Easy Okonomiyaki Recipe

 This Easy Okonomiyaki recipe will give you a taste of Japan and it is ready in 30 minutes! It’s a Japanese savory pancake that combines cabbage, ginger, green onions, and shrimp into the batter and then adds bacon and tasty Japanese toppings for an incredible mix of flavors.

Okonomiyaki on a white plate with chopsticks on the plate.

This Okonomiyaki recipe is such a delightful explosion of flavors! At its heart, it’s a savory pancake, and the cabbage gives it a nice crunch. The green onions add a zesty kick. I absolutely adore the tanginess from the red pickled ginger.

Now, if you decide to add shrimp – which I totally recommend if you’re a seafood lover like me – it gives a slight sweetness and a chewy texture that complements the pancake.

The bacon? Oh my! It introduces a salty, smoky taste. But the magic truly begins with the toppings. The Okonomi sauce is savory and a little sweet, and the Kewpie mayonnaise adds a creamy richness. Sprinkle on the Aonori (seaweed flakes), and you get that unmistakable ocean aroma. The dancing bonito flakes not only look mesmerizing but add a smoky, umami punch.

Why We Love This Recipe

  • This recipe is ready in 30 minutes!
  • Every bite of this pancake is a journey – it’s crispy, soft, tangy, sweet, and savory all at once.
  • You can customize it according to what you have in hand or your personal preferences. Want to throw in some more veggies? Go for it! More protein? Why not? It’s all about making it your own.
  • I love the visual appeal of this dish. Let’s be real – who can resist the sight of those dancing bonito flakes on top? The drizzle of sauces, the vibrant colors of the ingredients – it’s a feast for the eyes as much as it is for the taste buds.
  • The process of making Okonomiyaki can be quite fun, especially if you’re cooking with family or friends. Flipping the pancake, adding toppings, and watching the bonito flakes move from the heat – it’s almost like a Japanese culinary show in your own kitchen.

Styles of Okonomiyaki

This recipe is for Osaka Okonomiyaki also called Kansai-style Okonomiyaki.  This Osaka-style Okonomiyaki recipe is the predominant version of the dish, found throughout most of Japan.

The batter is made of flour, grated nagaimo (a long type of yam), water or dashi, eggs and shredded cabbage, and usually contains other ingredients such as green onion, meat (usually thinly sliced pork belly or American bacon), octopus, squid, shrimp, and vegetables. You can learn more about Okonomiyaki on Wikipedia.

We first tried both the Hiroshima-style and the Osaka-style Okonomiyaki in Japan a few years ago and found both were delicious, but it looked like a difficult recipe with hard to get nagaimo yams and other Japanese ingredients.

Below is a photo of Hiroshima Okonomiyaki that we had in Japan. The Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki is built in layers and this one has noodles in it.

Hiroshima Okonomiyaki on a black plate.

Recipe Ingredients

Okonomiyaki ingredients on a wooden table.

We found out how to make okonomiyaki the easy way in just 30 minutes with an authentic taste by ordering a few items from Amazon. If you have an Asian grocery store nearby that stocks these items then you can just pick them up locally.

Okonomiyaki Flour: This is a special blend of flour commonly used for Okonomiyaki. It typically contains flour, yam powder, seasoning, and sometimes baking powder.

Red Pickled Ginger (Kizami Shoga): One of my favorite parts! It introduces a tangy and slightly sweet note.

Tempura Bits (Tenkasu): These add a delightful crunch to the mixture.

Okonomiyaki Sauce: This is a thick, sweet, and savory sauce, often compared to a richer Worcestershire sauce.

Kewpie Mayonnaise (Japanese Mayonnaise): A creamier and tangier version of regular mayo, Kewpie mayo brings a rich and velvety touch to the dish.

Bonito Flakes (Katsuobushi): Thin shavings of dried, fermented, and smoked tuna. They bring a deep umami and slightly smoky flavor. The fun part? They “dance” when placed on hot foods due to the rising heat.

Seaweed Flakes (Aonori): These offer an oceanic aroma, giving the pancake that authentic Japanese touch.

To make it even easier, you can purchase this Okonomiyaki Kit on Amazon that has the first 5 items from the list above.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Variations

This simple Okonomiyaki recipe is so fun to make and so delicious! Once you make it you will want to make again and again and experiment with different ingredients. Here are some other Okonomiyaki ingredients to consider.

