Japanese Okonomiyaki

, from Issue #78. May, 2018
Photography by Kelly Gibney.
Japanese Okonomiyaki

These incredibly tasty cabbage pancakes are one of our favourite simple family suppers. They are a wonderful way to eat a healthy vegetable-packed meal that is satisfying and fun. The fish sauce and bonito flakes are an important element for flavour but can be omited to make the dish vegetarian.

Serves: 4


½ medium cabbage
6 large leaves kale
2 medium carrots
5 free-range eggs, lightly whisked
1 spring onion, sliced thinly
1½ teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
1½ tablespoons fish sauce (omit if vegetarian)
2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
1 cup tapioca starch or white rice flour
coconut oil, for frying
To serve: sliced spring onion, grated radish, mayonnaise, watercress, bonito flakes


Slice the cabbage thinly (ideally use a mandoline to keep the slices even). Remove the stems from the kale and slice into fine ribbons. Grate the carrots and squeeze tightly to remove excess moisture.

Place all the vegetables in a large bowl and massage for a couple of minutes with clean hands. This softens them enough to make the fritter mixture easier to portion out.

Add the eggs, spring onion, ginger, fish sauce and tamari. Mix together well. Add the tapioca starch or white rice flour and stir until evenly combined.

Heat a generous spoonful of coconut oil over a medium heat. Fry ⅔ cup of batter at a time. You’ll need to spread out the cabbage once in the pan and you can mix any liquid back into the fritter if it runs.

Cook for approximately 3 minutes on each side until golden brown.

Place in a warm oven while you cook the remaining batter. Serve immediately with toppings, as desired. Serves 4 (makes 8–9 medium-sized pancakes).