By • June 7, 2011 • 469 Comments

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Author Notes: I went to Japan about 10 years ago and while I ate some seriously amazing things, I’d be hard-pressed to remember exactly what they were. That is, except for okonomiyaki, which I first tasted in a cramped corner shop in Kyoto that sold only these delicious savory pancakes. When I came home, my friend Becky – a fellow okonomiyaki nut -- and I tried to replicate the recipe to satisfy our cravings. This is by no means authentic and there are a ton of variations, but it sure hits the spot. - MidgeMidge

Food52 Review: Eggy and crisp, Midge's Kyoto-style pancakes are studded with plump morsels of tender shrimp and threaded through with ribbons of cabbage and rings of scallion. The savory batter is enriched with a dash of sesame oil and soy sauce, and the accompanying soy and sriracha mayo is a zippy accent -- we tore off bite-sized pieces of pancake and dunked them in the sauce before gobbling them down. - A&MThe Editors

Makes roughly a dozen pancakes depending on their size


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha, more or less to taste


  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/3 cup AP flour
  • 2 cups cabbage, shredded with a mandoline or finely chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and chopped
  • 3/4 cup (roughly) baby or chopped shrimp
  • canola oil for frying
  • 1-2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • bonito flakes (optional)
  1. Whisk the first set of ingredients together and voila, your sauce. Set aside while you make the pancakes.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs with the soy sauce, sesame oil, and salt. Gradually add the flour until incorporated. Fold in cabbage, scallions, and shrimp.
  3. Warm a couple glugs of canola oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until glistening. Ladle the batter into the skillet as you would for regular old pancakes. I usually make them about the size of saucer. Cook on each side for about 3 minutes or until golden brown. Keep pancakes covered in a warm oven as you make the rest. Scatter sesame seeds and/or bonito flakes on top of pancakes and serve with dipping sauce and a cold pilsner.
Jump to Comments (469)

Tags: japanese, savory

Comments (469) Questions (16)


21 days ago sparky403

I have made these a few times. I did track down the Okonomiyaki flour. On Okonomiyaki world they said in lieu of the bulldog sauce a very close approximation is BBQ sauce mixed with soy sauce.. Like eureka... pretty close to what I had in Japan town in SF pretty good too (and a super easy way to make an Asian BBQ sauce) Perhaps heresy.... but I liked the flavor.

I watched the chef - cook mine - he turned a few times covered with a lid and let it cook for a good 8 to 10 minutes per side. These are simple but not easy to get just right.

One other tip. Instead of the bits of tempura flour is to use good olé rice crispy's (I omitted all together but I think it would add)



4 months ago witloof

A friend and I made these using rice flour instead of wheat and tossed in some smoked oysters. We shredded up a huge bowl cabbage and spinach and ate the entire thing. What a pleasant way to eat your vegetables!


4 months ago Douglas Boyce

this is delish thanks, My best friend came back from Japan 30 years ago and made this for me sans this mayo sauce. I was not moved as I was when I finally made it using this recipe. I have also added a tamarind sauce. Thank you for posting this. also there is an Okinomiyake shop on east 9th street in NYC.


4 months ago bmgid

Apologies if this is a repost, but should you be in NYC & get a hankering for an Okonomiyake fix, you can always pick some up (to go even) at Sunrise Mart: E 41st by 5th in front of the NY Public Library.....


4 months ago mstv

Have made these with and without the shrimp. Just chopped larger shrimp (thawed from the freezer and peeled) and added to the mixture raw. They cooked just fine. These are a really quick and great dinner. Not authentic but really easy and so delicious! (Also, they remind me a shrimp dish my mom made when I was a kid. So that is a bonus!)


5 months ago Kris March

I'm feeling exceptionally dumb today (it's Friday), but what is AP flour?


