Okonomiyaki

Having never been to Japan, I have no idea whether or not this is authentic. A close relative of these Korean pancakes, this has a light, fluffy texture thanks to the water and small amount of flour mixed in with the egg. There are also lots of great flavors coming together, between the serrano chiles and red onions inside, and the fancied-up ketchup, nori, and sesame seeds on top.

I made this for dinner at a friend’s house and the pictures were terrible. I thought about blogging it anyway, but I know how unappealing photos can ruin any chance a reader will ever try a recipe. I was stoked when Mike asked for this for dinner only a few days later, both because it’s really fast and easy, and because it was still light out. After pulling it off the stove and adding the toppings, I took it out to my front porch, which is where the best light is in the evenings. Maybe not the perfect photo, but a whole lot better than the one I started with.

And now, my wonderful readers, I want to hear from you about your okonomiyaki, because I have a feeling this will be in the dinner rotation a lot. If you’ve got your own recipe, or ideas for toppings, please let me know in the comments!

Recipe:
(adapted from Asian Vegetables by Sara Deseran)

Pancake:
3 eggs
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp soy sauce
pinch salt
1 1/2 cups finely shredded napa cabbage
1/2 small red onion, chopped
1 serrano chile, finely chopped
2 tbsp canola oil

Sauce:
1/3 cup ketchup
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp dry mustard
2 tbsp sake
1 tsp soy sauce

crumbled nori
toasted sesame seeds

Combine all the ingredients for the sauce and set aside.

To make the pancake, whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add the water and whisk until blended, then stir in the soy sauce, salt, flour, and vegetables.

Heat the oil in a 10″ skillet. When hot, add the egg mixture and cook until golden brown on the bottom (about five minutes). Carefully slide the pancake onto a plate, then invert so the raw side is down in the pan. Cook for another few minutes, until that side is also golden. Transfer to a serving plate, drizzle with sauce and sprinkle with nori and sesame seeds. Cut into wedges to serve.

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7 Responses to “Okonomiyaki”


  1. 1 Cherine April 16, 2010 at 11:46 am

    wow this looks really delicious!

  2. 2 Brianna April 16, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    aww, this is so “natsukashii” (nostalgic) to me! 🙂 I’m glad yours isn’t topped with the traditional dried bonito flakes. I always couldn’t stand those in Japanese restaurants! Thanks for reminding me that Dustin and I need to make this at home sometime soon! Beautiful picture too.

  3. 3 Wizzythestick April 18, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    I like this and I have access so most of these ingredients. Hooray! I’m making’ em. I’ll let you know what we think.

  4. 4 tigerfish April 18, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    Okonomiyaki! the pictures look very good! they are not terrible at all.

  5. 5 Veggie Belly April 19, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    A very unique and tasty recipe! Do you use vegetarian worcestershire sauce or just the regular stuff?

    • 6 Cate April 19, 2010 at 3:24 pm

      I’m okay with a little fish now and then so I just use regular, but I want to try making my own vegetarian version at some point, and I know there are a few vegetarian brands out there (which I’ve never tried)

  6. 7 Tracy February 26, 2012 at 11:31 am

    I made this alll the time when I spent my JET year in Japan many years ago. There is a specific flour they had for it; I have no idea what is was, just that it was “okonomiaki” flour.

    There also is a sauce pre-made that you might be able to find in Asian markets, esp. west coast US. I like that now it’s deconstructed here!

    I seem to remember fewer eggs (maybe only 1) and tons of cabbage in the version I was taught to make. Also, gads, it was finished off with strips of bacon … and I believe that in addition to the brown sauce stripes, a complementary set of mayonaise ones was added. No wonder I gained weight that year!


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