Vegetarian Okonomiyaki with Avocado and Chilli Sauce

. April, 2017
Photography by Kelly Gibney.
Vegetarian Okonomiyaki with Avocado and Chilli Sauce

The humble cabbage is the hero in these tasty pancakes that make a beautifully simple supper.

Serves: 4-6


3 heaped cups finely shredded cabbage, I used a mandoline to keep the slices fine and even
1 medium carrot, grated
1 spring onion, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
1 teaspoon finely grated ginger root
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon tamari or say sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
cracked black pepper to season
6 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
⅛ cup cold water
⅔ cup white rice flour
coconut oil, olive oil or ghee for frying

To serve: Avocado slices, toasted nori sheets – finely sliced, Japanese mayonnaise, chilli sauce, sesame seeds, finely sliced spring onion

I’ve adapted the traditional Japanese recipe to be vegetarian and also to contain ingredients that are readily available at the supermarket. Ensure you use all the suggested garnishes – they really make this dish sing.


Preheat oven to 100 degrees celsius. This will be to keep the pancakes warm.

Combine the cabbage, carrot, spring onion, garlic, and ginger in a large mixing bowl. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the sea salt, tamari, sesame oil, black pepper, eggs, water and rice flour. Ensure there are no lumps.

Pour over the vegetables and use clean hands to mix very well. This process will slightly soften the cabbage too, making it more pliable and easier to portion out the batter.

Heat a generous spoonful of oil in a sauté pan over a medium-high heat. Cook ½ cups of batter at a time. Roughly 3 minutes on each side will ensure that the pancake is well browned and cooked through. Place in the oven to keep warm until ready to serve. Continue this method until all the batter is used.

To serve: Top each pancake with the drizzle of Japanese mayonnaise. Sprinkle with sliced spring onions and sesame seeds. Place avocado slices on top. Drizzle with chilli sauce and pile on nori pieces. Serve immediately.