5 months ago emcsull

oops, here we go again, this question was posed further down on this thread and unleashed a TORRENT of nasty and un-nasty commentary. I didn't know either - ALL-PURPOSE !
Make 'em, they're great.


5 months ago Embrosia

I make this with flaked cooked bluefish. First did it with leftover broiled filets. We liked it so much that I bake/broil filets (8-9 minutes)just to flake up for this. Before baking we brush filets with olive oil-soy sauce mix. I always add grated raw ginger to the recipe. (Husband catches lots of bluefish, haven't tried others)


5 months ago tammy

I do not think fish would be a problem. When I had it made for me in Japan they put anything that was requested in it! Good luck.


5 months ago Steph

My husband and I are excited to try this, but I have a shellfish allergy. Has anyone tried this with fish? I am assuming I would need to cook the fish first. Perhaps steam it......


5 months ago ann hill

Thanks for this fantastic recipe. I lived in Japan and loved the cuisine so was thrilled to find this recipe. I thought it might be an acquired taste, but everyone I serve it to has raved about it. I follow the recipe exactly. The bonito flakes add so much flavor, it is worth purchasing bonito on-line if not available locally.


6 months ago Cassidy

I used3 eggs and subbed the rest with Egg Beaters for better health reasons.
Also added 1/4 cup bean sprouts...very tasty.


6 months ago JohnL

If I made this again, I would make it healthier by finding a way to leave out the flour, as in Chinese egg foo young--they don't need flour. To me, Okonomiyaki seemed kind of starchy because of the flour. If I want doughy, I'd go all the way with a Korean seafood pancake that turns out sort of like a big chewy rice noodle. Delicious!


6 months ago Hana Link

Gabrielle, I have done it with cooked shrimp, and with uncooked. The advantage of cooked shrimp is that once the patties are nice and crisp you can take them off the stove. With uncooked shrimp, I burnt the patties a little waiting for the shrimp to cook. They were still delicious though, so it is not a huge concern.


6 months ago Gabrielle S.

should the shrimp be cooked when it gets folded into the mix?


7 months ago Cindy

Wonderful recipe, will make this over and over. Only thing I did diff was no canola oil ever. I used coconut oil to fry.


7 months ago Anne Patches Mendelsohn

These are so flavourful! My partner and I have adopted them into our handbook of tricks to whip out for friends. They're super easy to make, try it yourself and see!


9 months ago Etta Baurhenn

omg! Can't stop smacking my lips. So very good. thanks!


9 months ago Hana Link

These are fantastic. I will make them again and again!


9 months ago Aliwaks

Oh and I want to try these with Oysters.


9 months ago Aliwaks

I made these on Friday, they were delicious! I added a few garlic scapes because I had them. There was dipping sauce leftover & we brushed on corn then grilled .. it was awesome.


9 months ago Midge

Thanks Aliwaks! Let me know how the oysters go, sounds really good.


10 months ago JohnL

Bull Dog brand makes an Okonomiyaki sauce; it comes in a small plastic squeeze bottle and is dark and fruity sweet with a texture like oyster sauce ($5). I still much prefer Chinese egg foo young which I make in a 10-inch electric skillet and get perfect results using a 4-inch metal cookie cutter ring to pour each pancake into, removing the ring as each poured cake begins to set up. 4 cakes per recipe, and it's a real pig-out for one person. But I crave it every now & again. Have tried this Okonomiyaki recipe and also the one I found in 1972 New York Times Heritage Cookbook by Jean Hewitt. But given a choice, I would have egg food young every time.


10 months ago emcsull

so let's have the foo yung recipe already !!


9 months ago JohnL

emcsull I just uploaded my egg foo young recipe. Enjoy!


9 months ago emcsull

just might make that for lunch today, thanks so much !


9 months ago Debra

I've been looking for a really old fashioned egg foo young recipe like when I was a child. I think this may be it! Thank you, can't wait to try it!


9 months ago emcsull

and great it was, let me tell you ! I did the first sauce.