Japanese Pizza

Japanese Pizza Recipe


One afternoon near Kyoto I found myself looking through a pane of glass at a man standing over a large, flat, hot griddle. He held a large spatula in one hand, and would reach for various ingredients flanking his workstation with the other. I stood watching him for a few minutes as he turned out egg-battered cabbage on to the hot grill, formed the mixture into flattened cakes, and cooked each side until golden. An older Japanese man walked up beside me, probably noticed the perplexed look on my face, smiled and said to me, "Japanese Pizza."

Okonomiyaki Recipe

Later, after asking around and doing a bit of reading, I realized I was watching the man make okonomiyaki. Not at all like pizza at first glance, it does have many things in common - namely shape, the ability to easily customize each one, and affordability. Okonomi means something along the lines of as you like it, or what you like or what you want. It is street food made to order. And if you're asking me, the type I ended up making is more like a thin frittata than a pizza. Whatever you want to call it - it's satisfying, nutritious (particularly if you don't load it up with endless toppings, sauces, and mayo), and endlessly adaptable to what is in season or on hand. It's also quick to make at home.

There are various regional styles of okonomiyaki that I'm not going to get into, but the recipe you see here today is my Cali-interpretation of Osaka-style okonomiyaki made with the cabbage I had left-over from Bryant Terry's Jamaican Veggie Patties, some toasted almonds for crunch, and fresh chives. My pal Harris writes about Funchu-style okonomiyaki on his site. A hefty layered creation starting with a thin layer of crepe/pancake batter.

I encourage you to give this a go - even if you think you don't like cabbage. I think it's good enough to convert people into cabbage fans. And if you end up with leftover cabbage, there are a number of other cabbage recipes in the archives: a rustic cabbage soup, a zesty lime and peanut coleslaw, and this cabbage salad with a simple miso dressing are all favorite ways I like to use it.

 
 
 
 

Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pizza) Recipe

Leeks are notoriously gritty. To clean them well I typically slice them lengthwise and then submerge them in a big bowl of water - where I rinse and swish them to loosen up any dirt. Drain and repeat if needed. Then chop/slice.

2 cups cabbage, finely shredded
1 cup leeks, well washed and chopped (see head notes)
2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or apf flour)
a couple pinches of fine grain sea salt
2 eggs, beaten
1+ tablespoon olive oil

Garnish: toasted slivered almonds, chives/ herbs

Combine the cabbage, leeks, flour, and salt in a bowl. Toss until everything is coated with a dusting of flour. Stir in the eggs and mix until everything is evenly coated.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add a generous splash of olive oil. Scoop the cabbage mixture into the pan, and using a metal spatula press it into a round pancake shape, flat as you can get it. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the bottom is golden. To flip the okonomiyaki, slide it out of the skillet onto a plate. Place another plate on top and flip both (together) over. If you need a bit more oil in your skillet, add it now, before sliding the okonomiyaki back into the skillet. Again press down a bit with a spatula and cook until golden on this side - another 3 -5 minutes.

When you are finished cooking, sprinkle with toasted almonds and chives, and slide it onto a cutting board to cut into wedges. Enjoy immediately.

Serves 1 - 2.

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Your Comments


Hollie
March 21, 2009

WOW! this is such a coincidence! i have recently started a new way of eating Clean and ALSO just got into Bento boxed lunches and was just reading about okonomiyaki and wondering what the heck it was! and here, low and behold, Heidi to the rescue!!! This looks prefect for my little fun lunches. I want to make more fun things in the upcoming weeks! I will have to also try that cabbage salad too! MMM! thanks Heidi!!!!

 

Patty
March 21, 2009

Sounds delicious...I have always wanted to do something with cabbage besides cole slaw....

 

Maggie
March 21, 2009

Ahhh okonomiyaki!! I'm going to make this tomorrow! My boyfriend is going to be very happy :)

 

hiroko
March 21, 2009

We mix dashi broth, flour and eggs before adding the veggie mixture in Japan.
It stays together much better :-)

 

Allison
March 21, 2009

I can't wait to try this, and it's so versatile! I have some green garlic in the fridge that I think I'll toss with the cabbage - and some walnuts from the Oakland farmers' market. Wow, now I'm hungry, maybe I'll start cooking.

 

Keith Law
March 21, 2009

Sounds more like a cabbage rösti than a pizza.

 

Pearl
March 21, 2009

That is so cool. Thank you for sharing :D

 

noble pig
March 21, 2009

This is an amazing recipe. Growing up Polish I am a big fan of cabbage as sauerkraut was a big part of my life.

However this beats out anything I've ever done with cabbage.

Ironically, food network, specifically, Iron Chef, is on in the background. The secret ingredient is cabbage. I think it's a sign.

 

Christina
March 21, 2009

How coincedental! I'm hosting a cabbage recipe contest on my blog this week - kind of like an Iron Chef thing. You choose an ingredient and I chose cabbage. Mmm, mmm. Thanks for all the yummy cabbage dishes - I think it's such an under-rated and forgotten vegetable.

 

Those look terribly yummy... and healthy too!

That is a genius way of eating cabbage, this is way better than the traditionnal coleslaw. Asian people have such amazing ways to prepare food.

Hope you are having a nice trip there!

