Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pancake)

A delicious, healthy way to use up the leftovers floating around in your fridge, this traditional Japanese dish literally translates to 'how you like'. There are very few rules to making perfect Okonomiyaki!

The main constants appear to be cabbage, vegetables and perhaps some kind of meat, flour (I used gluten free, of course) and egg, made in to a pancake and cooked in a frypan. Favourite toppings seem to include Kewpie mayonnaise (mainly vegetable oil, egg and vinegar) and okonomiyaki sauce (essentially made from ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce, although recipes differ).

I'm not going to lie - it really does tend to be these toppings that epitomise the dish, and make it the exceptionally tasty treat that so many love! 

So, it's not the easiest of recipes to suit a diner with dietary restrictions, but there is room for tweaking, and if nothing else it certainly is a tasty, easy, cheap and crowd-pleasing treat of a meal.

The recipe below is literally what I put in mine... but keep in mind just how adjustable it is, depending on what you've got at the ready, and where your preferences lie!

As an extra special treat for the husband, I topped his serve with some crispy fried chicken skin leftover from a beautiful organic roast we had earlier in the week, to add some really crunchy texture.

Makes 3-4 serves


  • 2-3 tbs cold-pressed olive oil
  • 2-3 cups green cabbage, shredded
  • 3 small zucchini, grated
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 100g leg ham, diced (optional) 
  • 2 cups gluten free plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup water
  • Okonomiyaki sauce for topping (for better control of the sugar content, try making your own)
  • Kewpie mayonnaise (optional, but delicious). Find Kewpie in the Asian food aisle of the supermarket. 


  1. Combine all vegetables, ham, flour, eggs and water in a large bowl. Use clean hands to mix well.
  2.  Heat 1-2 tsp of the olive oil in a fry pan, and add around a quarter of the pancake batter. Use your hands to press into shape, and a spatula to help form a circle.
  3. Cook for approximately five minutes before flipping. If the pancake comes apart, use the spatula to guide it back together (the more it cooks, the better it will hold its shape). 
  4. Transfer to a plate, and top with okonomiyaki sauce and Kewpie mayonnaise.