28 In Main Dish/ Pork/ Video

Okonomiyaki (savory cabbage pancake) Recipe

Okonomiyaki is a cabbage pancake covered with Okonomiyaki sauce.  Okonomiyaki sauce is a Worcester-based sauce with some sweetener, and it is the crucial flavor of this dish.  We like Otafuku brand, but anything you can find is fine.  Or you can use Tonkatsu sauce that tastes similar but less sweet.

Okonomiyaki is found anywhere in Japan, but is big in the Osaka area in western Japan where we are (proudly) from.  There are a lot of Okonomiyaki restaurants in Osaka.  Restaurants have tables with built-in griddles where you can cook Okonomiyaki yourself or your server cooks it for you.  You eat it right from super hot griddle, and it’s so good.

People in Japan also make Okonomiyaki at home.  A lot of people have portable electric griddles, and make Okonomiyaki at the dinner table as you eat.

The main ingredients are cabbage and a choice of meat. Pork is most common, but squid, shrimp, and beef are also popular. The meat is not usually mixed into the pancake, but added to one side. One of the best things about Okonomiyaki is that you can make it in so many ways. The name actually means “cook as you like” (or something close to that anyway). Different areas of Japan have very different styles as well. For example, in Hiroshima people add noodles.

After the cabbage, meat, and essential Okonomiyaki sauce for seasoning, other ingredients are very good to provide an authentic flavor:

1 Nagaimo (Chinese yam)—makes the pancake hold together and gives a light texture

2 pickled red ginger (Benishouga)—gives a little sour kick

3 dried green laver or seaweed (Aonori)— seaweed flavor that goes very well with the sauce

If you can’t get them, don’t worry about it.  However, those ingredients definitely give this dish the right Osaka taste.  It is very easy to make, but these ingredients might be more than 101.  It is worth though to go to the trouble of finding them if you can.  Once you make it, you’ll make it over and over again!

All ingredients are found in Japanese markets, or most of them at online stores.

Okonomiyaki (Savory Cabbage Pancake)

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

Okonomiyaki (Savory Cabbage Pancake)


  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup Dashi (fish broth)
  • 1 egg
  • 3-4 Tbsp Nagaimo (long yam), grated
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 cabbage (about 12oz), chopped fine
  • 3-4 green onions, chopped fine
  • 2-3 Tbsp pickled red ginger Benishoga, chopped fine
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 6 pieces thinly sliced pork belly
  • Okonomiyaki sauce or Tonkatsu sauce
  • mayonnaise
  • dried bonito flakes
  • dried green seaweed (Aonori)


  1. In a big bowl, whisk flour and Dashi (fish broth) together until smooth. Stir egg and yam to flour mixture. Season it with salt and soy sauce.
  2. Add chopped cabbage, onions, and ginger to the batter and mix.
  3. Heat oil in a skillet, pour half of the pancake batter into an 8" circle, and lay 3 pieces of pork slices on it. Fry at medium heat until the bottom becomes golden brown, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Flip to fry the other side until the pork becomes crispy, about 5-7 minutes.
  5. Flip one more time, pork side up, and spread Okonomiyaki sauce and mayo on the pancake.
  6. Sprinkle dried green seaweed, then dried bonito flakes over the pancake. Serve hot.


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  • Matt Burghdorf
    March 22, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    Watching this video made me very hungry!!!!!!

    • Yuko
      March 22, 2012 at 9:30 pm

      Hi Matt! I’m glad to hear that the video is working (to make you hungry!) 🙂

  • Tanya
    June 2, 2012 at 7:50 am

    Thanks! Okonomiyaki made by your recipe was very delicious! Keep going. Hope to see more yummy Japanese recipes.

    • Yuko
      June 2, 2012 at 7:48 pm

      Hi Tanya,
      Thanks for trying our recipe! We are glad to hear that you liked our Okonomiyaki 🙂

  • Rachel
    September 17, 2012 at 8:58 am

    I am trying your recipe right now and so far so good. I was so happy to find benishouga and nagaimo which I was more than prepared to do without but I did find it!! I can’t wait to try real Osaka okonomiyaki! Thanks for the recipe m( )m

    • Yuko
      September 20, 2012 at 4:31 pm

      Hi Rachel, Thanks for trying our recipe! How did it go? I am glad to hear that you found benishouga and nagaimo, which make a big difference in flavor.
      We hope you enjoyed the Osaka style okonomiyaki!

