, from Issue #62. September, 2015
Photography by Sarah Tuck.

I have read a great deal about these classic Osaka-style Okonomiyaki – described as everything from Japanese pancakes to pizza – but to me, they’re more like a Japanese take on the good old Kiwi corn fritter. The name translates as “Grilled what you like” and in Japan they’re made with grated nagaimo or yamaimo, a glutinous yam, but I’ve found they still work perfectly in this slightly simplified version. Feel free to add fillings “as you like” and enjoy for lunch or a casual dinner.

Serves: 4


1½ cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon caster sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1 cup dashi, diluted in fish stock or water
½ cabbage finely shredded (you need 8 cups)
3 spring onions, chopped
¼ cup sushi ginger, sliced (or use the traditional Beni Shoga) 
1 cup chopped cooked prawns
200 grams streaky bacon, chopped
2 tablespoons flavourless oil (such as rice bran)

To serve:
okonomi sauce (you can also use tonkatsu sauce, or Worcestershire sauce)
mayonnaise (such as Japanese Kewpie brand)
katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes – optional)
aonori seaweed flakes (or substitute with finely sliced wakame)
finely sliced spring onions (optional)
pickled ginger (optional)
toasted sesame seeds (optional)


Sift flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a bowl.

Whisk eggs and dashi together, then whisk into the flour mixture to create a smooth batter. Leave to sit for 30 minutes. 

Mix cabbage, spring onions, ginger, prawns and bacon into the batter. Heat oil on a hot plate over medium heat and spoon on mixture to create 4 to 6 fritters, depending on the size you would like. Cook for four minutes before carefully flipping to cook another four minutes. 

Serve topped with okonomi sauce, mayonnaise, katsuobushi and aonori. 

Miniature versions would be great served with drinks, while 4 big okonomiyaki would serve 4 for lunch, and for dinner with a side – I suspect a poached egg on top would be great too!