- Food: Okonomiyaki
- Writer: Lizzie Green
- Content-Type: Food Blog
Weeknight dinners don’t have to be dull with this okonomiyaki recipe! It’s quick to prepare, healthful, delicious, and a lot of fun to make.
Okonomiyaki may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of pantry dishes. It was absolutely not the case with Jack and me.
We cooked our way through a host of the bean, rice, and pasta recipes over the last few weeks before realizing we have everything we needed to make this popular Japanese street cuisine right in our own kitchen!
On a trip to Japan about ten years ago, Jack and I experienced okonomiyaki for the first time, and we’ve been hooked ever since.
If you’re unfamiliar with it, it’s a savory Japanese pancake that looks like a frittata and is cooked with cabbage, onions, and various meats or shellfish (Jack often calls it a cabbage hashbrown).
This homemade version isn’t quite as authentic as the original, but it’s still nutritious, tasty, and really simple to prepare.
This okonomiyaki recipe is a must-try if you’re searching for a fun cooking activity that doesn’t demand hours in the kitchen.
Ingredients for Okonomiyaki
Jack and I were in Hiroshima when I first tried okonomiyaki. Layers of fried veggies, meat, shellfish, noodles, and eggs are layered on top of a thin flour pancake in Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki.
It’s excellent, but it’s difficult to make at home on a standard stove.
Instead, my okonomiyaki is inspired by Osaka or Kansai cuisine. The ingredients are all blended together in this style.
They usually feature cabbage, green onion, and a meat and seafood combination such as pork belly, octopus, squid, or shrimp. My dish, of course, is vegetarian, so there will be no meat or seafood in it.
Instead, I combine shaved cabbage, scallions, and panko breadcrumbs in a large mixing bowl. Then I finish it off with a few beaten eggs. It’s simple to make and delicious to eat.
After you’ve finished cooking your okonomiyaki, it’s time to get creative with the toppings!
It’s traditionally served with okonomiyaki sauce, Kewpie mayo drizzles, dried seaweed flakes, and bonito flakes in Japan. I like to use the following components at home:
- Traditional okonomiyaki sauce incorporates oyster sauce, therefore it isn’t totally vegetarian. Instead of Vegan Worcestershire sauce, I use Annie’s vegan Worcestershire sauce as a topping. It has a similar ingredient list to traditional okonomiyaki sauce, but it’s completely vegan! In this recipe, its sweet umami flavor is great. If you can’t find it, replace it with a drizzle of tamari or soy sauce.
- Mayo — I highly recommend using Kewpie mayo if you can get it. Because it’s created with rice vinegar, it pairs well with the Japanese flavors in this dish. Otherwise, I prefer Sir Kensington’s since it has a terrific flavor.
- Nori – I generally always have Nori on hand because it lasts for months in the pantry. Its umami flavor elevates this dish to new heights.
- Pickled ginger provides a sweet, tart note to the dish.
- Sprinkle sesame seeds on top of the pancake for a toasted, nutty bite.
- Extra scallions and microgreens – I can’t help myself when it comes to fresh garnishes!
You can use all of these toppings or just a handful. Then dive in and enjoy yourself!
Tips for Okonomiyaki
- Finely shred the cabbage. The best results are achieved when the cabbage is shredded very thinly. Your cabbage won’t hold together as well if it’s too chunky, and it’ll have a denser, less delicate texture. When I prepare this recipe, I always use my mandoline. If you don’t have one, shred the cabbage thinly with a food processor or a sharp knife if you don’t have one.
- Don’t cram it too tightly. When you pour the mixture into the skillet, press it down gently with a spatula until it’s approximately 1/2 inch thick. It’s only a matter of getting the loose mixture to come together. If you press down too hard, your okonomiyaki will become dense.
- It should be eaten right away. Like many egg-based meals, okonomiyaki is best served immediately after cooking.
|Time to Prepare: 10 minutes
15 minutes to cook
This okonomiyaki dish is incredibly simple and enjoyable to prepare. It’s a savory Japanese pancake with a cabbage hashbrown structure, similar to a frittata.
- 3 packed cups finely shredded cabbage, about ½ medium
- 1¼ cups chopped scallions, about 1 bunch
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- 3 eggs, beaten
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
- Vegan Worcestershire sauce, (Annie’s recommended)
- Mayo, (Sir Kensington’s or Kewpie recommended)
- Sesame seeds
- Pickled ginger
- ½ sheet nori, sliced
- ½ cup micro greens, optional
- Combine the cabbage, scallions, panko, and salt in a large mixing basin. In a small mixing bowl, gently fold in the eggs. (Note: the consistency will be loose and cabbagey, not like a flour pancake batter.) Allow 10 minutes if it’s really dry).
- Over medium heat, heat a nonstick skillet. Using a 14 measuring cup, spoon the cabbage mixture into the skillet after brushing it with olive oil. (It’s fine if it doesn’t appear to be cohesive at first; the egg will bind together as it cooks.) With a spatula, gradually flatten the mixture until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Cook for 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown, turning the heat down as needed. Wipe clean the skillet and brush with more oil as needed with the leftover mixture.
- Drizzle Worcestershire sauce and thin strips of strained mayo over the okonomiyaki. Sesame seeds, pickled ginger, and nori are sprinkled over top. If desired, top with microgreens. Serve immediately.
- I use a mandoline to shred my cabbage to obtain thin, even shreds.
- Cut nori into tiny strips with scissors.