Okonomiyaki

This okonomiyaki recipe proves that weeknight dinners don't have to be boring! It cooks in a flash, and it's healthy, delicious, and super fun to make.

Okonomiyaki recipe

When you think of pantry recipes, okonomiyaki might not be the first thing that comes to mind. It certainly wasn’t for Jack and me. Over the last few weeks, we cooked our way through a whole slew of bean recipes, rice recipes, and pasta recipes before it dawned on us that we had everything we needed to make this popular Japanese street food right in our kitchen!

Jack and I first tried okonomiyaki on a trip to Japan nearly ten years ago, and we’ve loved it ever since. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s sort of a frittata-like Japanese savory pancake made with cabbage, scallions, and assorted meat or seafood (Jack often calls it a cabbage hashbrown). This homemade version isn’t entirely authentic, but it’s healthy, delicious, and so darn easy to make. If you’re looking for a fun cooking project that doesn’t require hours in the kitchen, you have to try this okonomiyaki recipe!

okonomiyaki ingredients

Okonomiyaki Ingredients

The first time I tried okonomiyaki, Jack and I were in Hiroshima. In Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, layers of fried vegetables, meat, seafood, noodles, and eggs top a thin flour pancake. It’s delicious, but it’s tricky to replicate on a regular stove at home.

Instead, my recipe is a riff on Osaka or Kansai-style okonomiyaki. In this style, the ingredients are all mixed together. Typically, they include cabbage, green onion, and some combination of meat and seafood like pork belly, octopus, squid, or shrimp. Of course, my recipe is vegetarian, so you won’t find any meat or seafood here.

Okonomiyaki recipe ingredients

Instead, I mix together lots of shaved cabbage, scallions, and panko breadcrumbs. Then, I tie it all together with a few beaten eggs. It’s super easy and super tasty too. 🙂

Cabbage and scallions in a bowl

Toppings

Once you’ve cooked your okonomiyaki, it’s time for the fun part: the toppings! In Japan, it’s traditionally topped with okonomiyaki sauce, drizzles of Kewpie mayo, dried seaweed flakes, and bonito flakes. At home, I like to use these ingredients:

  • Vegan Worcestershire sauce – Traditional okonomiyaki sauce contains oyster sauce, so it isn’t entirely vegetarian. Instead, I top mine with Annie’s vegan Worcestershire sauce. It actually has a fairly similar ingredient list to regular okonomiyaki sauce, but it’s entirely plant-based! Its sweet umami flavor is fantastic in this recipe. If you can’t find it, use a drizzle of tamari or soy sauce instead.
  • Mayo – If you can find Kewpie mayo, I highly recommend using it here. It’s made with rice vinegar, so it really complements the Japanese flavors in this recipe. Otherwise, Sir Kensington’s is my go-to because it has great flavor as well.
  • Nori – Nori keeps for months in the pantry, so I almost always have it on hand. Its umami flavor really takes this recipe over the top.
  • Pickled ginger – It adds a sweet, tangy pop of flavor.
  • Sesame seeds – Sprinkle them on top of the pancake to add toasty, nutty crunch.
  • Extra scallions and microgreens – Because I can never resist topping anything with fresh garnishes!

Use all of these toppings, or just choose a few. Then, dig in, and enjoy!

Egg, cabbage, and scallions in a bowl Okonomiyaki recipe batter

Okonomiyaki Recipe Tips

  • Shred the cabbage finely. These come out best when they’re made with really thin shreds of cabbage. If your cabbage is too chunky, they won’t hold together well, and they’ll have a denser, less delicate texture. I always use my mandoline when I make this recipe. If you don’t have one, finely shred the cabbage in a food processor or with a sharp knife.
  • Don’t pack it down too much. When you add the mixture to your skillet, gently press it down with a spatula until it’s about 1/2 inch thick. Your goal is just to get the loose mixture to come together. Don’t press it down too much, or your okonomiyaki will be dense.
  • Eat it right away. Like many egg-based dishes, okonomiyaki is best hot off the stove.

Okonomiyaki

More Favorite Japanese-Inspired Recipes

If you love this okonomiyaki recipe, try one of these Japanese-inspired recipes next:

Okonomiyaki

rate this recipe:
4.97 from 51 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Serves 2
This okonomiyaki recipe is SO easy and fun to make! It's a frittata-like savory Japanese pancake with a cabbage hashbrown-like texture.

Ingredients

  • 3 packed cups finely shredded cabbage, about ½ medium*
  • cups chopped scallions, about 1 bunch
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing

for serving:

  • Vegan Worcestershire sauce, (Annie’s recommended)
  • Mayo, (Sir Kensington’s or Kewpie recommended)
  • Sesame seeds
  • Pickled ginger
  • ½ sheet nori, sliced**
  • ½ cup microgreens, optional

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, scallions, panko, and salt. Gently mix in the eggs. (Note: the mixture will be very loose and cabbagey, not like a flour pancake batter. If it's very dry, let it sit for 10 minutes).
  • Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Brush the skillet with olive oil and use a ¼ measuring cup to scoop the cabbage mixture into the skillet. (It's ok if it doesn't seem cohesive, it'll bind together as the egg cooks). Flatten gently with a spatula so that the mixture is about 1/2 inch thick. Cook 3 minutes per side, or until browned, turning the heat to low as needed. Repeat with the remaining mixture, wiping out the skillet and brushing more oil, as needed.
  • Drizzle the okonomiyaki with Worcestershire sauce and thin strips of squeezed mayo. Top with sesame seeds, pickled ginger, and nori. Sprinkle with microgreens, if desired. Serve hot.

