Adapted from Midge via Food52

Before Andy and I had children, we spent much of our time and discretionary income on travel and entertainment. One summer we took a trip to Japan to visit my brother, who had been living near Tokyo for several years. We wandered up and down the streets of Harajuku and Roppongi taking in the sights and nibbling on all sorts of tasty things. We traveled by train to Kyoto and Hiroshima, where we did more milling about and snacking. We fell in love with a Japanese street food called okonomiyaki, a big eggy pancake filled with vegetables, topped with what my brother called “yummy brown sauce” and drizzled with a creamy dressing. I’ve never seen anything quite like it here. I came upon this recipe on Food 52 and just had to try it! I’ve added more vegetables and cut the recipe for the sauce in half. It’s been so long since I had a “real” one, so I’m not sure how authentic this recipe is but it was certainly a hit.

    • Sauce:
    • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
    • 1 teaspoon sriracha


  • Pancakes:
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup shredded savoy cabbage
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red pepper
  • 2 oz. sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 small bunch scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup chopped raw shrimp (see tips)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • Hoisin sauce, for serving

  • Before you begin, make the sauce by whisking the mayonnaise, soy and sriracha together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • To make the pancakes, place the eggs, soy sauce, sesame oil and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together until blended. Gradually add the flour until fully incorporated. If the batter looks a bit lumpy, continue whisking until its smooth. Fold in the cabbage, red pepper, mushrooms, scallions and shrimp.
  • Warm the oven to 200 degrees F. Set an oven-proof dish next to the stove. You will use this dish to collect the pancakes as they are ready, then put them in the oven to keep them warm.
  • Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Allow the oil to become quite hot (it should be glistening) before adding the batter to the skillet. Be sure to include a mix of all the vegetables in each pancake. Allow the pancake to become crisp and brown on one side, then flip it over and do the same on the other side. For me, this took no more than 1-2 minutes per side.
  • Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and serve with hoisin and mayonnaise sauces for dipping.
  • Quick Tips
  • 1. I used Wild Key West Pink Shrimp, which I found at Whole Foods in the freezer section. You can thaw them under running cold water just before using. They were perfect for this recipe.
  • 2. I’m not sure what the “yummy brown sauce” actually was, but hoisin sauce did the trick.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Number of servings (yield): Makes 8 – 6″ pancakes

3 responses to “Okonomiyaki”

  1. Mahoko says:

    It’s so wonderful to read about okonomiyaki here. I grew up with them – my mom made them regularly. She was from Osaka, and was quite a snob about okonomiyaki. (She thought Tokyo okonomiyaki was no good.) I usually get the okonomiyaki flour and sauce at a nearby Japanese grocery store, but always wanted to make it from scratch to make it fresher and healthier. I’ll definitely have to try this! Thank you 🙂

    • Alicia says:

      Mahoko, I’d love to know how to make “real” okonomiaki – your mother’s way! I had no idea there was special flour and that you could find the “yummy brown sauce” at a Japanese grocery store here. I’d love to know where this store is!

  2. Jan Mills says:

    I made this last night when we had a friend for drinks and appetizers (it became dinner). We all loved them and I have already shared the recipe with her. I was lazy and made two large pancakes which we simply divided. I wasn’t sure about the sauce but again, we all thought it was an excellent addition. I imagine that they would be delicious with all types of vegetables. Thanks Alicia! Jan

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