Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Okonomiyaki Recipe (with endless variations!)

So quick and easy to make, Okonomiyaki has always been a favorite in our family.When I was a little kid we used to call it "okonomi-yummy"!
This time I made it with bacon, however thinly sliced pork is the original version.

Scroll down past recipe to see more variations.

 Okonomiyaki (makes 4 large)

Essential Ingredients of Okonomiyaki:
  • about 1/2 a large cabbage
  • 1 1/3 cup flour (I use self-raising, my mother says plain flour)
  • Approx 1 cup water
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 tsp dashi powder (can be replaced by chicken stock powder)
  • Okonomi Sauce or Tonkatsu Sauce
Other ingredients I used tonight:
  • About 6-8 short-cut bacon rashers (Thinly sliced pork is better but it's a little difficult to get in Australian supermarkets)
  • 1 Tbsp beni-shouga (pickled ginger) chopped finely
  • 1  large negi (shallots/scallions/spring onions) sliced thinly, 
  • Japanese Mayonnaise
  • 10g Katsuo-bushi
  • Ao-nori
  • Oil
  1. Finely slice cabbage.  (After slicing, bruising it by squeezing in your hands also helps soften it)
  2. Mix flour, watereggs in a large mixing bowl.  Mix in dashi, pickled ginger and some negi.  Add cabbage and combine well. 
  3. Heat a little oil in a frypan.  Spoon Cabbage into the frypan, to make a circle about 22cm(9in) across and 1.5cm(3/4in) thick.  Make sure there's enough batter to hold it together.  Neaten the edges by using a spatula to push in the edges and any cabbage or batter that's sticking out.
  4. Place thinly sliced pork on top (or bacon).  
  5. Cook over med-low heat about 5 min.  Flip, then cook another 3-5 min.  When cooked through, turn onto a plate, meat side UP.
  6. Spread sauce generously on top.  Decorate with Mayonnaise, Katsuobushi and Ao-nori.

I was shocked to see "Okonomiyaki" recipes on Taste dot com dot au, (Australia's #1 recipe site) which were nothing like okonomiyaki!  The three recipes had, without exception, too much flour and were more like a vegetable pancake (which Okonomiyaki is not, really.)
The essense of Okonomiyaki is Dashi (Japanese Katsuo fish stock), and then 
Cabbage, Eggs and only just enough flour to hold it together.  
I don't know how anyone could call something Okonomiyaki if it doesn't have Okonomi (or Tonkatsu) sauce spread on top!
Having said that, there are MANY variations of okonomiyaki.  Some of my favorites are:
Kaki Okonomiyaki (Oysters mixed into the batter, no meat on top)
Ebi Okonomiyaki (Prawns mixed into the batter, with or without pork on top)
Mochi Cheese Okonomiyaki (Put down a thin layer of cabbage mixture in the frypan, place thinly sliced mochi and a little grated cheese in the middle, and put some more cabbage mixture on top.  When it is done, it will have a mochi-mochi gooey centre.)
Hiroshima-yaki This one has a layer of yakisoba noodles and an egg on top
Modan-yaki Similar to Hiroshima-Yaki, but with the cabbage and batter mixed.
As long as you stick to my list of "Essential Ingredients of Okonomiyaki" I think you'll be pretty safe calling it okonomiyaki.
Have Fun!


  1. yumm!!! Your food looks so good!!! I served a mission in japan and my girls love japanese food!!! I am so excited for new recipies!!!

  2. Your recipe looks really easy, I feel like I can make it too! However, I don't have any of the sauces, is there any way for me to make it myself?
    Also, is the Grated Yamaimo needed as an ingredient? I noticed another recipe that has that in it. It's a type of white mountain yam.

    Thanks and I'm glad I came upon your site.

    1. Hi Papayalatte☆ Great questions!
      Okonomi Sauce is the Best, and Tonkatsu Sauce is also excellent and can be used for many other Japanese dishes so I recommend those. However, if you don't have either, try mixing:

      2 Tbsp Barbecue sauce,
      1 Tbsp Ketchup,
      1 1/2 tsp Soy Sauce,
      1 tsp Sugar (caster sugar or icing sugar dissolve better)
      A dash of worcestershire sauce.

      Stir well to dissolve sugar.
      It depends what kind of barbecue sauce and ketchup you use, so adjust the amounts to suit your taste.

      Grated Yamaimo enhances the texture of the okonomiyaki and makes it...(how do you describe it?) more moist, even when fully cooked. Actually not all Japanese use it, even in Japan, so you can certainly make Okonomiyaki without it!

    2. Hi Shinobu!

      Thanks for your prompt response! I actually don't have all the ingredients for making my own sauce lol. But this just means I have a good reason to purchase the Okonomi or Tonkatsu sauce :)

      I see, thanks for the great tip, we don't always have that vegetable in our house so it's good to know I can still make great Okonomiyaki without it. I'll definitely try this as soon as I get some sauce and also some cabbage lol. Thanks again, you've brighten up my morning with your cheerful response :)

  3. I am going to make this tonight. We often eat at a little Japanese cafe around the corner and they make the best Okonomiyaki I've eaten. So here goes!

