Monday, April 16, 2012

How to Make Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き): Japanese-style pancakes

Okonomiyaki on wikipedia. I threw a party with some friends on Friday night and we had a great time preparing these Japanese-style pancakes. Highly recommend. All thanks to Natsumi F. for cooking for us and allowing me to write it up for this blog. Without her expert knowledge of okonomiyaki restaurants and cooking, the night wouldn't have been the same. What I like most about this dish is that (similar to pancakes back home) its really hard to screw up to the point that it becomes inedible. In other words, this is really great bachelor food! The following amounts are approximations. 


Cabbage, 1 head
1lb (500g) bacon (substitute: chicken, beef, shrimp, squid, spam, or any combination thereof)
1 package (500g) Okonomiyaki mix (a magical flour mixture including salt, powdered eggs, and pixy dust)(I am pretty sure this is an important ingredient, but I really want to try replacing with a simple mixture of flour and salt to determine just how important this is)
8 eggs
1/2 cup water
cooking oil
Okonomiyaki sauce (could probably use teriyaki sauce or even ketchup if you wanted, traditionalists will cringe fiercely at this) 
nagaimo (Chinese Yam)(optional but highly recommend)
Katsuobushi(optional but highly recommend)

I bought these ingredients at the Japanese grocery store called Hanamasa. You can buy online here.
Experiment with other ingredients such as: shredded cheese, pickled daikon, or anything leftover in the fridge. 
Makes 6-10 pancakes

TIP: Use grated or diced nagaimo (Chinese Yam) to make the okonomiyaki pancake stick together. Used to produce an aesthetically pleasing pancake... and you say "aesthetics schmetics,  it tastes the same in the end" to which the chief dietitian of bachelor food would have to agree. 

First step: shred half the cabbage and place in a bowl. 

Next: Slice and grate/dice up the nagaimo, being sure to remove the outer layer of skin

 Pour the entire contents of the bag of Okonomiyaki Mix into a large bowl. Add the eggs and water. 
Stir until well mixed. Constancy should be a little runnier than cake batter. Add more water as needed.

Then, cut the bacon into two inch strips. 

In a small bowl, add a large handful of shredded cabbage, the equivalent of 2 or 3 strips of bacon and the nagaimo. Pour in enough batter to evenly cover the cabbage and bacon mixture. 

Next, heat your frying pan or griddle with a splash of cooking oil.

When hot, pour in the cabbage/bacon/batter mix (1 pancake should be about 8 inches in diameter).

Cook on medium heat until browned. Flip. Repeat for the other side. 

NOTE: We got pretty good results by covering the pancake with the lid of an 8 inch pot.

Next, pose with your pancake!!

Finally, top with mayonnaise, Okonomiyaki sauce, and Katsuobushi. (Aonori, if you got it). 

Serve and Enjoy! Thanks for reading. 

Do you like Okonomiyaki? Let me know what your favorite ingredients are in the comments below. Mucho aloha! :-D


  1. I found this recipe for the okonomiyaki sauce if you can't readily buy it for anyone not in Japan. And all the ingredients are pretty standard to buy in the states, besides maybe the mirin.

  2. Tried okonomiyaki with corn and cut-up sausage. delicious!!

  3. Everyone always looks happier with good food. I will be trying this recipe sometime this week. Onigiri today however.