 

tangogirl
March 22, 2009

I love okonomiyaki! I lived in Japan for almost two years and this was ONLY dish that I mastered making at home- and also the only Japanese word that I easily could identify on a sign or restaurant menu:)- it is sooo fun to eat it with friends when you cook in on a shared grill and it's so delicious!
You should maybe do some matcha inspired recipes Heidi, I am making poached pears in green tea with matcha cream as I write this:)

 

expat in japan
March 22, 2009

you know, i lived in japan for almost a year before trying okonomiyaki, mostly because people kept calling it japanese pizza. coincidentally, it was on a trip to kyoto that my husband and i finally sat down in an okonomiyaki restaurant, only to discover it really wasn't anything like pizza at all! the owner mixed the ingredients into a batter in a big bowl right in front of us, then poured it all out on the hot griddle at the counter where we were seated so we could watch it sizzle! of course, in true japanese style, she also topped it with tons of sauce, mayo, and bonito flakes. i was thrilled that my hubby liked it as much as i did, because it's a great way to get him to eat more cabbage! now that i make it at home, i also like to add cheese to the mix (the restaurant we visited served an italian - style okonomiyaki), which helps hold it all together. i also use two small, wide spatulas to flip the whole thing over right in the pan! it's a lot of fun!!!

 

Braden
March 22, 2009

My favorite part of eating Okonomiyaki is that weird little shovel tool you use to cut and scoop. Is there always some sweet sauce on top? I have never had this dish in Japan, but my experience eating it is at Aki on rue Saint Anne in Paris.

 

Peter
March 22, 2009

Okonomiyaki is a delicous and cheap go-to dish over here. But as good as okonomiyaki is, I'd still rather have a pizza. Maybe that's just the nostalgia talking...

 

Sophie
March 22, 2009

Interesting recipe Heidi - a little like a frittata but the addition of flour makes it very different. Chive and almonds are a nice flavour addition. I bet this would be good cold too, for an easy lunch the next day.

Thanks for adding in your tip on cleaning leeks - I needed that particular snippet of information after making a slightly gritty sweet potato and leek soup earlier in the week!

 

charlotte s
March 22, 2009

wow! this looks amazing! i LOVE cabbage and leeks, so this is right up my alley! will definitely try this this week! thank you, as always :)

 

Chris @ Beyond Ramen
March 22, 2009

Okonomiyaki is definitely among my favorite Japanese dishes and I'm impressed by the accuracy of your description. And as the name implies, the best way to enjoy okomiyaki is with your own special ingredients; I like making a tart dipping sauce with lemon, miso, shoyu, and whatever other ingredients I have to counter the heft of the pancake itself. Great post.

 

how cool - I've never heard of Japanese Pizza and it looks really good.

 

Carolie
March 22, 2009

Okonomiyaki is soooo delicious! It's often made with squid, but can be made with a multitude of ingredients. The two constants seem to be cabbage, and a kind of grated sweet potato, similar to taro. It adds a stretchiness, an unctuousness, to the batter. Usually, the grated sweet potato is added to the batter, then it is allowed to rest, to make it very smooth.

The cooked okonomiyaki is usually dressed with a drizzle of thin Japanese mayonnaise, and a drizzle of a brown sauce similar (but not the same!) as our steak sauce.

 

Rachel
March 22, 2009

I LOVE okonomiyaki, but I definitely never heard it called Japanese pizza when I lived there. At least not seriously. They like American pizza (with tuna and corn on top) too much. But thanks for the recipe!

 

carolie
March 22, 2009

Forgot to mention...the mayo and brown sauce drizzled over the okonomiyaki is usually toppped by shaved bonito flakes, which wave at the diner as if alive. My brother was FASCINATED by the waving of the bonito flakes on top of so many dishes here in Japan!

The grated sweet potato is also called yam...and it's indispensable to make a "real" okonomiyaki batter.

 

Daily Spud
March 22, 2009

Fabulous! I am currently beset by cabbages and am always interested in exploring alternative things to do with them - this will have to be tried.

 

Anonymous
March 22, 2009

I absolutely love making okonomoyaki at home! It is so versatile and you can add just about any leftover vegetable.

 

Tori
March 22, 2009

おいしそう!

I like the idea of toasted almonds. It looks more refined than the huge pile of stuff I like to put on mine! Yum.

 

Mr. T
March 22, 2009

What do you know? Pan fried quiche without the cheese... Sounds good!

 

Mrs Redboots
March 22, 2009

Thank you so much for this recipe - I have a friend living in Japan this year who raves about okonomiyaki, and have been longing to try it, but the only recipes I've found have been well complicated. Will definitely try your version sometime very soon.

 

Laura [What I Like]
March 22, 2009

My kind of bar food!

 

Hallie
March 22, 2009

I was going to make braised cabbage for lunch...but now I think I might have to try this instead! I don't have leeks so I'll have to add some different toppings...but that's part of the fun, right?

 

Russ
March 22, 2009

Please, don't call it Japanese pizza. I opened this page expecting to find a recipe for pizza topped with squid, mayonnaise, and sweet corn. THAT is true Japanese pizza! The Japanese frequently try to explain anything that doesn't have a Western equivalent as "Japanese something" I lived there for eight years, and was frequently asked "Do you like Japanese wine?" What they meant was sake. In reality, wine and sake are nothing alike, and neither are pizza and okonomiyaki.

