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Okonomiyaki Recipe (Japanese Savory Pancake)

Okonomiyaki is sometimes called “Japanese Pancake” or “Japanese Pizza” by non-Japanese speakers, but personally I think it’s more like a dish between pancake and frittata.

What is Okonomiyaki? via Just One Cookbook

Okonomiyaki is sometimes called “Japanese Pancake” or “Japanese Pizza” by non-Japanese speakers, but personally I think it’s more like a dish between pancake and frittata.

It’s made with flour, eggs, tempura scraps (tenkasu), cabbage, pork belly slices and topped with a variety of condiments like okonomiyaki sauce, Japanese mayonnaise, dried seaweed, and dried bonito flakes.

If you don’t eat pork or prefer other protein choice, this dish is very adaptable. The possibility for the filling and topping choices are endless, which is why this dish in Japanese translates to “Grill As You Like” – Okonomi (as you like) Yaki (grill).

The Key Ingredients for Delicious Okonomiyaki

To make a really good okonomiyaki, there are a few ingredients that are necessary and it tastes much better compared to the ones that don’t include them.

Some of these ingredients may be difficult to get outside of Japan. Hopefully soon in the near future these unique Japanese ingredients will be more easily accessible from all corners of the world.

Nagaimo 長芋 / Yamaimo 山芋: This is a highly recommended ingredient to make the pancake fluffier. I’ve never tried it personally, but I’ve heard from my readers that grated potatoes or lotus root (grated on a fine grater) will work as well. You can also add silken tofu to create the fluffy effect. Either way, you have to include a “fluffy” agent so your okonomiyaki won’t be a doughy pancake. You can purchase nagaimo/yamaimo at most Japanese/Asian grocery stores.

Tenkasu 天かす (tempura bits/scraps): This is another ingredient to make the batter fluffier. When you see “tempura scraps” you might be thinking can I avoid it? Well, I understand it is definitely not a healthy ingredient; however, many people in Osaka claim this is one of most important ingredients, next to Nagaimo/Yamaimo.

Okonomiyaki Sauce: The taste of the okonomiyaki strongly relies on the sauce.

Japanese Mayonnaise: As some of you may know, Japanese loves (Japanese) mayonnaise and we do have quite a number of recipes that requires Japanese mayo.

Osaka’s specialty, both Takoyaki and Okonomiyaki has squirts of mayonnaise along with the sweet savory takoyaki/okonomi sauce. But this is optional even for locals. You can purchase Japanese mayo from our market.



  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (1 cup = 120 g)

  • ¼ tsp kosher salt

  • ¼ tsp granulated sugar

  • ¼ tsp baking powder

  • 2-3 inch Nagaimo/Yamaimo (2-3″ = 5-8 cm)

  • ¾ cup dashi (¾ cup = 180 ml) (See Notes)

  • 1 large cabbage head (1.6 lb = 740 g)

  • ½ lb sliced pork belly (1/2 lb = 227 g) (See Notes)

  • 4 large eggs

  • ½ cup Tenkasu/Agedama (tempura scraps) (1/2 cup = 8 Tbsp)

  • ¼ cup pickled red ginger (1/4 cup = 4 Tbsp)

  • neutral flavor oil (vegetable, canola, etc)

  • Okonomiyaki Sauce

  • 1½ Tbsp granulated sugar

  • 2 Tbsp oyster sauce

  • 4 Tbsp ketchup

  • 3½ Tbsp Worcestershire sauce


  • Okonomi sauce

  • Japanese mayonnaise

  • Katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)

  • Aonori (dried green seaweed)

  • Green onions/scallions

  • Pickled red ginger

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