  • Lisa
    September 30, 2012 at 12:09 am

    I just moved to Japan recently, so I was able to find all the ingredients you mentioned. Your okonomiyaki recipe helped me create a delicious dish! Thanks so much. I was feeling depressed not knowing how to use any of the ingredients I saw in the store. I would just buy bagged sauses or curry. Now, I am able to eat just as well as I did back in the U.S.A

    • Noriko
      October 12, 2012 at 1:00 pm

      I’m so glad you found us! Don’t feel depressed although I know the feeling (I’ve been in the us away from my home country for 18 years). Eat well, feel better, and come back to see us soon!

  • tB
    November 8, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Greetings from australia.

    Love all your recipes. Looking forward for more delicious food from you.

  • JoAnn
    November 19, 2013 at 6:05 am

    I am so glad I found this recipe. I want to go to our International foods store to get the supplies I need to make this. I have one question. A while back, we hosted some Japanese teachers and turned our kitchen over to them to make some food for us to sample. I took them to the International foods store and they got supplies. They bought a special flour for the Okonomiyaki – what might have that been? What should I ask for there?

    Thanks for your insights and the recipe!!!

    • Noriko
      December 1, 2013 at 11:06 pm

      there is Okonomiyaki mix like pancake mix you can buy at the store, however, you don’t have to use it. Just use regular all purpose flour and other ingredients in our recipe. Good luck!

  • Dave
    May 31, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    What would I serve this “pancake” with. I truly enjoy your website, YouTube videos and blog.

    • Noriko
      June 2, 2014 at 11:10 pm

      you could serve miso soup and salad with Okonomiyaki, and that’s a great meal.

  • Jenny
    June 16, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    Hello, and thank you. my fav japanese food, now i can make it at home 😀
    cant seem to find thinly sliced pork belly though, the butchers around me in sydney arn’t very good >.<
    Any ideas for storing extra mixture? should i make them all then freeze them?

    once again THANK YOU.
    i agree, the Osaka okonomiyaki is the best 🙂

    • Noriko
      September 13, 2014 at 11:40 pm

      you can keep the leftover batter for a day or so, but use up soon. I would not freeze Okonomiyaki, it’s not going to be so great. Make fresh and crispy (outside) Osaka style Okonomiyaki whenever you want to eat!

  • Jessilyn
    July 24, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    Thank you for the recipe!!! Here are my results 😉

    • Noriko
      September 13, 2014 at 4:57 pm

      smiley face?

  • Renata
    July 29, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    Hello, can I use smoked salmon slices instead of pork belly?

    • Noriko
      September 13, 2014 at 1:47 pm

      smoked salom will give totally different flavor to the dish, however, use it if you like it.

  • Jenny
    August 19, 2014 at 11:23 pm

    Okonomiyaki is my fav! i bought a cookbook all about them some time ago, but it was a little confusing, so many hard to get ingredients! But your recipe is the BEST!!!!
    I use it all the time and am now fluent in okonomiyaki making, i dont even have to go to restaurants any more 🙂

    • Noriko
      September 8, 2014 at 10:05 pm

      Glad you liked our Okonomiyaki recipe! We have Takoyaki too!

  • Bobby
    September 13, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    Thank you for this recipe it was so delicious and turned out great! I have one question though, is the inside of the okonomiyaki supposed to be moist? I assumed it was moisture from the pickled ginger and the cabbage. I made multiple attempts and even made it very thin, but inside the crispy outer layer the inside stayed moist. It was delicious, I just want to make sure i made it correctly. Thanks again! : )

    • Noriko
      September 13, 2014 at 8:44 pm

      yes, it is softer inside, but should be cooked completely. You could taste raw batter if it’s not cooked through.

  • JLass
    October 23, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    there are so many different types of cabbage out there, which one works best with this recipe?
    Could it work with napa cabbage?


    • Noriko
      October 24, 2014 at 7:50 pm

      Napa cabbage is too watery. It’s better to use the regular green cabbage.

  • H
    August 24, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    Hi ,

    I do not know that Chinese yam is made of which things and Chinese yam is veg or Non – veg food .

  • Saar Harel
    October 2, 2016 at 12:03 am

    You recipe was excellent.
    The size though was big for me and my wife.
    So I halved it for 2.
    Thanks, it was delicious.

  • Velocette
    January 22, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    Hi, I love all your recipe, but would like to know what you would use for the All Purpose Flour if you couldn’t use it? I am allergic, but would love to know what you would use. 🙂