Hungry? Whip up your very own homemade okonomiyaki – Japanese Savoury Pancakes – packed with mouth-watering flavour and just perfect for a quick and easy dinner or snack.
not-so secret for you guys: Okonomiyaki is, hands down, our most favourite (and most cooked) Japanese recipe EVER.
I know, I know! Bold statement for two wanderlust-filled food bloggers. But when it comes to delicious, healthy, quick and easy recipes full of flavour goodness, nothing beats these super simple Japanese savoury pancakes.
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Amongst all of Japan’s ridiculously delicious foods (piping hot takoyaki, street-style yakisoba, hand-rolled sushi and onigiri rice ball snacks) there’s one dish that takes us right back to Osaka (a city that feels like our beloved second home). That dish is okonomiyaki, and it’s such a well-known and well-loved creation that I can’t believe it’s taken this long for us to share on the blog.
(Probably because once it’s cooked and topped with all it’s delicious seasonings, these savoury pancakes last about 0 minutes around here!)
Quick rough translation: okonomi (as you like it) + yaki (grilled) stands for a simple dashi-infused pancake batter packed with shredded Asian cabbage (wombok), flour, eggs and water. Sound simple enough, but the secret is in all it’s delicious toppings.
While Osaka/Kansai-style okonomiyaki is usually topped with thin strips of pork belly, at home we’ll substitute with bacon slices for convenience. Once cooked, we drizzle our homemade Japanese pancakes with squiggles of kewpie mayonnaise and okonomiyaki sauce (a Japanese-style BBQ sauce similarish to yakisoba sauce).
Okonomiyaki – Japanese Savoury Pancakes + Toppings
For the classic Kansai flavour experience, there are two other mouth-watering toppings we recommend: sprinklings of dried seaweed flakes (aonori) and finely shaved bonito flakes. (Have you ever noticed how bonito flakes curl up and dance when topped over piping hot okonomiyaki? Endlessly facinating!)
These two power-couple ingredients give Kansai okonomiyaki their unmistakable umami-packed flavour punch. Yum!
Of course, if you don’t like those toppings, or can’t get ahold of them, you can substitute your “as you like it” pancake ingredients with an endless variety of flavour combinations. For example, we love adding corn and occasionally cooked/chopped prawns (shrimp) to the batter base for extra protein. You’re only limited by your imagination, your tastebuds, and what’s available in your fridge. 😉
Okonomiyaki - Japanese Savoury Pancakes
For the Batter:
- 4 bacon slices sliced, fat & rind removed
- ⅔ cup plain flour
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- ½ cup dashi stock see notes
- 3 eggs
- ¼ cabbage or wombok finely shredded
- 1-2 green onions sliced (half for batter & half for garnish)
- ½ cup corn tinned
- 2 tbsp kewpie mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp okonomiyaki sauce
- 1 tsp seaweed flakes (aonori)
- 1 tsp bonito flakes
- 1/2 green onion sliced
First up, fry your bacon until cooked through and crispy, then set aside to cool slightly.
To make the batter, combine the eggs and dashi stock in a small mixing bowl and beat gently. In a separate large mixing bowl add your flour and cornflour, then pour over with your egg and dashi mixture and mix until smooth.
Next, add your shredded cabbage, half of the green onion slices, cooked bacon and corn into the batter mixture. Mix until all the dry ingredients are evenly coated (but don’t mix too much, we want to keep that cabbage nice and fluffy). There shouldn’t be much excess batter liquid at the bottom - if there is, just add more chopped cabbage and mix through gently.
Scoop out your mixture onto a large frying pan over low-medium heat. We like aiming for a circle shape about 10 cm / 4 inch wide. Cook each pancake for around 5 mins per side.
Transfer your freshly cooked pancakes to serving plates, then top with drizzles of kewpie mayonnaise and okonomiyaki sauce. For even better tasting okonomiyaki, top with sprinklings of dried seaweed flakes, bonito flakes and a few slices of green onion to taste.
We use 1-3 tsp dashi stock powder dissolved in boiling water.