Okonomiyaki お好み焼き

A postcard from Hiroshima showing the layering of an okonomiyaki, in the Hiroshima style. A manga illustration with characters for each ingredient and a description in Japanese and English.

Okonomiyaki translates roughly to “as you like it” but more literally as “your preference grilled”. Some people think of okonomiyaki as a Japanese pancake. There are similarities. However, in my opinion, okonomiyaki is so much more delicious as you can chose what to put in and it is savoury. It is a great recipe when you are catering to many different food likes and dislikes (ie. kids). You can add or remove any ingredient easily and without any additional effort. It is a weeknight favourite here. Super quick, super convenient and super yummy.

Okonomiyaki is a very versatile dish and its convenience lies in the fact you can put in whatever you have at hand. Grated carrot, zucchini, capsicum, prawns or anything else that takes your fancy. In Hiroshima it is traditional to have this pancake served with noodles. Everywhere in Japan has their own style of okonomiyaki, although Hiroshima style and Kansai style are the most popular. In Japan the okonomiyaki is cooked on a flat grill in front of you. You then serve it with a special spatula.



  • 2 cups flour (traditionally potato flour, I use white spelt)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce


  • 1/4 red cabbage
  • 1/4 green cabbage
  • 4 spring onions
  • 200g enoki mushrooms
  • streaky bacon (optional)
  • 4 eggs
  • rice bran oil (for frying)
  • beni shoga (red pickled ginger strips)


  • okonimyaki sauce
  • Kewpie mayo
  • katsuobushi (bonito-smoked, dried tuna flakes)
  • shredded nori
  • spring onion
  • a little more beni shoga


  • To make the batter, whisk the flour, water and soy until smooth and set aside.
  • Set out four small bowls.
  • Finely shred the cabbage and divide evenly between the bowls.
  • Finely chop the spring onion. Divide most of it between the four bowls and reserve the rest for topping.
  • Cut the bottom of the enoki mushrooms and tear them into small pieces. Divide the into the bowls.
  • Place around a teaspoon of beni shoga into each bowl.
  • Crack an egg into each bowl and mix egg through the other ingredients.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the bowls and mix really well.
  • Place a frypan over a medium heat, brush with some rice bran oil and lay two rashers of bacon in the pan.
  • Pour the contents of one bowl into the frypan and make sure the ingredients and batter are evenly distributed right to the edges of the pan. Place the lid on the frypan. This will make one okonomiyaki.
  • Cook for around 5 minutes until the batter is no longer runny and the bottom is browned. Place a dinner plate face down on top of the okonomiyaki and hold it firmly with one hand. Use your other hand to turn the frypan upside down. Take the frypan off the top and place it back on the heat. Slide the okonomiyaki back in to cook the other side.
  • Slide the first pancake off the pan and keep warm on a tray in a low oven while you finish cooking the other serves.
  • When all the pancakes are ready. Place them on plates and top with okonimaki sauce and Kewpie mayo, both zigzagged across the top of the pancake. Add the kutsuobushi, the beni shoga and the remaining spring onions. Sprinkle with a light dusting of dried nori flakes.

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