This Japanese delight, Okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake or pizza), pronounced ok-on-om-o-ya-ki is one of my (many) favourite Japanese dishes. I’ve made it a few times and trust me, it’s much easier to make then it is to pronounce!
Traditionally the recipe is made from mainly cabbage but I’ve added red onion, capsicum and carrot in the past because it’s such a good way to use up what you have in the fridge. Okonomoyaki literally means “grilled as you like it” in Japanese. So if you want to make it gluten free then just swap the plain flour for gluten free flour. If you want to keep it vegetarian then just use the recipe I have and if you want to add meat then add prawns (diced) or slices of pork belly or bacon. See the recipe for details about when to do this. There are so many different ways to make them so just go with what you like.
Okonomoyaki – “Japanese pancake or pizza” (makes 4 large pancakes)
3 cups shredded cabbage
¾ cup plain flour (if you want the batter thicker add more)
½ cup chicken stock or dashi sauce (if you add more flour add more so it’s the right consistency)
2-3 large shallots (scallions) or 6 small ones
Okonomiyaki sauce (buy it or make it)
Katsuobushi (from Asian grocery shop)
*See photo for more ideas
*add slices of bacon or pork belly if you want to add meat
- In a large bowl, combine the shredded cabbage, sliced shallots, grated carrot, katsuobushi, and all-purpose flour, tossing with two large forks or your fingers to distribute everything evenly.
- Lightly whisk the eggs and chicken stock or dashi in a separate bowl.
- Add the whisked mixture with the dry ingredients until the everything is well combined, but be careful not to over mix. It’s fine if there are a few small lumps.
- If you want to add other filling ingredients (diced prawns, capsicum etc.), this is the time to do it. Decide whether your additions will incorporate better into the dry ingredients or wet ingredients and mix them in accordingly.
5. If you choose to use bacon (I recommend streaky) then lay it out in a cold pan, overlapping slightly to account for shrinkage. If you aren’t using bacon, you’ll need to add a few teaspoons of vegetable oil to the pan.
- Add a quarter of the cabbage mixture into a mound on top of the bacon or in the pan. Press down on the mound using an egg flip to flatten out the top and then push the edges back towards the center to make a round pancake that’s roughly the same thickness from edge to edge (it should be about 1-2cm thick).
- Cover with a lid and cook until the bottom is well browned (about 7 minutes).
- Flip the okonomiyaki. I just used the egg flip and I didn’t use anymore oil because I was using a non-stick pan.
10. Slide the okonomiyaki on to your plate and top it with toppings of your choice. Enjoy!
Tip: Serve your okonomoyaki with some dumplings, yum cha or edamame if you want to make this a bigger meal. Otherwise two pancakes will hit the spot and fill your belly.