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Bread & Breakfast

Okonomiyaki, Japanese savory pancakes



The pancake batter is made with the usual ingredients — flour and eggs. But the liquid is dashi broth, not milk nor water. Thinly sliced cabbage, scallions and meat or seafood are stirred in. The chunky batter is poured into an oiled pan and fried until the bottom is browned. Then, the okonomiyaki is flipped to brown the top side. The cooked pancake is slid onto a plate and drizzled with tonkatsu sauce and Japanese mayo, and topped with bonito flakes and more scallions.

Okonomiyaki, Japanese savory pancakes |

The okonomiyaki in the photos was cooked in less than 20 minutes, including preparation time. It was the only thing I could think of to make for lunch yesterday because… I thought I wasn’t going to cook lunch at all. I thought Alex was going to do it. But she was going out with friends later and she would have been exhausted before even stepping out of the house had I let her do lunch.

So, I volunteered. Alex was pleased as a kitten who chanced upon a bowl of cream when no one was looking. She went back upstairs and had her fill of The X-Files before it was time to get ready for her movie-and-dinner date with her friends.

Okonomiyaki, Japanese savory pancakes

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 1 okonomiyaki to serve 3 to 4
Author: Connie Veneracion


  • 1 egg
  • 1 packet dashi granules dissolved in 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 to 3 cups finely sliced cabbage
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions plus more to garnish
  • 6 large shrimps (peeled, heads and tails removed and cut into halves)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • tonkatsu sauce
  • Japanese mayonnaise
  • bonito flakes
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  • Lightly beat the egg and dashi. Stir in the flour just until blended.
  • Add the cabbage, scallions and shrimps. Stir.
  • Season lightly with salt and pepper. Remember that the dashi is already salty so go easy on the salt. Note also that is you rely solely on the dashi for seasoning, the pancake will be too bland. You need salt in addition to the dashi but you have to add it sparingly. If you want to make sure that the seasoning is perfect, take a spoonful of the pancake mix and fry. Taste and make the necessary adjustments.
  • Okonomiyaki, Japanese savory pancakes
  • Heat the cooking oil in a non-sticky frying pan.
  • Pour in the okonomiyaki mixture. Use the back of a spoon to spread it evenly. Cook over medium heat for about seven minutes or until the underside is browned and crisp.
  • Slide the partially cooked okonomiyaki onto a plate. Invert the frying pan over the plate then flip so that the top of the okonomiyaki is now touching the bottom of the pan.
  • Okonomiyaki, Japanese savory pancakes
  • Return the pan to the stove and cook for another seven minutes.
  • Slide the cooked okonomiyaki to a clean plate. Drizzle with Japanese mayonnaise and tonkatsu sauce. Garnish with bonito flakes.
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Recipe for Okonomiyaki, Japanese savory pancakes

If you like Asian pancakes, see also:

Chinese scallion pancakes
Korean scallion pancake (pajeon, p’ajon or pa jun)
Hoddeok (hotteok): Korean sweet pancakes