06 August, 2021



I've been holding off plagiarising this recipe from Eat Your Kimchi because I wanted to support the creators. Unfortunately it looks like their blog site's gone off the air some time since I last looked at it, so it's "Yo-ho, yo-ho, a pirate's life for me!"

Basically okonomiyaki is a Japanese cabbage fritter. The EYK video covers the Osaka-style in that it has pork-belly strips on the A-side. I might as well add some of my own "as you like it" changes along the way to make it look like I didn't just copy the recipe outright.


  • ¼ - ½ wombok cabbage (or similar mild-flavoured cabbage).
  • 3-6 Spring onions (More if they're small like the ones in the EYK video)
  • 1 egg.
  • "some" rashers of preferably streaky bacon (or short-cut, or ham, or unsmoked pork belly strips, or nothing, etc.) - enough to cover your pan to your liking.
  • 7 tablespoons of plain flour. If you have any potato starch or cornflour, substitute one of these in for one of the plain (It'll help it stick together). Actual okonomiyaki flour would be best of all, if you can get it.
  • About ½ tsp salt
  • Optional: a pinch of dashi powder if you've got some.
  • 150ml cold water.
  • Optional: A small 125g "lunch" tin of sweet corn kernels, including liquid (There's a lot of flavour in this. use to substitute some water).
  • Also optional: Anything else you like fried up with cabbage (and bacon). After all, the name "okonomiyaki" more or less means "cooked how you like it". Stick to things with reasonably "umami" flavours though (chocolate buttons or silver cachous are just going to taste weird and might break someone's tooth)
  • Condiments to serve: Okonomi sauce (or barbecue, or "brown sauce" as the Brits call it), mayonnaise, bonito flakes if you have/want them.


  •  A flat non-stick frying pan that's deep enough to hold all your ingredients (A crepe pan might be a bit shallow). You could get-away with a "with-stick" pan if you have a PTFE sheet, baking paper or a small lake of frying oil to discourage it.
  • A lid for the pan, or something similar like a plate that can cover most of the inside surface area.
  • Two bowls: one big enough to hold all your vegetables, the other to hold all your vegetables and also the batter.
  • A wooden spoon or similar to stir the batter and vegetables together
  • "frying utensils" like a large spatula and maybe one or two large plates or chopping boards to help flip and serve the fritter.


Core your cabbage and chop into the thinnest strips you can manage. This is more important on the dense ribs rather than the thin parts of the leaves (It's got to be able to soften/cook fairly quickly and thin strips helps).

Chop the spring onions into thin rings down to the start of the pure-white part of the stem (If it's got roots, shove the stump into the boggiest part of your garden for recurring spring onions). Put the onion and cabbage into a bowl, sprinkle the salt over it and give it a toss and a light squeeze a few times with your hands. This helps to soften the vegetables and get them shedding liquid.

Crack the egg into the other bowl, open the tin of corn and drain the liquid into the egg (put the kernels in with the vegetables). Add the dashi (if you have it) and as much extra water to make about 150ml of added liquid in total. Give the egg and liquid a quick whisk (Use a fork if you don't have the eponymous implement). Now add the flour and give it another quick whisk. The batter doesn't have to be perfectly smooth and we're better off not over developing the gluten too much, so don't beat the stuffing out of it. Add the vegetables into the batter and stir it through with the wooden spoon until everything's consistently mixed together (Again: we're not trying to win the Melbourne cup here - lay off the whip!). You should end-up with what looks like cabbage tossed in some batter, not "a lot of batter with some cabbage in it". Set aside while you ruin the bacon.

Put the pan on a medium heat and when it's up to temp, lay out your bacon/whatnot on the base. When it's about "half done" (You can see it's curling or shedding moisture, but before any colour develops around the edges), flip it all over and dump your vegetables/batter over the top. Flatten this out with your spoon or spatula until it's as thin and wide as your pan will allow. If you have a squirt bottle of oil, running a ring of oil around the inside rim of the pan can help colour the edges and ease getting the fritter out later on. Put the lid on and leave for about 7 minutes.

Now the tricky part: you've got to flip this pasty green goop. If you have a pan with a curved lip and you're skilled/confident/drunk enough, you can try flipping it in the pan. However, if your pan has a vertical edge, you're likely to roll it up like an omelette or drop half of it on the floor or both. You may have better luck inverting the fritter three times onto something like a pair of chopping boards (Or the pan lid or a plate). That is: put the board over the pan and flip it over; Remove the pan and put your second board over the top and flip again. Remove the first board and put the pan back over the top and flip for the final time. Remove the second board and you should now have the fritter "sticky side down" in the pan again. You may get away with one board and just sliding it back into the pan after the first flip, but you bear that risk alone.

However much fritter remains in the pan needs another 3 - 5 minutes of cooking with the lid on (You want it set and about the same even brown colour on both sides). Extract from the pan with whatever method you used before and try to end-up with it flat and bacon-side up on your chopping board. Squirt parallel lines of okonomi/bbq/brown sauce over the top, then at 90 degrees to the first lines, lay down parallel lines of mayonnaise. Toss some bonito flakes over the top if you like and gloat at your dinner guests about the amazing comfort food you just dropped in their lap.

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