I love okonomiyaki, or Japanese pancakes as they’re also known. It’s a dish I’ve always ordered when out at a Japanese restaurant. It’s just so delicious – and looks so good, with its sauces drizzled on top and the bonito flakes dancing on top. But it was a meal I always saved for dining out.
That is, until I realised how easy – and cheap – it was to make at home. While my recipe may not be as authentic as the version I’d find in a Japanese restaurant (I don’t tend to keep bonito flakes in my pantry or dashi stock on hand), it does taste great. And it’s a fantastic way to get a cheap and cheerful meal on the table quickly – and use up that last wedge of cabbage hanging around in the fridge!
Okonomiyaki is such an adaptable dish. It literally means “what you like – grilled”, so feel free to throw in whatever veggies or meat ingredients you think will please your tribe. This makes 4 large (side plate sized) pancakes, but feel free to make smaller ones if you’re feeding kids).
1 cup flour (plain wheat, spelt, kamut or gluten free)
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup stock (or water)
3 tsp tamari (or soy sauce)
3-4 cups shredded cabbage
1-2 grated carrots
4 slices ham or bacon, diced (or sub with 1 cup leftover pulled pork, or cooked mince or diced prawns, or even cheese)
2 tsp dulse flakes (optional)
Olive oil (for frying)
Mayonnaise & barbecue sauce, to serve (see Notes)
Sliced spring onions, to serve
- Mix batter ingredients (flour, baking powder, stock, tamari, eggs) together, then add vegetables and meat or cheese.
- Heat a frying pan on medium heat and add a small amount of olive oil.
- Add ¼ of the mixture into the pan and form into a large circular shape. Cook, turning carefully once, until golden brown and cooked through (approx 5 minutes each side).
- Keep warm and repeat with remaining mixture.
- Serve drizzled with barbecue sauce and mayonnaise, topped with sliced spring onions.
- You can buy okonomiyaki sauce from Asian grocers, and Japanese style (Kewpie) mayonnaise is widely available in regular supermarkets. I choose to use regular organic mayonnaise (I put some into a zip-lock bag and snip the corner off to squeeze over the finished pancake), and an organic Japanese style barbecue sauce (Carwari brand) that I buy online through Honest to Goodness.