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Simple Okonomiyaki (Savory Cabbage Pancake)

Drizzle a little okonomiyaki sauce and mayonaise on top of the okonomiyaki savory cabbage pancake. Sprinkle some katsuobushi bonito flakes and ao-nori on top and serve.

Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き) are Japanese savory pancakes that are made with finely diced cabbage and a variety of add-ins such as seafood, bacon, cheese, green onions, diced pickled ginger, etc.

Literally translated, the name is a combination of the Japanese words for “as you like” and “grilled”, so feel free to add in a little of whatever you like.

Okonomiyaki are popular all over Japan, and especially in the Kansai region of Japan that includes Osaka. There are some regional differences in ingredients. For example, a layer of noodles is added to okonomiyaki in the Hiroshima region.

There are a number of restaurants that specialize in okonomiyaki. In some restaurants, people grill their own okonomiyaki on a big hotplate on the table. In other restaurants, the chefs prepare the okonomiyaki in the kitchen and bring the cooked okonomiyaki to the customer’s table.

Okonomiyaki are also popular snacks that are sold at foodstalls in festivals throughout Japan. Smaller sized okonomiyaki are also a popular afterschool snack.

Basic okonomiyaki only need a few ingredients and can be easily prepared at home, as in the simplified recipe below.

Okonomiyaki (Makes 2 pancakes, 15 cm each)


  • 100 grams okonomiyaki flour
  • 200 grams cabbage
  • 2 eggs
  • 100 ml water
  • A little bit of your favorite add-ins (seafood, bacon, cheese, green onions, diced pickled ginger, etc.) (a little bit means at max a couple of spoonfuls)
  • 1 tsp oil


  • Okonomiyaki sauce or tonkatsu sauce
  • Mayonnaise
  • Katsuobushi (bonito flakes)
  • Ao-nori (powdered green nori seaweed)


  1. Dice the cabbage into small pieces (about 5 mm)
  2. If using bacon, cut it into short pieces (about 10 cm).
  3. Put the flour and water in a medium-sized bowl. Mix with a spoon or small hand whisk. (Mix about 30 times)
  4. Add the diced cabbage, eggs and add-ins (except bacon) to the bowl and mix with a spoon about 30 times. Do not overmix.
  5. Divide the mixture into two equal parts. You will be making one pancake at a time.
  6. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat.
  7. Add a little oil to the frying pan (about 1 tsp).
  8. When the frying pan is hot, put half of the mixture in the frying pan. Use a spoon to spread it into a circle that is about 15 cm wide.
  9. If using bacon, put the bacon on top.
  10. Cook for about 4 minutes until the bottom is a nice golden brown color.
  11. Flip over the okonomiyaki pancake and cover the pan with a lid.
  12. Cook, covered, for about 4 minutes until it is a nice golden brown color.
  13. Take off the cover and cook for 1 minute.
  14. Remove the okonomiyaki pancake and put it on a plate.
  15. Repeat the process (#8-14) for the remaining mixture.


  • Drizzle a little okonomiyaki sauce and mayonaise on top. Sprinkle katsuobushi bonito flakes and ao-nori seaweed powder on top.


Posted in Food, Main dish