Classic Okonomiyaki (Japanese Cabbage and Pork Pancakes)

Classic Okonomiyaki (Japanese Cabbage and Pork Pancakes)

Crisp on the outside and custardy in the center, okonomiyaki are pan-fried Japanese pancakes that traditionally feature a filling of cabbage and pork belly. Here, bacon can be substituted for the pork belly, replaced with shrimp or omitted entirely. You can find the more unusual toppings like hondashi, Kewpie mayonnaise, okonomi sauce and dried bonito at any Japanese market. Similar to Worcestershire sauce but sweeter and less salty, the okonomi sauce is combined with Kewpie mayonnaise and umami-rich bonito flakes for a playful topping. This adaptable recipe is a great way to use up leftovers or other vegetables, such as shredded carrots, bean sprouts or chopped snap peas.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 7 persons



  1. Step 1

    In a large bowl, combine hondashi with 1 cup water and whisk until dissolved. Whisk in eggs until well combined. Add flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda and whisk until smooth. Fold in cabbage, scallions and ginger until well incorporated.
  2. Step 2

    In an 8-inch nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Add half the batter, spreading cabbage mixture into an even 6-inch round about 1-inch thick (resist the urge to push down on the mixture). Arrange half the pork belly over the cabbage, slightly overlapping. Cook over medium-low until pancake is set and golden brown underneath, 8 to 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low and carefully flip pancake by inverting onto a plate then slipping back into the skillet.
  3. Step 3

    Cook until golden brown on second side, pancake is cooked through in center and pork is lightly golden, about 8 minutes. Transfer pancake, pork side up, onto a large plate. Wipe out skillet and repeat with remaining oil, batter and pork belly.
  4. Step 4

    Drizzle pancakes with okonomi sauce and Kewpie mayonnaise, then top with a handful of shaved bonito and nori. Serve warm.