 

trina
March 22, 2009

My husband and I went to Tokyo this summer to visit a friend. While we were there we got to go to one of her friends home and she made us okonomiyaki. She made hers with frozen corn, cooked bacon, and pickled ginger too. Then topped with aonori, katsuobushi, and Okonomi Sauce. We love it! Now I'm all inspired to try some variations. Thanks!

 

Laura.
March 22, 2009

oh, yay! i thoroughly enjoyed okonomiyaki when i was in japan several years ago, but was never able to find a recipe for it, thank you! i am excited to try this.

 

I am so excited to see this here! Okonomiyaki is one of those dishes I actually was fortunate enough to sample In Japan, as being vegetarian made it sometimes excruciatingly difficult to sustain myself. Did you try vegetarian yakisoba? That's another thing I would love to see up here sometime! Thanks so much for this recipe!

 

Asata @ Life Chef
March 22, 2009

I'm sold! I'm down for anything that you can easily adapt to use up a little of this or that left in the crisper bin! I'm encouraged to try this especially w/ all the garden fresh cabbage available.

For more cabbage fun check out my blog. My mom gave me some adorable baby cabbages from her garden just last week...

 

Diane
March 22, 2009

I don't think this is true okonomiyaki. What makes okonmiyaki have that special taste to me is missing from this recipe: dashi (fish soup base) is the key ingredient. 3/4 cup water, a dash of dashi, 1 egg, 1 cup flour is the basic batter that I use.

 

Nancy
March 22, 2009

Heidi you never fail to offer us something new and exciting to sample, great recipe, cant wait to try it Cabbage Rocks! I am a total cabbage junkie, just made a huge pot of cabbage soup today! Thanks again!
Sister Nancy

 

mollie
March 22, 2009

I love okonomiyaki! We make it all the time, but much differently: http://tinyurl.com/c5tqvv
the pickled ginger is a must!

 

gastroanthropologist
March 22, 2009

love okonomiyaki! For those in the SF Bay Area check out the Japanese Tapas Bar in Cupertino called GO. They have fabulous okonomiyaki.

 

Lynn Cooper
March 22, 2009

OMG! We just moved back to the states from Japan and LOVE okinomiyaki! My Japanese friend introduced it to us as Japanese Pizza, but my children turned up their noses -- until they tasted it. Then they were hooked! Yummy! Can't wait to try your recipe! Thanks squillions!!!

 

Beige
March 22, 2009

II'd love to see your take on the classic okonomiyaki sauce.

Please try! It's half the experience...

 

david
March 22, 2009

thought to check my email right before making lunch. Found this recipe.
THANK YOU! Delicious, easy, quick! What more could I ask for. I don't have whole wheat, so I used 1/2C all purpose flour. Worked fine. The whole time I was eating I was thinking of variations I'm thinking of an Indian flavor version, using some sort of gram (sp?) (bean) flour and garam masala to spice it up.
Wish I knew more about Japanese flavorings--so many are mentioned in reader posts that I have never heard of.....

 

Rebecca
March 22, 2009

I love trying new recipes that call for cabbage...so looking forward to trying this.

 

barbara
March 22, 2009

I make a Korean pancake which is similar to this. I've always wanted to make the Japanese version. I think I will this week.

 

veggievixen
March 22, 2009

yum, that sounds delicious! definitely more healthy than american pizza!

 

Lael
March 22, 2009

I love okonomiyaki! My Japanese friend/roommate introduced me to it our freshman year of college and I had as much as I could while in Osaka this summer. I know the mayo and sauce add calories, but they are essential in my mind...at least the sauce. Anyway, I'm so glad to have a simple, Americanized recipe on hand. It's delicious with kimchi in it too!

 

laura harden
March 22, 2009

Looks so good and a new one for me, can't wait to try this recipe.

 

Howard Dratch
March 22, 2009

Here in Mexico there have been times & places where few greens were available but cabbage, onions & scallions(cebollinas) almost always; leeks sometimes. I look forward to trying okonomiyaki - thereby having backup use for cabbage besides my own coleslaw, soups and stir-fries.


 

whatever_dc
March 22, 2009

wow -- one of my favorite japanese foods (along with almost everything else in japan!) is okonomiyaki! there's a wonderful restaurant in the ginza district in tokyo called president chibo that has various takes on it. super delicious! never thought i would have a recipe or the guts to try it but it looks like i was wrong -- thanks so much for the inspiration! and thanks to food & wine magazine for turning me on to your excellent blog!

 

Anna Haight
March 22, 2009

I lived in Hiroshima and came back loving Okonomiyaki in any of its regional styles. Now I can add "American" style! If you use less egg it is less like a fritatta. You can use up leftover pancake batter as well, stead of the flour egg mixture. I was taught to use baking soda when yamaimo was not available. I've always thought of these as "savory pancakes".

 

Huh, I'd never heard of this before, but I really like the idea. I love easy, versatile, throw-in-as-you go meal ideas. Thanks!

 

jan Dash
March 22, 2009

I'll try your version and if want to you can try mine-taught to me by a Kyoto resident.
Start with cooked bacon in the bottom of the skillet and pour the cabbage and egg over it and stick the whole thing in the oven
(170 C) When the egg sets put sliced cheese over the top and when it bubbles the okonomiyaki is ready. The bacon makes it really easy to slide out of the pan.