Shredded vegetables to add to the cabbage:

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Zucchini

If you want to make a veggie Okonomiyaki, then skip the animal proteins below.

Here is a list of proteins you can use alone or combined to make these Japanese cabbage pancakes (just make sure they get fully cooked):

  • Bacon
  • Chopped Salmon
  • Chopped Shrimp
  • Chopped Squid
  • Chopped Octopus
  • Shredded Chicken
  • Shredded Pork

How to Make Okonomiyaki

Step #1: Preheat the griddle to 400 degrees F (you can also use a non-stick pan or skillet).

Step #2: In a large bowl, use a whisk to combine the Okonomiyaki Flour and water until the okonomiyaki batter is smooth.

Mixing flour and water in a clear bowl with a whisk.

Step #3: Add the cabbage, onions, tempura bits, pickled ginger and shrimp (if you are including the optional shrimp) into the okonomiyaki batter and mix well for at least 30 seconds so that the cabbage is well coated. Please note that you can also use the pickled ginger as a topping to taste instead of mixing it into the batter. Both ways are delicious!

Cabbage, onions, tempura bits, ginger and shrimp added onto the okonomiyaki batter.

Step #4: Add the eggs into the cabbage mixture and mix lightly for about 15 seconds so that the eggs are just combined with the cabbage.

Eggs added on top of the okonomiyaki batter in a clear bowl.

Step #5: Oil the preheated griddle. Use ½ of the mixture for each round pancake and pour onto the griddle. It is easier to cook each pancake separately, so you may want to do what I say, not what I do in cooking both together as shown below.

Two okonomiyaki pancakes cooking on a griddle.

Step #6: Use a large, wide pancake spatula to gently flatten and form the pancakes until they are about 12” in diameter and about ¾” thick. Do not push down too hard with the spatula as you want a fluffy pancake.

Close up of a okonomiyaki pancake cooking on a griddle.

Step #7: Add the bacon pieces to cover the top of the pancake without overlapping them. In the photo below, I have only added 3 pieces of bacon for a lighter recipe, but you should be able to get 6 of the half slices of bacon onto the top of the pancake.

Bacon slices added on top of a okonomiyaki pancake cooking on a griddle.

Step #8: Cook for about 3 minutes, then use 2 large, wide pancake spatulas to flip the pancake over so that the bacon side is down and cook for 4 minutes.

Okonomiyaki pancakes cooking after flipping the bacon side down.

Step #9: Flip the pancake over again so that the bacon side is back on top and cook for 3 minutes or until the pancake is firm and browned, but not burnt.

Okonomiyaki after flipping the bacon side back up.

Step #10: Remove the Okonomiyaki pancake to a plate and drizzle Okonomi sauce in a back and forth pattern. Drizzle the pancake with Kewpie mayonnaise in a back and forth pattern that is perpendicular to the Okonomi sauce. Sprinkle with the Aonori (seaweed flakes). Sprinkle with the Katsuobushi (bonito flakes) and watch them move due to the heat.

Okonomiyaki pancake cut up and being eaten with chopsticks.

Expert Tips

Chill the Batter: If you have some extra time, let the batter rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes before cooking. This allows the flavors to meld and can result in a smoother, more cohesive batter.

Flip with Confidence: Flipping can be tricky, especially with a loaded pancake. I’d suggest using two spatulas to ensure the pancake doesn’t break apart. Also, a swift, confident motion works best.

Check for Doneness: The cooking times provided are a guide, but factors like your stove’s heat can vary. To check if the pancake is done, you can insert a toothpick or skewer in the center. If it comes out clean or with just a few crumbs, you’re good to go.

Play with Toppings: Don’t limit yourself to the toppings mentioned. Feel free to get creative! Thinly sliced avocados, drizzles of spicy mayo, or even a sprinkle of sesame seeds can be delicious additions.

Heat Control: When cooking, especially if using a non-stick pan, ensure the heat isn’t too high. A moderate temperature helps the pancake cook evenly without burning the exterior.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is okonomiyaki?

Okonomiyaki is a Japanese savory pancake containing a variety of ingredients in a flour-based batter. The name is derived from the word okonomi, meaning “how you like” or “what you like”, and yaki meaning “cooked”  Because of the “what you like” part of the name, you can customize this pancake however you like it. You may also hear this recipe called Japanese Pizza.

Can I make a vegetarian okonomiyaki recipe?

Absolutely, just leave out the bacon and shrimp for a vegetarian okonomiyaki recipe.

