Life’s a Feast: Okonomiyaki – Japanese pancake


Okonomiyaki, loosely translated, means what you like, grilled. It is a batter-based Japanese pancake, with an obligatory cabbage filling and specific garnishes of bonito flakes, kewpie mayonnaise and okonomiyaki brown sauce. The rest of the ingredients can come down to what you like and what is at hand in the fridge. There are two styles of this dish. The Hiroshima style, where a plain pancake is cooked and then topped with a selection of cooked ingredients. The second being Osaka style, where all the ingredients are combined into the batter and cooked, more akin to a frittata. Fast, fun, simple and a great way to get the kids to eat cabbage. Enjoy! 


2 eggs
120g plain flour (or okonomiyaki flour, then no need for raw
150ml vegetable or chicken stock, cooled
30g raw potato, finely grated
2-3 spring onions, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated (or Japanese pickled ginger,
250g cabbage, thinly shredded
5-6 rashers streaky bacon chopped into 4-5cm pieces

Kewpie mayonnaise _ New World stock this in their Asian section
Okonomiyaki sauce _ also at New World (or use HP sauce)
Bonito fish flakes _ Asian Food Mart at The Landing stocks this
Powdered or flaked seaweed

Prawn, octopus, squid or thinly sliced pork belly or any other vegetable or protein on hand


1. Mix together the egg and flour, then stir in the cooled stock, making sure that there are no lumps.
2. Add the grated potato to the batter if using the flour instead of okonomiyaki flour, then stir in the spring onions, saving a little for the garnish, ginger and cabbage, plus the seafood or pork belly, if using.
3. Heat a thin layer of oil in a frying pan on a medium heat. Place the bacon down first around the pan then pour in half the mixture into the pan, patting it down to create an even pancake and fry for five minutes each side. Repeat with the second pancake.
4. Squirt over the mayonnaise and okonomiyaki sauce, sprinkle over the spring onions, then just before serving sprinkle over the bonito flakes. These are a crowd-pleaser as they literally dance on top of the pancake once they hit the warm surface. Serve immediately.
N.B. Do not be surprised at the lack of batter to vegetable ratio, this is normal.