 

Heather
March 22, 2009

That's pretty close to the recipe I have been making for 20+ years; I got it from a Japanese friend. The traditional sauce to go on top of this is ketchup & worcestershire, and (optional) mayonnaise.

 

renee johnson
March 22, 2009

Thanks for the recipe. I had my first okonomiyaki at Delica rf-1 in the ferry building farmer's market in SF. It was delicious, topped with a sinful mayo like sauce. I'm happy to see a healthier version here. I love the addition of almonds for crunch and nutrition. I think I'll try it with kimchee too. Also,I was thinking of replacing some of the flour with garbanzo bean flour. What do you think?

 

Hot Blonde
March 22, 2009

I've never been into cabbage but this recipe is no joke! I can't wait to try it.

 

Tegan
March 22, 2009

I've always been intrigued by what okonomiyaki was -- this looks absolutely delicious! I'll have to try to knock it together sometime soon! Are there other batters to make it with? I have a vegan roommate...

Also -- I bought Vegan Soul Kitchen -- it's absolutely hysterical! I didn't get from your post (you might have stated it, but I missed it) how funny of an author Bryant Terry is! Haven't tried anything yet, but I believe my first to try will be the tempeh BBQ. So glad to have gotten the recommendation for his book from you!

Tegan

 

Christelle
March 22, 2009

Humm, it looks gorgeous, and quite novel to me indeed, I love cabbage so I'll probably have a go! Thanks for sharing :)

 

mystic
March 22, 2009

Heidi! I just made it ! It was absolutely crunchy and tasty. I added some less eggs and substituted AFP with rice powder+whole what flour and used scallion instead of leek. Thanks for sharing this!

 

Haley
March 22, 2009

This is one dish that I think it's essential to top with mayo - definitely the way they do it in Japan. I actually just made this recipe and topped it with mayo, teriyaki sauce, chives, and toasted almonds. Yum!

 

What a neat idea. I am into cabbage lately, don't know why!

 

Annick
March 22, 2009

This looks fantastic - am wondering if it would work with rice flour to keep it within the asian theme?

...and also gluten-free as I am 100% GF.

Thank you for sending links to your cabbage recipes. I have a huge head of purple cabbage in my fridge, and am not sure how else to use it.

I find the purple cabbage harder to cook with than with regular garden variety cabbage as it leeches its color into everything. Any tips on how to prepare it better?


 

Smruti
March 22, 2009

love okonomiyaki. There's a restaurant in the Japan town mall here in SF that makes a decent vegetarian version, but I like making it at home even more. My Japanese friend recommended topping it with tonkatsu sauce and Japanese mayo (richer and creamier than regular mayo)

 

Heather L in Australia
March 22, 2009

A great way to use cabbage! Thanks for reminding me about this dish! There is another great recipe for this dish in 'World Vegetarian Classics' by Celia Brooks Brown. She includes a couple of accompanying sauce recipes as well. And many thanks for your constantly inspiring site!

 

doc
March 22, 2009

Made this for a quick and fun lunch this afternoon. I mixed the flour and egg together first and it was too thick so I added some water. Now I see reading others' comments that some batters do have water in them so I might play around with thinning the batter. I like this healthy version of mostly veggies and less batter and can imagine all different combos of veggies. I really liked the topping of nuts and chives. Thanks for the idea!

 

Eddy Jawed
March 22, 2009

This Pizza looks mad, goto try and make this at home.

 

Jenn
March 22, 2009

Mmmm...I love it, but you HAVE to put mayo and okonomiyaki sauce on top...it's what makes it so delicious! In fact, I have Japanese mayo and the sauce in my fridge right now for just that reason!

 

Jenn
March 22, 2009

Mmmm...I love it, but you HAVE to put mayo and okonomiyaki sauce on top...it's what makes it so delicious! In fact, I have Japanese mayo and the sauce in my fridge right now for just that reason!

 

Moe
March 22, 2009

This was SO easy. I hope I didn't just have beginners luck but it was so simple and came out perfect. The other thing that delights me is that the ingredients are always on hand. I use cabbage for salads and leeks for dumplings so doing this was so new and different. Only thing I have a question about is spices, maybe some sort of paprika or something might give it a bite, any suggestions?

 

Anna
March 22, 2009

How delightful! This looks really quite simple. I'm encouraged that other readers were able to make this with ease--I will be curious to try it. I adore cabbage so it looks extra-appealing to me!

 

Allison
March 22, 2009

Okonomiyaki became my favourite food in Japan. I now make it at home often and would agree with others that without the mayo and sauce it's just not the same. Also the batter should have yamaimo (mountain potato) in it. This is a root veggie that turns into this white runny, fluffy mess when you grate it with a fine grater (think ginger grater). It adds a fluffyness to the batter and makes it really moist.

 

Alison
March 22, 2009

Oh, Nappa cabbage
Too often I ignore you -
Still, I am smitten

What is it about cabbage? I never crave it but love it when I'm actually eating it. I bet I'd love this pizza.

 

Roni
March 22, 2009

Using dashi in the okonomiyaki batter is essential. I always top mine with "Kewpie" Japanese mayo (sweeter than American), tonkatsu sauce, katsuobushi, and nori flakes. You can also use mochiko in the batter rather than regular flour. I make mine on an electric griddle in the middle of the table - the better to share with others in the cooking and eating as you do in Japan. I love okonomiyaki!!!

