For those who love Japanese food; you may already be familiar with Okonomiyaki (O-konomi-yaki). If not, it is a must try! This vegetarian Japanese Okonomiyaki recipe is something we’ve been wanting to try making at home for months.
Okonomiyaki is a Japanese savoury pancake containing a variety of ingredients. The name is derived from the word okonomi, meaning “what you like” or “what you want”, and yaki meaning “grilled” or “cooked”.
As the name insists, you can do what you like. But there are some differences in ingredients that change the style of the dish depending on the region of Japan. There are two main types of okonomiyaki. Osaka (or Kansai) style or Hiroshima. For us, it is all about the former style – Osaka, as this was the variety we “sampled” the most while travelling around Japan earlier this year. Our first attempt at making okonomiyaki was at a cooking class in Osaka called Eat Osaka which is well worth doing if you are ever in Osaka.
To make the okonomiyaki, it is a simple flour based mixture combining vegetables (predominantly cabbage) and if you want a non-vegetation option, you could add some cooked pork, chicken or prawns.
At a restaurant traditionally the Okonomiyaki is cooked on a hot plate in front of you, however, our homemade Okonomiyaki recipe can be cooked using a non-stick fry pan with a little vegetable oil.
To finish your okonomiyaki the best part is the toppings! Okonomiyaki sauce is essential. It is a dark brown sauce combining Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, ketchup, and a dash of sugar or a teaspoon of honey. The dominant okonomiyaki sauce brand is Otafuku. You then need to use Japanese mayonnaise; Kewpie Mayo is the most popular brand or any other Japanese mayo which is thicker and sweeter than other varieties. To finish, top off your okonomiyaki with Aonori; a green seaweed close to powder form and Dried Bonito Flakes (if you like). In our house, if you like a little spice, you can also use sriracha or some Nanami Togarashi (dried chilli powder)!
Looking for other vegetarian recipes then check out or vegetarian rice paper rolls.
Vegetarian Japanese Okonomiyaki – Recipe Instructions
- 120g Okonomiyaki flour or plain flour
- ¾ cup water
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 500g Cabbage, finely shredded
- 1 carrot, grated or finely sliced
- 4 Spring onions, sliced (half for recipe, half for decoration)
- Vegetable oil
- Okonomiyaki Sauce
- Japanese Mayonnaise
- Dried Bonito Flakes
- Pickled Ginger
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour and Water until smooth.
- Add the eggs to the batter and whisk to combine. Stir in the cabbage, carrot, and spring onions.
- Meanwhile, heat a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat.
- Add Okonomiyaki mixture. Using a spatula and form pancakes until ½” thick and approximately (6”) across.
- After about 3 minutes, flip over pancake and cook for 4 minutes.
- Remove to plate and drizzle with Okonomiyaki sauce, Kewpie mayonnaise and sprinkle with Aonori and dried Benito flakes.