Okonomiyaki - simplified recipe


Yesterday I made okonomiyaki for breakfast, as I had bought some Napa cabbage specifically for this recipe. The one drawback was that the Tenskau I had on hand had gone back - need to get some more the next time I go to a Japanese market. A good substitute for this is Rice Krispies, but I don't have those either.

I have posted this recipe before and but I am posting it again because now you can get all the odd ingredients needed for it from Amazon, including Okonomiyaki sauce, which I also bought rather than made, although I include the recipe for the sauce. This link also includes the Okonomiyaki flour and Kewpie Mayonnaise, which I consider essential, but you also need bonito flakes.



cup ketchup (use sugar reduced Heinz)
tbsp Worcestershire sauce
tsp Dijon mustard
tbsp Mirin
tbsp sugar
tsp soy sauce


cup cake flour (or okonomiyaki mix)
tbsp grated Japanese Yam or Taro root, or 2 tbsp potato or tapioca
tsp baking powder
cup dashi (3/4 cup water plus 1 tsp dashi no moto [+ 1 tsp seaweed
(can use 2 tsp soy sauce instead of dashi no moto)
to 2 cups finely shredded Napa cabbage (about 1/3 head)
green onions, finely sliced, including tops (or 1/3 cup minced white
tbsp minced beni shoga (pickled red ginger; can substitute sushi
thinly sliced sausages or teriyaki meatballs (about 7 ounces)
1/3 cup Tenkasu (Tempura bits) – can substitute Rice
Krispies or Panko
2-3 tbsp vegetable oil (or olive oil) for sautéing
6 strips bacon, cut into 3” pieces (Optional)

(Okonomiyaki sauce, above)
cupkatsuobushi (bonito flakes), chopped
Mayonnaise (or 2 tbsp mayonnaise with 1/2 tsp wasabi or Sriracha
tbsp toasted and crumbled nori (or sesame-nori Furikake), optional

a small saucepan, combine the sauce ingredients and bring to a boil.
Cook over low heat for three minutes, remove the pan from the heat,
and set aside. [I do not keep ketchup on hand and therefore use
store bought Okonomiyaki sauce.]

the flour, starch, and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the
dashi and eggs, and whisk until you have a smooth batter. Adjust the
liquid, if necessary, to become pancake batter consistency. Add the
cabbage, benishoga, sausages/meatballs, and tensaksu and stir until
evenly combined. Divide batter in half (each half will be about
1-1/3 cups).

a griddle (or two very large iron skillets) and add the vegetable
oil, evenly distributing. Remove excess oil and reserve it for oiling
the griddle later. Pour 1/2 of the batter into a circle, and spread
the circle to a 6 to 6½” diameter, using spatulas to push the
outside edges back into the correct diameter and to keep the
thickness even. Repeat with the remaining batter. Add bacon strips
to cover the top of each pancake (if using). Cook the pancakes over
medium heat for about 3 minutes; flip, and cook for 4 more minutes.
Flip pancakes again (bacon side up) and cook for 3 more minutes or
until firm and well browned. Can be flipped multiple times to get
even doneness.

to plate and spread reserved okonomiyaki sauce thinly over the top
surface of each pancake. (You will need only half of the sauce made
and can reserve the rest for the next batch.)

Sprinkle bonito flakes
on top of sauce and press in lightly, to keep in place.

Drizzle with
Kewpie Mayonnaise

(or substitute made), and then sprinkle on the
crumbled nori or Furikake. You can use the Furikake of your choice,
but it should definitely have nori and sesame. (I forgot to do this, but since I used
tsukudani in my dashi, it was not necessary.)

each pancake into six wedges and serve hot. Can be reheated on the
griddle if needed. I also forgot to cut mine into wedges, but I set knives with the plates.

This is one of my favorite ways to have cabbage, but Kevin said he could not even tell it had cabbage in it.

I have a very large pancake turner that I use for this, but I have seen chefs in restaurants using two turners to keep the batter in place and for turning. The original recipe called for 1 cup of flour, but this made a batter that is too loose, and so I added another 2 tablespoons. If I had not added this flour, the batter would have been a bit runny, and I would have needed two turners to keep the batter in place.