 

Chati
March 22, 2009

In Guatemala we cook our own Okonomiyaki with a great variety of ingredients, like watercress, swiss chard, spinach, rice, chinese cabagge, amaranth, you name it. Use any or a combination of two or more of these ingredientes, and the basic ones used in Okonomiyaki, following the same procedure.

 

Angela@Spinach Tiger
March 22, 2009

This is something I will make for sure. I love cabbage and this is something I could eat the whole thing and not feel guilty.

 

Theano
March 22, 2009

YUM! That was fantastic!

 

miho
March 22, 2009

Wow,it's quite different from the one I usually eat (especially the topping)and Yummy!
I'll try your receipe,but I'll miss dashi and yamaimo(potato) in the batter and Otahuku-sauce!!
By the way,Japanese pizza is great expression for okonomiyaki because it's one of our soul food for Japanese!
Thank you for sharing! I love your blog,Heidi!

 

iman
March 22, 2009

I'm hosting a Japanese high school student right now. This will be the perfect thing to make with her! Thanks for sharing :)

 

susan p
March 22, 2009

I have made a similar recipe to this for years, using shredded spinach instead of cabbage. It can be served sweet with syrup like a pancake or savory with butter and salt.

 

Sophia
March 22, 2009

WOW! I love okonomiyaki!
I've tried this in restaurants before, and it is amazing, esp with the okonomiyaki sauce and japanese mayo and bonito flakes on top. yours look quite different, probably because there is less batter and you "veggie-fied" it by omitting the toppings and the dashi broth and the typical seafood filling. sometimes the japanese also grate some kind of root called nagaimo to make it better texture-wise.
I have a question though: what if I used bread crumbs instead of flour? would that change the dish significantly?
thanks, and as always, awesome recipes!

 

Liz Koppert
March 23, 2009

I LOVE okonomiyaki (おこのみやき)! My first taste of it came during a high school Japanese lesson and have always thought of it as like an omlet; my Japanese-English dictionary describes it as a pancake. I guess - translate how you will ;) Definitely something I enjoy eating.

 

ISIK
March 23, 2009

Heidi, this is something we do alot in Turkey, and mix and match with lots of things according to the season. Try it with pumpking and leeks and potatos in winter and with zucchini squash, dill, mint and some chese in the summer. My family made it with eggplants (boiled) and feta. I remember my mother making it with boiled lamb brains (you guys wont like this) in my childhood. Not any more with the cholesterol worries! I will try the cabbage version soonest.

 

naina Lal
March 23, 2009

What is apf flour and where can you get it?

 

Primordial Soup
March 23, 2009

Hah! I invented something similar and didn't know it had Japanese roots! I had a tub of coleslaw from a local deli, but the dressing was sweet and no one would eat it. So I rinsed off the slaw in a sieve and created blini-like mini pancakes similar to yours with the cabbage. I topped them with tofu sour cream and vegetarian caviar (but creme fraiche and smoked salmon would work too). They made great hors d'oeuvres, and no one was the wiser. Will try your version this week, using up a bag of pre-shredded slaw mix languishing in the fridge!

 

Kristen
March 23, 2009

I made this for dinner last night, and it was delicious. I didn't have any leeks, so I substituted onions and firm tofu (because I needed to get rid of some). I was surprised at how wonderful it turned out (and how easy it was). I'll definitely be making it again! Thanks!

 

Gayatri
March 23, 2009

Heidi, I am always on a lookout for healthy meal ideas for my 2 yr old daughter..This is a fantastic way of feeding her cabbage....I will give it a try tonight...and let you know what does my daugher think about it.. :)

 

nithya at hungrydesi
March 23, 2009

Maybe someone already said this, but these remind me of kimchi pancakes. Which makes me think they would be great with kimchi or with shredded daikon. Great idea Heidi! Thanks for sharing this.

 

margy
March 23, 2009

This looks delicious. I can't wait to try it.

 

B.R.Kuhlman
March 23, 2009

This looks like a really fun recipe! And I had just bought a nice head of cabbage the other day. Also, I've really enjoyed reading about your trip to Japan so far. I hope to visit there myself some day.

 

kim
March 23, 2009

I tried it when visiting Hiroshima, in a big building (okonimyaki-dori) filled entirely with okonomiyaki restaurants! It is delicious, but I agree with the commenter(s) that said it is nothing like pizza. It was more like a hearty pancake (european style) to me. And pretty hard to eat with chopsticks...

 

Debbie
March 23, 2009

THIS IS SOOOO COOOL!!! my husband and I had this in Shinjuku and loved it. I love the way they cook it in front of you. I am definately going to cook this tonight.

 

lilibet
March 23, 2009

I made this last night and we all loved it -- even (especially?) the 18 month old. Thanks for healthy, quick, and interesting vegetarian options.

 

Emily
March 23, 2009

Just tried this for lunch and really enjoyed it. I actually doubled the recipe, and it turned out delicious! I added some fish sauce (nuoc mam) at the end, and I think that really set it off.
Thanks, Heidi! Can't wait to see more of your Japan-inspired creations.

