Friday, October 9, 2009

A sort of Okonomiyaki - Japanese Pancake

Okonomiyaki - Japanese Vegetable Pancake
Home Cooking

I've had a hard job sticking up for cabbage in the past. People had doubts about the cabbage pie I made ages ago but it turned out awesome so I'm still of the mindset that those who disregard cabbage dishes do so at their own peril.

I'm more sensible/open-minded/cabbage-loving, and for that reason, a pancake mixture laden with shredded cabbage gets me salivating more than a steak. I first learnt about this dish on Closet Cooking (thanks Kevin!) and it jumped right up on my 'to do' list.

The 'okonomi' from okonomiyaki translates to 'as you like'. Shredded cabbage in eggy batter is the norm and you can then get creative from there. Add whatever grated veggies you have lying around plus/minus meat products.

Serves 2-3

  • 1 cup grated cabbage (I used wom bok i.e. Chinese cabbage)
  • 1 medium zucchini, grated
  • 1 capsicum, cut into thin strips
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 self-raising flour (I used 1/4 cup wholemeal and 1/4 cup plain)
  • 1/2 cup stock (should be dashi stock but I used chicken stock) or water
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Japanese mayo, okonomiyaki sauce and chopped green onion to serve

1. Get all the veggies prepared.2. Make the batter by mixing together the eggs, flour and stock.3. Add the vegetables to the batter and stir together.4. In a large saucepan, heat the vegetable oil on high.
5. Spoon in 1/3 of the batter and flatten to a circle. Reduce the heat to low-medium and let it cook until the surface is a bit firm.6. Flip to cook the other side until the whole pancake is set inside out.

Note: when I cooked this dish, I ambitiously used all the batter in one go to make this monstrous fusion pizza-pancake. It took FOREVER to cook/set and it was also REALLY difficult to flip. That's why I recommend dividing the batter into more manageable portions and keeping it thin. If you're struggling with pancake flipping, you can try putting a plate on the frying pan, flipping it out onto the plate and then sliding it from the plate back into the frying pan... although hopefully, if the pancakes are small enough, that won't be necessary.

7. Serve the pancake hot and drizzled in Japanese mayonnaise and okonomiyaki sauce (which is described as being like a thick version of Worcestershire sauce). Garnish with chopped green onion or shredded nori.

Firstly, I'm going to admit that I didn't have okonomiyaki sauce lying around so I substituted with (shock horror) kecap manis, aka sweet soy. Before you scoff at this blatant cross-cultural use of condiments, it tasted REALLY good. So there.

Texture shot

I don't know if I've been eating too much junk food or what but my body's been sending out 'I need vegetable' cravings and this pancake TOTALLY hit the spot. I've previously expressed a love for savory muffins and slices and this was much in the same vein.

I was close to adding some smoked chicken pieces but stand by my decision to exclude all meat products cos the veggies sang on their own.

Being such an easy recipe, I can see this becoming a regular 'go to' dish. For lunch, snacking, dinner, whatever.


  1. Great looking okonomiyaki! That cabbage pie sounds good as well!

  2. Loved the recipe and made it numerous times since. And the kecap manis does taste good as long as you like sweet tasting food.

  3. HI Anonymous...

    I am a bit of a sweet tooth... even with savory food! The kecap manis does it for me :p