  4. Thanks for this recipe! I have just moved to Japan and am struggling to cook with ingredients I'm not used to. It was hard to find everything this recipe called for since I can't read or speak Japanese but with some help I managed to make it and it was amazing! What a relief after weeks of plain boring stir fry's :)

  5. Thank for the recipe! I have a quick question. Where would you get mochi and how would it be packaged/what section would it be?

    1. Hi, Mochi もち looks like bars of soap! Hard rectangular blocks about 6x4x2cm. Usually you will see a bag of 10 or 20, in clear plastic bag-type packaging. It will be in the dry food Japanese section. Sometimes the individual blocks are also individually sealed, this is better as you can store the whole package in the refrigerator for months. Once the mochi blocks are exposed to air, they either go mouldy or dry and crack within a couple of weeks.
      When using Mochi in Okonomiyaki, slice the blocks as thin as you can, 2-3 mm thick, and place them in a layer inside the okonomiyaki. They melt with the heat and make a mozzarella cheese-textured surprise in your okonomiyaki. Mochi pairs well with melted cheese, too.
      Enjoy your Okonomiyaki!

  6. Hi Shinobu!
    I tried out your Osaka style Okonomiyaki recipe last weekend and it turned out superb. My 3 kids are "fussy" eaters and usually are not very fond of cabbage. However, all 3 of them loved it and emptied their plates! I used Korean style thinly sliced pork belly which didn't give out enough flavour though. I must try bacon rashers next...
    Thanks for the recipe!
    BTW can you recommend a good recipe for chashu. I am also experimenting with the various styles of ramen at home: miso, shio, shoyu ramen and would love to know how to cook an authentic broth

  7. i am a filipina but i serve japanese families in singapore and eversince i love to cook andjapanese dishes! lucky to found this site,,,,,,,arigato!

  8. THanks for ur sharing !! very good and useful !!

  9. Thanks for this great recipe! I've made it a few times and the family love it. One question I have though is which type of cabbage is best to use? I've been using Chinese cabbage, which is quite thin and light, but I wondered what type is used traditionally?

    1. Hi Gavin! Okonomiyaki is traditionally made with regular green cabbage! I've tried it with Chinese cabbage too, an interesting variation :) but it's normally made with plain jane regular old green cabbage.

  10. Thank you so much for this recipe
    Glad to hear your disapprove of taste.coms shamble recipes
    We're heading put now to brisbanes only japnese mart to get some ingredients to try this out
    Since visiting Japan for the last two weeks my partner has decided that Okonomiyaki is his favourite food so we're going to try and make some to stave off our withdrawals
    Anyway, thanks again, we'll be trying out as many of your recipes as we can in preparation for one day moving to Japan :3
    You've made one girlfriend very happy

  11. How ugly, it looks nothing like the photo, how did you do that?

  12. This is the best okonomiyaki recipe I've used, thanks! I used gluten free self raising flour and mixed in tofu and eschallots with cabbage in the batter, to make it like we have it in the little shop outside of Kinkakuji in Kyoto, then cooked it with bacon. I then threw on some rice bubbles because it is too fussy making the tempura bits. Absolutely perfect - light and fluffy with great flavour. Cheers!

  13. My partner and his very fussy daughter absolutely LOVE this recipe. In fact, I'm making it tonight. Thanks for sharing!

  14. made this last night, was absolutely amazing :) Bento flakes and shredded Nori, just perfect :) thanks

  15. I am going to try to make this today! Which me luck. Lynne

  16. Thanks for great inspiration. I have just prepared the okonomiyaki. Greetings from Czech republic!

  17. is the bacon already cooked or do you put the bacon on raw?

  18. I first tried okonomiyaki about 10 years ago, when I lived in Japan for a year. Finally got around to trying to make it at home this evening, with some key ingredients ordered from Amazon and the guidance of your recipe - and they came out really well! Thanks for the inspiration! :)

    1. Hi TheItinerantChemist, It's so good to hear your okonomiyaki turned out well! Thanks for the great feedback! ^_^

  19. Hi, can you recommend what to use for a vegetarian version of this? Thanks! :-D

    1. You can make it without meat, but not sure if you can do it without eggs - so vegetarian would be ok (still tastes great with kewpie mayonnaise and okonomiyaki sauce), but not sure if you could make it vegan.

  20. Managed to make okonomiyaki successfully with your fail proof recipe TQ!

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  26. In Japan, the batter and toppings will differ from region to region, but the three main styles are Kansai or Osaka, Hiroshima, and Tokyo. Jack88 My favourite is the Kansai style because that’s the area I grew up in. It is also the main version of Okonomiyaki and the most common around Japan; and most likely the kind that you see in Japanese restaurants in your city.

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