 

Michelle
March 23, 2009

Wow this looks amazing I will definetly be trying that very soon!!!!! :)

 

Courtney
March 23, 2009

I'm so excited to see you topped it with almonds! My fave okonomiyaki place in Japan did an amazing chicken and almond version that was unique amidst the standard pork and seafood (which are still very good). For vegetarians I'd also HIGHLY recommend mochi slices (heat them up in the pan so they're soft before pouring the batter over them). I also love sliding the whole thing over a fried egg while the egg is still soft so it melds with the pancake. And don't forget to top it with toasted nori and mayo ;-) It's traditional!

 

What an unusual, tempting recipe - THANK YOU! This is similar to a street snack I had in Bejing. Until I had visited Asia, I never associated crepes with any country other than India. Asian cuisine is endlessly interesting...

 

Tami - fête à fête
March 23, 2009

I always wanted to find a healthier version of this fave dish. I discovered it in Beijing via Japanese friends...thanks Heidi! :)

 

Wow, I feel out of the loop. So many of your readers know about this recipe (which looks glorious and simple) already! Will make it soon with all the leftover cabbage I have that is building up in my fridge.

I wonder if it would freeze well?

 

Melissa Gutierrez
March 23, 2009

I'm not going to lie. I'm not a huge fan of cabbage and this recipe is a little challenging for me. I definitely want to try it. I'm sure the cabbage is transformed into something crunchy and yummy. I'm hoping to find a place in NYC that serves it.

 

Jean Kuster
March 23, 2009

If this was a movie review I'd be the little guy jumping up and down on the seat clapping. I guess you have to imagine me doing it at the dinner table...

THANK YOU!

 

Dawn Smith
March 23, 2009

wow....refreshing and comfort....looks nutrious and yummy...M gonna buy the ingredients from www.myethnicworld.com and try it soon.

 

Sara
March 23, 2009

Sounds delicious...

I rarely eat cabbage other than in sourkraut at some family gathering. This looks like a fun way to eat it.

 

Ray Russ
March 23, 2009

In our Japantown section of San Francisco there's a small restaurant inside one of the retail malls that serve several variations of this. I believe the owner calls it 'modern yaki.' The difference being that they add a single beaten eggs to soba noodles which is then added to the other ingredients. After the dish is cooked a single egg (over easy) is placed on top and then topped with the requisite sauce(s). In a town of good food this dish is one of my Top 10 favorite dishes in all of the city.

 

Filipino Food
March 23, 2009

wow! this looks awesome. I have to try it.

 

lisette
March 23, 2009

wow, looks delicious! i love pizza ;-))

 

Garrett
March 23, 2009

I effing love okonomiyaki. Ever since I tried it after reading about the okonomiyaki kung-fu expert in Ranma 1/2 (wow, I AM a big nerd).

Anyways, thanks for the recipe Heidi. Will def. give this one a try this coming weekend. ;)

 

Diana
March 23, 2009

I make a similar dish all the time and my whole family loves it. I buy a package of Dole Cole Slaw mix (cabage and carrots) and add in two eggs and a pinch of salt and pepper (I don't put any flour) and then fry it on the skillet the exact same way. It's always a big hit at my house.

 

Melissa
March 23, 2009

Okonomiyaki is my favorite Japanese food, especially Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, which is fried with yakisoba. I've never seen it with toasted almond slivers, though.

Also, you HAVE to have the okonomi sauce with it. If you can't find it, try tonkatsu sauce instead. It might not be the most healthy addition, but you can't have it without the sauce. You'd get chased right out of Japan if you tried.

 

unconfidentialcook
March 23, 2009

Yes! We have this all the time...but I put Japanese thinly sliced pork (for sukiaki) on one side and flip the pizza...then sprinkle with a bit of Japanese fruit sauce. BTW, at Mitsua, a Japanese grocery story in Southern California, you can buy packages that contain the "crust" mix. It's a wonderful, healthy lunch or dinner.

 

Ben
March 23, 2009

I think this has too much egg, and, from the picture, not enough liquid. Like some others have said, you need to use dashi for flavor (but i usually just use water because i'm lazy). and 'japanese pizza'? come on. that's like calling rice 'japanese bread'.

 

E-Mama
March 23, 2009

The tip on washing the leeks just gave me my "duh" moment of the day- so simple, why hadn't I thought of that- Thank You!!
and the recipe looks great to boot- always a pleasure on the 101. ;0)

 

Peter
March 23, 2009

Naina...apf = all purpose flour, you can find it in any grocery store.

 

Kirby!
March 23, 2009

Just when I thought it was getting harder and harder to come up with something completely new and different with just a few simple ingredients.... you cease to amaze us all, Heidi!!

 

Anonymous
March 23, 2009

This was DEEElicious! Cooked perfectly..held together well. Might add a little more salt and maybe some minced garlic next time for a little extra flavor. It was extremely easy to make and didn't stick to my stainless steel pan at all. The husband loved it tool. A keeper for sure!

 

Melody
March 23, 2009

Oh man, okonomiyaki has been my absolutely favorite food ever since I went travelling around Japan in my last year in high school. Ive tried telling my family how wonderful it tastes but the mixture of egg, cabbage, your choice of meat (me its shrimp or pork), shaved seaweed on top and tonkatsu sauce sounds disgusting to most. Tsk tsk.. Dont you think that the way these Japanese cook is so fantastic?