Here is another method:

Comments (15)
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Thanks! I looooove Okonomiyaki!

Save     Thanked by Lars
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Lars, I've never had it, but it looks delicious, I'm definitely going to have to try that. Thanks for the notes on texture, mine would be runny and I'd think I'd messed it up!


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Thank you for this! My daughter spent time in Japan as an exchange student and she said this was one of her favorites. I can't wait to gather the ingredients and make it for her. She didn't have bonito flakes on hers but the sauces she said looked identical to what she had.

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Looks delicious, Lars

@emncarspam --- often the bonito flakes are a bit lighter -- I think Lars loves bonito.

I love mine with shrimp -- but maybe combined with bacon or pork belly would be awesome!

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Love these as well. I have them as a lunch when I visit my nearest city. Sushi places serve them and I always ask for two sauces when they ask .

I hadn't thought of making them at home. They look very good Lars.

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Lars/J. Robert Scott

Here's a link to Gottsui reviews, the restaurant where we first had okonomiyaki. I do not remember the rubber chickens that you are supposed to squeeze when you are ready to order, but we have not been there for a while, since I now make okonomiyaki myself. I might want to go back for the Yakisoba, which I also make, but I might need some more inspiration. Also, they do have Kobe beef, which I ordered the last time I was there, and it was especially good.

I think there are now okonomiyaki restaurants all over, and so there might be one near you. My BIL said that he used to eat okonomiyaki a lot when he was poor and living in Japan, as it was considered peasant food and was inexpensive. He ate it a lot because he liked it, however.

I may have used what looks like a lot of bonito flakes (from the photos), but it really was not that much. It is very fluffy and light and will blow away if you do not press it into the sauce.

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I found a okonomiyaki mix and made it tonight. I used your sauce recipe. It was perfect. Thanks for the recipe. I added shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, minced green onions and bacon to the mix. Maybe when I'm feeling more adventurous I will make the actual pancakes you posted from scratch.

Save     Thanked by Lars
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Glad yours turned out! I don't think very many people make this recipe, but after making it once, I started making it fairly often. I did adjust the recipe to add an additional 1/8 cup flour, as my batter did come out a bit runny the last few times I made it. If the batter is thick enough, it will hold its shape better, but if it is runny, it is difficult to control. The ones I make now are a bit smaller than in my first photo.

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Lars, What kind of sausages do you use for this?

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I have used a variety of sausages for this, including hot Italian turkey sausage, but if I have them, I use Chinese sausage. I have also used leftover Chinese meatballs.

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In case anyone is interested in making this after the table quiz, here is the recipe again. I misspelled Tenkasu in the first part of my post, but it is spelled correctly in the recipe part. Anyway, you can substitute Rice Krispies for it if you cannot find it, but it does help the texture of the final product. I should have adjusted my recipe to include 1/8 cup more flour, but if you make this, you simply have to add enough flour to make the batter thick enough so that it will not be too runny. If the batter is too thin, the pancakes will spread out too much and be very difficult to flip.

I do not use bacon in mine (as a rule), but it is a nice addition, if you like it. Also, you do need a fairly large turner for these, or else you can just make them smaller. I use what I think is a cake lifter, but I bought it specifically for okonomiyaki. The name means "as you like it" and so there are many variations, and you can vary the recipe to suit your taste. I find this dish to be a very welcome addition to my breakfast menu.

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writersblock (9b/10a)

Glad this post got a bump. It's only from having read it before that I got the right answer to the first question on the quiz, so thanks, Lars.

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rhoder551 zone 9b-10

Yum, that looks good. Never had this or heard of it....

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I made okonomiyaki for breakfast again this morning, since I was at Marukai Market yesterday and bought some more Tenkasu and bonito flakes. Although I have Napa cabbage on hand, I decided to use up the last of my head cabbage this time, and I decided that I like it better this way. I plan to make some more kimchi with the Napa cabbage - I did not like what I made with the head cabbage.

I used up the last of my Kewpie Mayonnaise and should have bought some yesterday, but I can always go back or make a substitute for it.

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I haven't eaten this... but I am interested, and will try to make it in the near future. (I love nearly all Japanese foods, although no interest in trying natto)

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