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:
5 from 24 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.

31 comments

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  1. Jane
    04.19.2020

    I’m loving the Japanese themed content that you’re sharing and how down to earth your approach is – so achievable! Keep it up 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.19.2020

      Thank you, Jane!

  2. Elizabeth
    04.19.2020

    Hi! I’d love to try this / what do you think might be the best GF sub for the panko here? A homemade GF breadcrumb?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.19.2020

      Hi Elizabeth, GF store-bought panko would be the best sub. I’ve seen it from the Ian’s brand and Kikkoman.

    • Lou
      04.22.2020

      I only had corn cakes in my pantry – I mixed up in the food processor and they worked out really well.

  3. Kevin
    04.19.2020

    Does it taste anything like eggs, as in an omelet or egg foo young. I’ve seen it made without, too. Asking because I hate eggs. Thanks.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.19.2020

      Hi Kevin, yes, it tastes like eggs, so you might want to skip this one.

  4. Heather R
    04.19.2020

    5 stars
    This was great! Very versatile ! Thank you

  5. Rose
    04.19.2020

    Hi Jeanine, love so many of your recipes and this one looks delicious! I have made something similar before and haven’t been too impressed. I appreciate your comment on not to pack it down in the pan as it makes it denser – others I’ve tried have been much too heavy, so it’s a great hint. Here’s the thing: don’t care at all for mayo. Could you recommend another topping for these? I’m thinking maybe sweet chilli sauce or even red pepper jelly? Would be very open to your suggestions. Thank you so much!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.19.2020

      Hi Rose, it’s not very dense or heavy – it has a pretty texture with all of the cabbage. I think sweet chili sauce would be delish 🙂

      • Rose
        04.21.2020

        5 stars
        Thanks for your help, Jeanine! I just made these and they are wonderfully delicate and delicious. I found a recipe for Okonomiyaki sauce online and it worked a treat – two of them didn’t even make it to the cooling rack! I used a combo olive oil and sesame oil for frying just to give it a bit more oompf. Would definitely make them again. P.S. Don’t try making them bigger than the 1/4 cup recommendation to save time. I did on the first one, and flipping it over in the pan just didn’t work.

        • Jeanine Donofrio
          04.22.2020

          Hi Rose, I’m so glad you loved them!

  6. Joyce Shapiro
    04.19.2020

    Thank you very much!!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.19.2020

      Hi Joyce, thanks for sending. You can try with a well-seasoned cast iron skillet, if you prefer, I just haven’t tested it that way.

  7. Miri
    04.21.2020

    5 stars
    We loved the taste and loved that it was easy to make. What kind of pan should we use to get a beautiful pancake? Ours came out more like hash browns.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.22.2020

      Hi Miri, that’s what the texture is like… it’s not like a pancake with flour batter. I’m glad you enjoyed.

  8. Lou
    04.22.2020

    5 stars
    Was really tasty and easy to make!

  9. Ann Stockwell
    04.22.2020

    5 stars
    Hello Jeanine and Jack,
    Just wanted to tell you that my family loved this recipe. I appreciate your creativity and appreciation of different cultures.
    My son who is not a fan of vegetables asked me to make it again today! And he reminded me not to change it… (I tend to try or add different ingredients).
    Thank you! Ann

  10. Sylwia
    04.22.2020

    5 stars
    I made these last night and they were delicious! Being Eastern European, I love cabbage but this took it to the next level.
    I mixed mayo with sriracha and made it into spicy mayo topping with nori slices. Hubby loved them just as much as I did:)

  11. Elena
    04.23.2020

    5 stars
    Made this last night for dinner and it was very tasty! I made a “spicy mayo sauce” with ninja squirrel, tamari and sesame oil! I am so happy to have a new “pantry” recipe, especially at this time when I’m going to the store a lot less. Thank you!

  12. Kristen
    04.24.2020

    Hi Jeanine, have you tried these with red cabbage? Do you think it would work as well? I have a head I’m trying to come up with recipes for.

  13. Julie
    04.29.2020

    5 stars
    I’m in love with this recipes and your approach to cooking! I bought your cookbook a while back, and just now realized that you have a website, too. Your cookbook has been my favorite gift to give friends and family for some time now. I love how approachable all of your recipes are – no need for me to scour the city searching for obscure, expensive ingredients. Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.03.2020

      Hi Julie, I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying the books and thank you for gifting them too!

  14. Tracey
    05.07.2020

    5 stars
    This was SO yummy! Super simple too. Topped mine with Worcestershire, Kewpie Mayo, sesame seeds & some chopped avo. Delish! Next time i might top with a bit if Sriracha just for a bit of a kick.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.15.2020

      Hi Tracey, I’m so glad you loved it!

  15. Ali
    05.16.2020

    So delicious! I have made them almost weekly to have in the fridge to snack on.

  16. Sardana Belkin
    05.19.2020

    Tried to simplify the recipe by using precut cabbage made for coleslaw and added a small can of drained salmon and an extra egg. The dish came out amazing. My 17 year was able to make it perfectly on the first try. Used A1 steak sauce and tartar sauce. Tastes and looks very sophisticated but easy to make. Not to mention it combines healthy ingredients. Thank you

  17. Emily
    05.23.2020

    5 stars
    I haven’t had okonomiyaki since I went vegan until tonight!! We tried this recipe and happy to report it works perfectly with vegan Just Eggs. Thank you!! Super tasty. Another L&L winner 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.24.2020

      Hi Emily – I’m so glad it worked well with Just Egg – I’ve been meaning to try that!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
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.