 

Monet
March 23, 2009

I can't tell you how many times I've sat down to the computer to do something "important" (a millllllion essays come to mind...such as the one I should be writing now) and instead decided to make something from your fabulous site. I peruse it when bored, recommend it to friends and family, and find it to be an endless dinner party resource.

Anyway, I tried this lovely gem tonight after driving all day and it was JUST THE THING I NEEDED. So pretty too. I made the following changes out of convenience: added carrot and chard and a splash of rice vinegar batter, topped with sunflower seeds and cilantro, served with a side of mayo and yogurt mixed together with some wasabi powder and chopped green onions. Also soy sauce..because I would brush my teeth with it if I could. Thanks again! So much fun. If I fail every class I take this semester, at least I'll be well fed.

 

Monet
March 23, 2009

Oh! I also meant to add that I think this would be a super easy and fun appetizer! Definitely going to make many varieties and dipping sauces for the next big shindig!

 

Sneh
March 23, 2009

Aaahh the simplicity. Thnx for this! I used to have a lot of these pizzas back in Singapore .. they normally dotted them with wasabi before serving them on flat wood platters!

 

Kevin Riley
March 23, 2009

I live in Osaka, near a very nice Okonomiyaki restaurant. Love going there. Of course, we have a different garnish. We use Sauce (which is a brown sweet/salty sauce of ketchupy consistency), Nori (powdered seaweed), Katsuobushi (shaved flakes of dried Bonito fish), and a criss-cross of mayonnaise. I love watching the Katsuobushi dance on top of the Okonomiyaki - and tastes delicious.

We also usually have something added in our Okonomiyaki - like pork, squid, or Kimchi. Delicious.

 

taghag
March 24, 2009

there is a restaurant in amsterdam called japanese pancake world where they make these, but refer to them as pancakes, obviously. they serve them as one commenter mentioned with (dancing) bonito flakes which wave around with the heat of the food.

 

Eva
March 24, 2009

Heidi, you made me wanted to eat this last night, but there was no cabbage, so I just used leek (my fave, always have some in the fridge) and thinly sliced all other vegs I had in fridge (baby zucchini, sedano - can't remember the name in English anymore, red green onion :) with shaved brazilian nuts, it was delicious! :)

 

JPR
March 24, 2009

Lovely simple recipe Heidi. I'm going to try this with some savoy cabbage I have left over and cilantro...and maybe grated ginger and soy sauce. thanks for sharing.

 

Jane
March 24, 2009

I have seen this snack made by street hawkers in Japan and wondered how to make it. Thanks for the recipe. I put an English twist on it by using kale instead of white cabbage and wholemeal spelt flour, and by sprinkling spring onions on top. Lovely, healthy too.

 

Stacey
March 24, 2009

Fantastic!!!! I made it last night with a variation on the toppings. I sautéed some thinly sliced onion, finely chopped mushrooms and some chopped pancetta. When assembling, I covered the pancake in a thin layer of high quality grated parmesan, than some finely chopped smoked almonds, then the onion/mushroom/pancetta mixture, than just a light sprinkling of more parm. It was incredible! Can't wait to try a bunch of other ideas that come to mind! Thanks Heidi!!!

 

doc
March 24, 2009

I made this a second time for friends who came to lunch. We had a lot of fun with it. I added water to the batter, and some sliced mushrooms. I made a yogurt sauce with lemon juice, a little olive oil, and Bragg Liquid Aminos (soy sauce). We poured the sauce on top (lots) then topped with the nuts and chives. It was great! I still have cabbage left over so I'm going to make it again for lunch today with red bell pepper, and a few halved cherry tomatoes. The Turkish cominations offered by Isik sound fun, too! (I still have to try it, as written, and mix the cabbage with the flour then add the egg.)

 

KathyJ
March 24, 2009

Huh.
It worked with spinach too (since that's what I had on hand).
Does that make me a heretic?

 

Heidi
March 24, 2009

You all never cease to surprise me. I had no idea this recipe would be so well received. I even had second thoughts about posting it at the last minute - I was getting hung up on what to name it, would pizza be misleading? (sort of)....it's cabbage, and many people just flinch at the mention of it...etc.

Anyways, I'm delighted that many of you have already given it a shot. And (as always) I love hearing about all the different ways you end up making the recipe your own. -h

 

Atlantic Avenue
March 24, 2009

I've read your recipe posts for quite some time, but this is the first recipe I have tried. I omitted the leeks & used different toppings. It was ok, but kinda bland... apparently the leeks are a necessary ingredient!

HS: Hi Carrie - There are certainly easy ways to jazz this recipe up - add some curry powder/paste - or any number of super-flavor-packed ingredients. I don't think you necessarily need to do leeks. I would also note that if something like this comes out flat or bland you might have under-seasoned it a bit. The right amount of salt really makes a difference, and helps to bring more subtle flavors out. Hope this helps a bit.

 

kari
March 24, 2009

huh. just tried this w/ a bunch of sprouts i had left over (mixed container) and it's pretty good. where's the siracha?

 

Jodye
March 24, 2009

This looks delicious! I love leeks- what an interesting way to use them!

 

Lillian
March 24, 2009

Oh man, I've been looking for a good okonomiyaki recipe for ages. I'll make this for lunch tomorrow for sure.