What to serve with okonomiyaki?

If you’re serving this as a main dish, you might want to consider some light accompaniments. A simple miso soup or a light salad can round out the meal perfectly.

Can I use regular flour instead of Okonomiyaki flour?

While Okonomiyaki flour is specially formulated for this dish, you can use all-purpose flour with a pinch of dashi powder or a bit of stock for added flavor.

Is there a gluten-free version of Okonomiyaki flour?

Yes, some brands offer a gluten-free Okonomiyaki flour. Alternatively, you can make your own mix using rice flour and a bit of potato starch.

Storage and Reheating Info

Cool leftover Okonomiyaki before storing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. For longer storage, wrap individually and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or on the countertop. For reheating, the oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes is recommended for the best texture, but a stovetop on medium heat or a microwave can also be used for quick reheats.

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Okonomiyaki Recipe on a white plate.

Easy Okonomiyaki Recipe

This Easy Okonomiyaki recipe will give you a taste of Japan and it is ready in 30 minutes! It's a Japanese savory pancake that combines cabbage, ginger, green onions, and shrimp into the batter and then adds bacon and tasty Japanese toppings for an incredible mix of flavors.
4.1 from 24 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Japanese
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2 Pancakes
Calories: 865kcal
Author: Linda
Print Recipe

Ingredients

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup okonomiyaki flour
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 eggs - or ½ cup of egg substitute
  • 4 cups of green cabbage - with thick veins removed and cut into 1” x ¼” strips
  • 2 stalks of green onions - thinly sliced diagonally
  • 1 oz. of red pickled ginger
  • ¼ cup of Tempura bits - Tenkasu
  • 6 strips of center cut bacon - cut into 3″ pieces

OPTIONAL

  • ½ cup of raw shrimp - peeled, deveined and cut into 1/2″ pieces

TOPPINGS

  • Okonomi Sauce
  • Kewpie Mayonnaise - Japanese Mayonnaise
  • Bonito flakes - Katsuobushi
  • Seaweed flakes - Aonori
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Instructions

  • Preheat the griddle to 400 degrees F (you can also use a non-stick pan or skillet).
  • In a large mixing bowl, use a whisk to combine the Okonomiyaki Flour and water until the okonomiyaki batter is smooth.
  • Add the cabbage, onions, tempura bits, pickled ginger and shrimp (if you are including the optional shrimp) into the okonomiyaki batter and mix well for at least 30 seconds so that the cabbage is well coated.
  • Add the eggs into the mixture and mix lightly for about 15 seconds so that the eggs are just combined with the cabbage.
  • Oil the preheated griddle. Use ½ of the mixture for each pancake and pour onto the griddle (cook each pancake separately).
  • Use a large, wide pancake spatula to gently flatten and form the pancakes until they are about 12” in diameter and about ¾” thick. Do not push down too hard with the spatula as you want a fluffy pancake.
  • Add the bacon pieces to cover the top of the pancake without overlapping them.
  • Cook for about 3 minutes, then use 2 large, wide pancake spatulas to flip the pancake over so that the bacon side is down and cook for 4 minutes.
  • Flip the pancake over again so that the bacon side is back on top and cook for 3 minutes or until the pancake is firm and browned, but not burnt.
  • Remove the pancake to a plate and drizzle okonomi sauce in a back and forth pattern. Drizzle the pancake with Kewpie mayonnaise in a back and forth pattern that is perpendicular to the okonomi sauce. Sprinkle with the Aonori (seaweed flakes). Sprinkle with the Katsuobushi (bonito flakes) and watch them move due to the heat.

VIDEO

NOTES

Please note that you can also use the pickled ginger as a topping to taste instead of mixing it into the batter. Both ways are delicious!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 865kcal | Carbohydrates: 93g | Protein: 50g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 22g | Cholesterol: 400mg | Sodium: 2101mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 17g

This Okonomiyaki recipe is often misspelled as: okinomiyaki recipe, okonomoyaki recipe, okonomyaki recipe, okonomiaki recipe, okonamiyaki recipe and okonimiyaki recipe.

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About the Author

Linda

Hi, I'm Linda! Welcome to The Wanderlust Kitchen, where I share recipes and travel adventures from all around the world. Here you'll find a world of recipes you can have confidence in. These recipes celebrate authentic food heritage as well as modern techniques and ingredients. Be adventurous and try a new recipe and travel somewhere you have never been before.  Bon Appétit! Bon Voyage!  

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