Okonomiyaki Recipe (Japanese Pancakes)
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Why You’ll Love Okonomiyaki
Okonomiyaki is a popular Japanese street food that is, in a word, addictive. Roughly translated to “grilled as you like it”, okonomiyaki can be topped with all of your favorite savory toppings!
Savory, crisp, and tender, these umami-full shredded cabbage and panko pancakes are lightly fried and covered in classic Japanese toppings. These toppings include a tangy homemade Okonomiyaki sauce, Kewpie mayo, and smoked fish flakes (Bonito). Each bite has just the right amount of creaminess, sweet and salty flavors, and basically everything you love in your favorite veggie sushi.
Although Okonomiyaki has plenty of complex flavors, it is actually simple to make in less than 30 minutes from start to finish. So they are great to prepare in hurry and enjoy as an amazing snack, hearty appetizer, or as part of a full meal.
Go ahead and have all the ingredients you need on hand to make this authentic Okonomiyaki recipe as a last-minute dish anytime! Future you is going to be super grateful.
Ingredients You Need
While there are a few different components for this Okonomiyaki recipe, nothing is overly complicated. The ingredients needed to make traditional Japanese pancakes with Okonomiyaki sauce can be found at most international markets or online.
To make the pancakes you need:
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Warm water
- Dashi powder
- Finely shredded cabbage
- Chopped scallions
- Tenkasu – or panko breadcrumbs
- Sesame oil
For the Japanese pancake sauce you need:
- Oyster sauce
- Worcestershire sauce
Classic Okonomikyai toppings (in addition to the sauce)
- Kewpie mayo
- Chopped scallions
- Bonito – katsuobushi smoked fish flakes
- Furikake seasoning – or seaweed flakes
- Sushi ginger
How to Make Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pancakes)
First, set out a large mixing bowl. Mix the warm water and dashi in the bowl to dissolve the dashi.
Then whisk in the eggs, flour, and baking powder. You will have a thin, smooth batter.
Once the batter is smooth, fold in the shredded cabbage, scallions, and breadcrumbs. You want the ingredients to be well combined without over-mixing to the point of mushiness.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees to use as a warmer while you cook the pancakes. Then set a cookie sheet in the oven.
Set a small nonstick skillet over medium heat, and add 1 teaspoon of sesame oil. Add one-fourth of the batter to the hot skillet. If you have more than one small skillet, you can cook several pancakes at the same time.
Then press into a round, even layer, about ½ inch thick. The size should be close to a small side or salad plate.
Place a lid over the skillet to steam the pancake as it cooks.
Cook the Japanese cabbage pancake covered for 5 minutes per side. Try to only flip the pancake over one time, but you can go back and forth once or twice until completely cooked and golden.
Get the Complete (Printable) Okonomiyaki Recipe + VIDEO Below. Enjoy!
Move the cooked pancakes to the cookie sheet and keep them in the warm oven.
Repeat the Okonomiyaki frying steps until all four pancakes are ready.
How to Make Okonomiyaki Sauce
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the oyster sauce, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce together and stir until combined.
Pro Tip: If you have a squeeze bottle, you can shake them together in the bottle, to make it easier to drizzle over the pancakes later.
Japanese Pancakes Toppings
When ready to serve, place each warm cabbage pancake on a plate.
Drizzle Okonomiyaki sauce and Kewpie mayo over the pancakes. It’s fun to do a criss-cross pattern on the Japanese cabbage pancakes like in the photos below.
Then top them with the Bonito flakes…
… And add the chopped green onions, sushi ginger, and furikake seasoning to taste.
Fun Fact: The thin Bonito flakes will move and wave once they hit the hot pancakes!
Serve Okonomiyaki warm as an appetizer, snack, or main dish with your favorite Japanese sides.
Tips & Tricks
- Use finely shredded cabbage! If your cabbage is too thick, they might not stick together as well and it will affect the texture. You can use a food processor for ease, or use a sharp kitchen knife to slice in thin slices.
- Don’t press the Japanese pancake down too much! Once you add the batter to the pan, press down slightly to create an even layer, but don’t keep pressing down as it is cooking or it might become dense!
- Flip once! This takes patience, but let the okonomiyaki pancake cook and get a good sear on the first side before flipping it. For the best, most delicate texture, it is best to just flip the pancake once!
This Osaka-style okonomiyaki can be enjoyed as a snack or appetizer or serve alongside other foods for a full meal! Try pairing it with some of my own personal favorites:
- Wasabi Deviled Eggs with Ahi Tuna
- Edamame Salad
- Salad with Japanese Ginger Dressing
- Miso Soup
- Japanese Clear Soup
- Spicy Shrimp Ramen Noodles
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can certainly prepare Okonomiyaki ahead of time. Once cool, keep the pancake in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat by cooking quickly in a hot skillet with a bit of oil until warm. Or, place on a lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes.
Make the sauce up to 2-3 days before you plan on using it, and keep it stored in a container with a lid in the fridge for up to a week.
Pump up the protein by including thinly sliced uncooked shrimp or pork in the pancake mix. Change up the mixture by using 1/2 shredded cabbage and 1/2 shredded carrots or zucchini. And feel free to omit any ingredients you don’t have or want to include!
Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki is made in the pan with layers of different ingredients, whereas Osaka style okonomiyaki (also known as Kansai style) is all mixed together and then seared in the pan.
Dashi stock is a type of stock that is in the form of a powder. It can be added to miso soup or clear soups for extra umami flavor. In this Japanese okonomiyaki recipe, dashi adds lots of that Japanese-inspired flavor, but if you don’t have it or can’t find it, simply omit it! However, if you choose to omit it, make sure to add a pinch of salt to the batter instead.
Kewpie mayo is a kind of Japanese mayonnaise that is made with rice wine vinegar, which pairs perfectly with all of the Japanese flavors in this okonomiyaki recipe!
Looking for More Delicious Asian-Inspired Recipes?
- Korean Pancakes (Pajeon)
- Spicy Vegan Ramen
- Pork Sukiyaki
- Potstickers (Chinese Dumplings)
- Vegetable Pakora with Kale
Okonomiyaki Recipe (Japanese Pancakes with Sauce) + VIDEO
For the Japanese Pancakes –
For the Okonomiyaki Sauce –
- For the Okonomiyaki Pancakes: Set out a large mixing bowl. Mix the warm water and dashi in the bowl to dissolve the dashi.
- Then whisk in the eggs, flour, and baking powder. Once the batter is smooth, fold in the shredded cabbage, scallions, and breadcrumbs.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees to use as a warmer while you cook the pancakes. Then set a cookie sheet in the oven.
- Set a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon sesame oil to the skillet. Add one-fourth of the batter to the hot skillet. Then press into a round even layer, about ½ inch thick. Place a lid over the skillet to steam the pancake as it cooks. Cook covered for 5 minutes per side.
- Move the cooked pancakes to the warm oven and repeat until all four pancakes are ready.
- For the Okonomiyaki Sauce: Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the oyster sauce, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce together. (If you have a squeeze bottle, you can shake them together in the bottle, to make it easier to drizzle over the pancakes later.)1
- When ready to serve, drizzle Okonomiyaki sauce and Kewpie mayo over the pancakes. Top them with chopped scallions, Bonito flakes, furikake seasoning, and sushi ginger. Serve warm.
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