 

suzy
March 25, 2009

oh... it seems a little unfair to call this recipe either japanese pizza or okonomiyaki when it's really your creative interpretation of a very well known dish. reminds me of a post on chez pim a while back about "Thai Green Chili Paste."

 

Anna
March 25, 2009

I recommend everyone to go to your nearest japanese goods import store and get okonomiyaki sause! It's a must to this tasty dish!

 

stephanie
March 25, 2009

I didn't make the dish quite as written (did anyone?!) but you've inspired me as to a new way to use up the veggies in my fridge!

For our side dish: I used purple cabbage (which actually held its color!) and shredded crookneck squash. Shredded some ginger, used one egg & a bit of spelt flour. My husband and I both enjoyed it--I topped it with siracha and rice seasoning, and he ate it with just a little extra salt. Now to get the kids to try....

Pizza, Latke, Fritter, whatever! It's delicious.

 

hannah
March 25, 2009

I tried this today for a nice lunch, and even though I've never liked cabbage, it was delicious! A little bland, I thought, but I shorted on salt by accident, so that might explain it. It reminds me of some delicious pancake-like things I ate once in Prague, which I think were made of zucchini, mushroom, scallion, egg and flour, only they were much more like actual pancakes- cooked smaller and much smoother.

 

Wendy
March 25, 2009

Heidi, I just finished making and eating this with my daughter. We added carrots in the mix and a light sprinkle of parm cheese on top. It was great! and so easy to make. Thank you so much for this site.

HS: Thanks for the note Wendy, and I'm glad to hear your daughter liked it too.

 

Mrs Redboots
March 25, 2009

I have just made this and we had it for supper. I steamed the cabbage and leek first, as I dislike them as raw as they would have been otherwise, and topped it with sliced tomato and grated cheese (very un-Japanese!). My husband adored it; I'm not just so sure - I think, perhaps, another time I might leave out the flour and add an extra egg to make it into a frittata, which would be lovely! I do love cabbage and leek cooked together, and eat it several times a week!

HS: Mrs Redboots - give it a go w/o steaming the cabbage/leeks first. They definitely cook up in the skillet and lose that raw edge. :)

 

charlotte s
March 25, 2009

hey! i'm reporting back: i tried this tonight and it was AMAZING! we always have cabbage in the fridge, and i love leeks, so this is definitely something i will be making again often! it was also super easy and quick to make, tasted delicious and felt healthy- a great combination! my husband also loved it, which was great! i made two versions- in two pans- one with half regular: as specified by your recipe, the other half i added about 2 tbs soy too- the soy was delicious! the second skillet i did mediterranean- style with sun-dried tomatoes, cubed feta, basil, toasted walnuts (all sprinkled on top); very fun! i'll definitely be trying this with different toppings. thanks so much heidi!

 

n3rdchik
March 25, 2009

This was wildly received at my house and anytime I get veggies in my kids is a celebration!

 

saygrace
March 25, 2009

My teenage son spent several months in Japan last year on a school exchange and described these hummers as soon as he got back. We've been working on our Pacific Northwest version of them most of the winter. In fact, tonight we had them with grilled red pepper, onion, Asian sausage and dashi. They were really great - but your recipe looks even better - thank you!!!

 

mehregan
March 26, 2009

Fantastic,
I tried Persian Pizza before , I try this one too.
Thanks.

 

Ana
March 26, 2009

i love okonomiyaki. there's an amazing, teeny wood-paneled spot on 9th st., in the east village, where i go to get my fix.

but now i can make it at home- thanks for the recipe.

 

hadley
March 26, 2009

What a great way to use cabbage!

 

Hachi08
March 26, 2009

I always think it strange that westerners "translate" okonomiyaki as a Japanese pizza, as it's much closer to a pancake or even an omelet than a pizza.

My personal favorite is actually Hiroshimayaki, which has yakisoba noodles in it as well.

 

Cheap Like Me
March 26, 2009

We love okonomiyaki at our house, but we eat it what my Japanese Vegetarian Cooking cookbook described as the traditional way ... with mayo, Bulldog sauce (buy it at Asian markets), furikake (seaweed, sesame and/or bonito topping) and pickled ginger. Yum. My 8-year-old likes it, too!

On a tangentially related note, okonomiyaki plays into a wonderful short story called "Mirror Studies" by Mary Yukari Waters.

 

JackieJ
March 26, 2009

I made this tonight -- I could not turn it over without it falling apart, so it did not look so hot, but it absolutely delicious, and very quick and easy to make. Thank you and thanks to everyone who suggested variations -- I am looking forward to trying them.

Jackie, did you try sliding it out of the pan onto a plate, flipping it, and sliding it back into the pan? That gives it the support it needs for the flip.

 

Cynthia McCarthy
March 26, 2009

Heidi - this was absolutely outstanding! I used regular flour, yam, parmesan cheese and an extra egg. I liked it with Ponzu sauce...I couldn't find bonito flakes here in Santa Cruz, so ponzu sauce was the closest I could come to tangy and spicy. It was healthy, tasty, easy to make and just plain Wonderful.

 

flowercarole
March 27, 2009

This looks very good indeed. I've never cooked a pizza using the cabbage but I'm definitely going to try it.