Okonomiyaki Recipe

Known in some circles as Japanese pizza, this is my take on okonomiyaki. Plenty of egg-battered cabbage is pressed into a skillet and cooked until deeply golden on both sides. It is served cut into wedges and sprinkled with toasted almonds and chives.


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.

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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.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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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.....


II'd love to see your take on the classic okonomiyaki sauce. Please try! It's half the experience...


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!!!

Lynn Cooper

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


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


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


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.


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...

Asata @ Life Chef

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!

Claudia at Weird Vegetables

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.


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!


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.


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?


My kind of bar food!

Laura [What I Like]

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.

Mrs Redboots

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

Mr. T

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.


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


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.

Daily Spud

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.


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