How to Make Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki is a popular pan fried dish which is known to have been originated in Osaka, a city best known for cheap and good eats. The dish consists of cabbage and batter and a variety of toppings which can be added according to your likes. The literal translation of the word means ‘to ones liking’ but sometimes it is also translated as ‘as you like it pancake.’ This translation can be a bit deceptive because the original recipe has nothing to do with the sweetness or fluffiness of pancakes. The dish is eaten more like a snack and is now becoming popular in other countries as well. Preparing the okonomiyaki may look like a daunting task to first timers, but once you get the flow, you will have nothing to worry about. Listed below is an easy recipe which takes less than an hour to prepare and is absolutely delicious.

Complexity Level: Basic

Time Required: 20-30 minutes

Resources Required:

  1. 1 cup Okonomiyaki Flour or plain flour
  2. 2/3 cup Water or Chicken stock
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 4 cups of chopped cabbage
  5. 2 stalks of Green Onions/ chive, thinly sliced diagonally
  6. 6 strips of Bacon, cut into 3″ pieces
  7. kewpie Mayonnaise
  8. Okonomi Sauce
  9. Aonori (Seaweed Flakes)
  10. Katsuobushi (Bonito Flakes)
  11. Meat of choice
  12. Griddle pan
  13. 2 Spatula
  14. Oil
  15. Large Bowl
  16. Whisk/ Spoon


1. Preparation

  • Into a large bowl, mix together the flour and stock/water till you get a nice and smooth consistency.
  • Add the chopped cabbage, eggs and green onions and mix till just combined, don’t over do it.
  • If you are using any meat for topping, then pre-cook it as per instructions. Keep it aside.
  • Fry the bacon lightly in some oil and drain on paper towels. Keep it aside.

2. Preparing the pancake

  • Place the griddle on medium high heat and add some oil to it.
  • Once the oil is hot enough (200C), pour about half of the batter mix on to the griddle.
  • Using a spatula, flatten the mixture to form pancakes that are around 3/4th inch thick.
  • Top with bacon and other cooked meat of choice generously to cover the top of the pancake.
  • Add another thin layer of the batter to cover the meat filling and smoothen it out using the back of the spatula.
  • Cook for about 10 minutes or till the sides start to get dry.
  • Flip it over and cook for another 5 or 6 more minutes if required.

3. Assembling and serving

  • Once the okonomiyaki is cooked thoroughly, remove it from the griddle and place it on a serving plate.
  • The first layer is okonomiyaki sauce. Using a pastry brush, generously apply the sauce on to the top of the cooked pancake.
  • Next is the mayonnaise which you can either just spread on top of the sauce or cause a zig zag design for appearance sake.
  • Now, sprinkle the toppings like Aonori and Katsuobushi and then cut into four pieces and serve while it is still piping hot.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Can you suggest the amount of meat and veggies to be used?

The amount of meat and veggies will largely depend on how many ingredients you’re using to make the entire pancake as well as the consistency. If you add very little to a large amount of batter, then you could end up with a loose and runny batter. On the other hand, if you add way too many veggies then it could result in a thick and unmanageable batter. Add them in little quantities and then decide if you need more or less.

2. What other ingredients can I use as filling?

You can use more or less any kind of meat, seafood or vegetables as filling. Thinly sliced pork and beef, fish, shrimp, tuna, carrots, bean sprouts, puffed rice, garlic tomato and even cheese can be used.

Quick Tips:

  • When flipping the pancake, make sure you use two spatulas so that they don’t break and make a mess. They would be quite large and heavy and soft in the middle.
  • If you don’t have access to the Okonomiyaki sauce, just mix about 3 tbs of ketchup, with 1 tbs of Worcestershire sauce and 1 tsp of soy sauce.

Things To Watch Out For:

  • The entire cooking and sometimes the serving and eating are also done off the hot griddle, so be careful not to burn yourself.
  • Flipping the heavy pancake could be the most difficult part of the cooking process. if you do so before the okonomiyaki has been cooked thoroughly, then it won’t hold together while you flip it and you would end up making a mess.

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