June 7, 2011

Test Kitchen-Approved

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 4 to 5-inch pancakes
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 30 min



  • 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 all-purpose 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
  • 3/4 cup canola oil for frying (roughly 1 tablespoon per pancake, using more or less as needed)
  • 1-2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 pinch bonito flakes (optional)
In This Recipe


  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.

More Great Recipes:
Japanese|Green Onion/Scallion|Seafood|Sesame Oil|Shrimp|Vegetable|Soy Sauce|Make Ahead|Serves a Crowd|Appetizer|Snack

Reviews (508) Questions (18)

508 Reviews

Lindsay S. August 18, 2018
well I liked how simple it was and my daughter devoured them. The boys didn't like them. It was pretty much like frittata to me. I went to Japan a few months ago but I never had a chance to eat these there, so I can't compare!
Cheryl April 30, 2018
Very good and easy to make. Like others, I can see how other vegetables could be subbed. I don't think I needed the shrimp. The bonita flakes were good! I liked the sauce. I mixed it without measuring and did the tamari to taste.
Donna January 3, 2018
My daughter learned to cook these while visiting a sister city in Japan. We make ours the size of the entire cast iron skillet, pressing down on the patty. When cooked on one side, we slide it onto a plate to flip it. By the way, all sorts of additions can be incorporated into the batter, making it a one-pan meal. We tried various sauce recipes, but settled on the following easy sauce, plus a little mayo of course... Okonomi Sauce: Mix 1/2 cup ketchup, 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce, 1/6 cup honey, and 1/6 cup Oyster sauce (there is a vegetarian "oyster" sauce available in some stores). We keep this sauce mixed up in a squeeze bottle in the fridge. (Just used it on cauliflower croquettes, yum!)
Kim September 24, 2017
These are the best appetizer ever! However, the sauce I made is horrible...all I can taste is the soy sauce. As an alternative I recommend Stonewall Kitchen Sriracha Aioli. It is a perfect accompaniment to the pancakes.
RT December 25, 2017
Should use Kewpie Japanese Mayonaise (not the sweet one or salad cream), and bulldog sauce.......that's a little more original.
Marie S. September 18, 2017
I'm vegan, anyway to make without the eggs?
mclaughp September 19, 2017
I don't see the point of making this without the eggs. But, maybe use 1/4 cup silken tofu = 1 egg as a substitute? Experiment and see. Make a cornstarch and water batter instead? Sorry wish I could help more.
gardenchickens June 18, 2017
Wow, these really hit the spot! I'm adding new categories to my profile: Food Cravings and Appetite Fatigue. This is the kind of recipe that can relieve either condition. It is easy, inexpensive, and the pancakes survive a night or two in the fridge.
Barbara R. April 20, 2017
This is a very forgiving and foundational recipe. I usually use a lot more cabbage, sliced onions (one med, vertical cut into 1/8 inch slices) more low salt soy and sometimes bean sprouts. May not be authetic. They keep well in fridge- 5 days or so. I do not always add the shrimp. Reheat in micro, non-stick skillet.
caninechef February 3, 2017
Finally made these last night, very easy and so good. I used coleslaw mix and worked great. I did leave out the salt based on comments even though I am a saltaholic. I think next time I will cut the soy sauce in the dipping sauce.
Michael N. December 3, 2016
Was the shop called Ton Ton? In Nishiki Market?
Author Comment
Midge December 7, 2016
I wish I could remember!
Stéphanie C. July 31, 2016
What is AP flour?
krikri July 31, 2016
All-purpose flour.
Stéphanie C. July 31, 2016
Thank you! Haha, now I feel so dumb. I thought it was maybe a brand I'd never heard of.
krikri July 31, 2016
lol Never mind, I wondered about it too once, or was it EVOO - which I thought was some brand of mineral water (why? not sure) but then found out it was extra virgin olive oil!
Ann-Marie D. July 31, 2016
Its maddening on food52 that so many people ask this question. just type it out!!!
Stéphanie C. July 31, 2016
Agreed. It's not like "all purpose" are crazy words to type out...
Mary-Helen S. July 30, 2016
I just made these and they were delicious!! I thought they were a bit on the salty side (but maybe I just spooned too much sauce!), so next time I will reduce the sea salt a bit. I wonder if using part cornstarch and part rice flour would make them crispier, sort of like the Vietnamese pancake appetizers? But oh, yum!!
Author Comment
Midge December 7, 2016
I'm going to try your rice flour and cornstarch idea next time.
Annabelle C. July 5, 2016
Always wanted to know how to make these Japanese pancakes. Do you think they'd keep overnight? Thinking they'd be good for work lunches.
Author Comment
Midge December 7, 2016
I've never tried that but would love to know the results if you do.
Adrienne W. December 19, 2016
they are great even cold out of the fridge
Kris M. January 20, 2017
I made enough for a week's worth of lunches. They kept well in the fridge, easy to reheat and just as tasty the second and third time round!
MaryMaryCulinary June 30, 2016
These are absolutely delicious! They are nothing like the okonomiyaki I ate in Japan, but so good that I don't care. :)
Linda June 26, 2016
Are shrimp cooked when you add them?
Kris M. June 26, 2016
Yes, I add small, pink, cooked shrimp (we call them bay shrimp).
Author Comment
Midge December 7, 2016
I don't cook the shrimp first.
arcane54 March 24, 2016
Oh my, these are delicious! My fish guy says his mom made them with squid and cooked one giant pancake that everyone cut from "like pizza". Will make this over and over...
NCGirl February 14, 2016
My mom used to make these when we were little. Super good. She used octopus for hers, and bacon, seaweed for us. Yummy, brings back memories and so glad to have the recipe! Thank you.
Susan S. February 3, 2016
A new delicious go to dinner. Only 6 pancakes from this recipe, 5 eaten. Thank heaven there are only 2 of us so no fighting for more!
Adrienne W. January 28, 2016
Made for the third time. Seems like whatever you put in these, as long as it's shredded and to the right proportions, they are excellent. However, I will say that shredded cabbage is best for crunch and basil is super-flavorful. This recipe calls for 3 cups "veggie stuff". This time, I used a bunch of cilantro, like a whole cup chopped, and in addition to the bunch of chopped green onions called for, I used a bagged mix to add up for total volume: shredded Brussels sprouts, Napa cabbage, kohlrabi, broccoli, carrots, and kale (Mann's). I didn't taste the the cilantro, so it must lose something when cooked. Also, no flavor really stood out; as Joe said, "it just tastes like vegetables." However, note that these were still scarfed down quickly and are flavorful no matter what you put in them. BTW I've never added shrimp although that sounds delicious, just don't have it. Try It!! So versatile.
Adrienne W. January 26, 2016
made for the second time and all I had was cabbage and basil. It was divine!
MainelyEating January 26, 2016
I've made this so many times and it's so ridiculously good. I usually eat the first pancake standing over the pan cooking the second one!