bbq sauce mixture. Serve hot. Repeat with the rest of the batter.

Tomorrow is Shrove Tuesday. For people in the UK, it’s also called Pancake Day. Basically the traditions of Shrove Tuesday is the day preceding Ash Wednesday where the sombre season of Lent begins. Where the more religious-inclined take to a period of praying and fasting. Where foods such as sugar, fat and eggs were restricted. (Omg!) Which is why on Shrove Tuesday, you celebrate with a feast full of food made from sugar, fat and eggs. I guess in the old days, that means pancakes? Whatever it was, I’m happy it’s Pancake Day.

Which led me to post about a Japanese pancake. Hmm…I guess it’d do. Pancakes – savoury or sweet are just as good!

And in line with tradition, I will be having buttermilk pancakes for dinner tomorrow and I can’t wait!


Join the conversation! 14 Comments

  1. I’d be pleased to send recipes for homemade Kewpie Mayo and feasible Okonomiyaki sauce–but as attachments, I would need your email address.

  2. This is great – my husband did an exchange to Japan when he was in school and always talks about okonomiyaki, so time to make them. In Australia we can get the bonito etc easily too so I’ll try it with that when I get back home in May.
    Also I love your header!

  3. Ugh, I completely agree.
    I’ve just been skimming over some of your archives and have been laughing at how many places we’ve both visited over the last year. I’ve been on a year-long honeymoon in Europe (life’s tough!) and we’ve gone to lots of places you have – in fact we may have been in Amsterdam the same weekend in February! I’ve just started my blog so will be sharing some travel stories in a very delayed fashion :)

    • A year-long honeymoon! I’m jealous! My husband and I have been here (for work) for 4 years now. Time to go home! :) Which part of Australia are you from? I’ll be heading back to Melbourne.

  4. We’re from Adelaide and will be going back there for a year or so before moving somewhere (quite possibly Melbourne) to do graduate study.
    After a year we’re definitely missing home – but also missing regular life a bit too – a year away from reality has been incredible but yeah, time to go home :)

    PS You’re on my blogroll now – for beatiful posts and photographs and for the amazing symmetry in our travels!

  5. Yes definitely :) I’ve just started with the blogging thing and it would be good to plug into the ‘scene’ when I get back!

  6. […] Easy Okonomiyaki (Japanese pizza) […]

  7. My name is Jana French and I am an intern for Cooking Stoned, a vegetarian food blog. I’m working on a slideshow of savory pancakes and was wondering if I could include this recipe along with a photo from your post. If you’re interested, please send me an email at!


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About droolfactor

It's all about my gastronomical journeys, and sometimes an inedible thought or two. One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating. ~Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright, Pavarotti, My Own Story This is my personal journey where I devote my attention to eating, cooking, experimenting and taking chances. Anything I come across with a droolfactor worth sharing, it's here. I hope you'll enjoy this journey with me.


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