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. - Midge —Midge
Test Kitchen Notes
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&M —The Editors
roughly a dozen 4 to 5-inch pancakes
sriracha, more or less to taste
cabbage, shredded with a mandoline or finely chopped
scallions, trimmed and chopped
(roughly) baby or chopped shrimp
canola oil for frying (roughly 1 tablespoon per pancake, using more or less as needed)
toasted sesame seeds
bonito flakes (optional)
In This Recipe
Whisk the first set of ingredients together and voila, your sauce. Set aside while you make the pancakes.
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.
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.
I’m a journalist who’s covered everything from illegal logging in Central America to merit pay for teachers, but these days I write mostly about travel. I’ve been lucky enough to find myself in some far-flung locales, where poking around markets and grocery stores is my favorite thing to do. Cooking, especially baking, is my way of winding down after a long day; there’s nothing like kneading bread dough to bring you back to earth.