One of the best Japanese dishes you could try making is this Japanese Okonomiyaki! It’s an easy dish to make that requires minimal effort – perfect when you’re short on time!
What is Okonomiyaki?
Okonomiyaki is a Japanese-styled pancake, consisting mainly of cabbage. It’s a native Japanese dish that has evolved over time – different areas in Japan have their own distinct versions of this dish. I first tried this “Japanese Savoury Pancake” back in Osaka back in 2015, and have been obsessed with it ever since! Loosely translated, Okonomiyaki essentially means “what you want, grilled”.
What ingredients I use:
My version of this recipe is not authentic – I’m not native Japanese, however, the ingredients I use to make this delicious dish includes:
To make the paste I use egg, chicken stock, water and all-purpose flour. For the filling, I like to use brown onion, cabbage, spring onion and sometimes even garlic. To garnish, I use Okonomiyaki sauce, mayonnaise and bonito flakes.
I know that authentic Japanese Okonomiyaki recipes don’t usually include onions or garlic, but I’ve found that including those ingredients creates such a great blend of ingredients. It all compliments the Okonomiyaki sauce and bonito flakes so well!
Okonomiyaki sauce is a unique sauce that is both sour and sweet simultaneously. I’ve been using store-bought Okonomiyaki sauce for my homemade Okonomiyaki – having lived in Asia for a few years, I brought back some staple cupboard necessities, including authentic Okonomiyaki sauce.
I’ve found store-bought Okonomiyaki sauce in my local Asian supermarket. If you can’t find it in yours, you can either order it from Amazon or make it from scratch, using Worcestershire sauce, ketchup and some sugar. If you prefer it to be less tangy, then add some light soy sauce or oyster sauce to the mix. The Ketchup should be your main ingredient – add the other ingredients depending on your preferences.
If you don’t already have Okonomiyaki flour at home, you don’t need to go out and buy it specifically for this dish. You can get the same results with just using all-purpose flour as an alternative. But if you prefer, you can buy the specific flour on Amazon.
The bonito flakes can be bought in a local Asian supermarket or can be ordered on Amazon.
Different places in Japan use different ingredients to make this dish. If you want to make a plain okonomiyaki dish, then you can just use shredded cabbage and ignore the rest of the filling ingredients I’ve listed in my recipe. If you want to add some meat, you can either cut some small, bite-sized pieces of chicken, pork or beef and mix it into the filling, or you can place it on top of the cooked Okonomiyaki.
When I was in Tokyo, I stumbled upon an amazing Okonomiyaki restaurant. They had a selection of Okonomiyaki dishes to choose from. Once you order, they give you all the raw ingredients in a bowl, and then let you fry the pancake yourself on a teppanyaki plate! One of the Okonomiyaki I ordered had beef strips over the cabbage pancake. So if you don’t want the meat in the actual pancake, you can place it on top once it’s cooked.
Why you should try this dish:
Okonomiyaki is such a unique dish that you must try! It’s so different from most recipes you come across nowadays and because it’s so versatile, you can customise the recipe to meet everyone’s preferences.
What goes well with this dish:
You can either serve this dish on its own, or you can make some Japanese gyoza as a side. In my family, we usually share one Okonomiyaki between two people. But when I was in Japan, we would often try various street foods simultaneously.
Hints and Tips (Mistakes to avoid):
- I once cut the cabbage too big, so it took a lot longer for the Okonomiyaki to cook on both sides. The smaller you chop the cabbage, the quicker it takes the Okonomiyaki to cook.
- Don’t cook at too high a temperature. The pancake can easily brown before the cabbage is fully cooked, so I highly recommend you cook it at a medium heat instead.
How hard is it to make Okonomiyaki?
It really is quite simple to make this Japanese cabbage pancake. The most difficult part of this recipe is flipping the Okonomiyaki multiple times without breaking it. It takes a maximum of 15 minutes to prepare all the ingredients and only 10-15 minutes to cook the actual pancake.
Can Okonomiyaki be refrigerated?
If you wish to store your leftover Okonomiyaki, you can simply wrap it in cling film or an airtight container and place in the fridge for a maximum of two days. To reheat, simply place the pancake in a pan and heat at medium heat for 5-10 minutes.
Is Okonomiyaki healthy?
Okonomiyaki is a healthy dish to make. The main ingredient in Okonomiyaki is cabbage, which is rich in Vitamin K and C, beneficial for your body. The Okonomiyaki sauce and Mayonnaise are not the healthiest, but you can choose how much or how little sauce you want with your dish.
Is Okonomiyaki vegetarian?
A basic Okonomiyaki recipe is vegetarian. You don’t need any meat to make this delicious meal, however, you can add meat either in the filling or over the cooked Okonomiyaki if you prefer. Some Japanese restaurants serve Okonomiyaki with meat.
More delicious Asian dishes includes:
Japanese Okonomiyaki RecipeCuisine: JapaneseDifficulty: Easy
1 medium brown onion
1 spring onion
1 garlic clove
1 medium-large egg
1 tsp chicken stock
50g all-purpose flour
Brown okonomiyaki sauce
- Wash and shred the cabbage into smaller pieces.
- Peel and finely chop the garlic.
- Peel and chop the brown onion and spring onion.
- Crack and whisk the egg.
- Mix the all-purpose flour, chicken stock, water and egg together until smooth.
- Add the shredded cabbage, onion, spring onion and garlic to the egg paste.
- Pour a tbsp of vegetable oil into the pan. Add the okonomiyaki content to the pan and even it out. Cook this at medium heat for 3 minutes.
- After 3 minutes, flip the okonomiyaki over. Continue cooking the okonomiyaki at medium heat for another 7 minutes.
- Flip the okonomiyaki again and cook for a further 5-10 minutes.
- Once the okonomiyaki is brown on both sides, and the cabbage is cooked, place the okonomiyaki on a plate.
- Add a layer of okonomiyaki brown sauce on the surface and even it out.
- Add some mayonnaise and decorate the okonomiyaki to your preference.
- Add some tuna flakes on top of the okonomiyaki, ready to serve. Enjoy 🙂