Notes

*I like to shred my cabbage on a mandoline to get thin, even-sized shreds.
**Use scissors to cut nori into thin strips.

55 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Toni
    08.01.2021

    5 stars
    I made this with broccoli after my cabbage went bad and it was delicious!

  2. Fiona
    07.28.2021

    5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe a few times now. Finely shredding the cabbage is key! I never measure anything, so I just adjust the amount of egg and breadcrumbs to form a mixture that looks right. I’ve done it with different combos including grated carrot, corn, mushrooms…I find that I have to cook for a bit longer to get them to bind together properly. Tonight I manage my first full plate size versions and am feeling quite accomplished 🙂
    I always add Japanese Mayo, Japanese bbq, pickled ginger, seasoned seaweed, fresh spring onion and a fried egg on top. Love this recipe, such an easy but delicious dinner!

  3. BHA
    07.26.2021

    3 stars
    In NO way did these bind together. Fell apart when turned over. I see other recipes use flour, maybe they would have been a better choice.

  4. Allie
    07.07.2021

    5 stars
    This turned out better than I hoped! I didn’t have scallions so I used some chopped chives and onions to get that flavour. I also shredded a little carrot to add some colours without changing the flavours too much. It was a really quick, easy and healthy dinner so thanks for posting the recipe!

  5. Trish
    05.18.2021

    5 stars
    Was excellent! However didn’t come close to looking like the pretty picture 🙂 I thought our cabbage was thin enough but there’s no way it looked like the picture. I would like to know how big the one in the picture is? It looks huge! I was wondering why only 1/4 cup but we followed directions and ended up with 8 little ‘pancakes’. I think we’ll try a nonstick pan next time because our house now smells like cooked oil. A KEEPER!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Antoinette
    03.26.2021

    My husband has travelled to Japan and often raves about this kind of pancake he has had there. I made them today and they were a huge hit. I did add a little leftover rice. Already thinking of improvisation to play with.

  7. Heather
    03.07.2021

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious, not sure why the mayo and Worcestershire sauce works (I was initially scared to try it but leaned into the taste and was happily surprised) but it rounds this dish out so well! My super picky 2nd grader even loved it! Definitely adding this to our family favorites!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.08.2021

      I’m glad you all loved it!

  8. Lee Hallgring
    02.13.2021

    If I wanted to make it with fresh shrimp, when should I add it to the recipe? I know shrimp cooks quickly.

  9. Christina
    01.18.2021

    5 stars
    I’ve been wanting to try this quick Japanese dish for a while, since we use a lot of cabbage and green onions making other cuisines.
    Don’t think I shredded the cabbage thin enough because the pancakes broke up a little when I turned them, but that also happens for me with hash browns. I have a great 10.5″ non-stick pan. Also added a few drops of sesame oil to the olive oil, per another suggestion.
    It was delicious! My husband, who isn’t as food adventurous as I finished his first! I wasn’t ready to buy the Kewpie mayonnaise because I didn’t know what else to use it for, so I blended a little rice vinegar and a few drops of hot sauce into 2 tablespoons of Kraft mayo I already had open. It was thin enough to drizzle with a spoon. I bought Otajoy Original sauce at my supermarket. It’s vegetarian – don’t know if it has the right taste, but it was sweet. I sprinkled sesame seeds and nori strips on top.
    Next time I will shred the cabbage thinner. I want to make this again and perfect my technique. Thank you!

  10. King.lesaa🦋
    01.04.2021

    because of veganism , what should I replace the eggs with ?

  11. Natalie
    12.31.2020

    5 stars
    Wow, these are fabulous! I used a wombok cabbage and they were delicious. I will be making these on a regular basis now.

  12. Joshua
    12.16.2020

    Great recipe! Just so you know, the Otafuku Okonomiyaki sauce is the sauce everyone in Japan uses for okonomiyaki and it’s vegan. You can find one in most asian markets!

    • Joshua
      12.16.2020

      To be clear, the exported ones you can find in the states are vegan. The ones you get in Japan aren’t.

  13. Fallon
    12.05.2020

    5 stars
    I’m American but lived in Japan for a while and okonomiyaki was a legendary izakaya food among me and my friends (drunk food basically!) and this recipe, to my shock and delight, came out PERFECT. I made a bunch of these and none went to waste, I ate every one myself despite being a picky eater, especially about Japanese food. Doesn’t seem like it could possibly be healthy because it tastes like fair food! But it’s mostly cabbage! I skipped the ginger and micro greens. Make sure you use the Kewpie mayo for more authentic Japanese flavor, Kewpie or NOTHING! It was actually not nearly as hard or as messy to make as I thought. You gotta try this.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.05.2020

      Ha, I’m with you on Kewpie, I’m obsessed too :). I’m so glad you loved these!

  14. Kim
    11.26.2020

    Could I use red cabbage and Chinese cabbage (Nappa) as I usually have these left over??

  15. Cass
    10.17.2020

    Love this recipe. Just made it for the first time. Loved by the family and the toddler. Thank you.

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Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.