Japanese Okonomiyaki with Kimchi + Fried Egg

Difficulty Medium

Savory Japanese cabbage pancake with a Korean twist — Okonomiyaki with Kimchi and Fried Egg. YUM!

There’s so much to love about Japanese Okonomiyaki! The perfect snack or quick meal — it’s so easy and fast to put together. Once you have all the ingredients, it only takes 15 minutes!

Plus, Okonomiyaki is filling, satisfying, endlessly customizable, and completely delicious.

What is Japanese Okonomiyaki?

Okonomiyaki is a popular Japanese street food that’s best described as a savory cabbage pancake or frittata.

The batter is made from eggs, wheat flour, dashi, and Japanese mountain yam. Lots of chopped cabbage and fragrant green onions make this an especially flavorful savory pancake.

The texture is soft and fluffy, similar to a potato pancake. With generous drizzles of Okonomiyaki sauce and Kewpie mayo, plus a generous handful of Bonito flakes — it’s decadently rich and delicious.

Translated “how you like it” in Japanese, it’s endlessly customizable. You can add whatever you like!

My recipe is an Osaka-style Okonomiyaki. The 3 most commonly known types are:

  • Osaka Okonomiyaki contains a batter where everything is mixed together and cooked into a thick, fluffy “pancake.”
  • Hiroshima Okonomiyaki includes thin layers of crepe-like batter, finely shredded cabbage, and other additional ingredients stacked on top of each other.
  • Modan-yaki includes fried yakisoba noodles.

Ingredients:

  • Okonomiyaki Flour. Traditionally, Okonomiyaki is made with dashi (Japanese soup stock) and flour. To make things easier, use Okonomiyaki Flour. Instant dashi is included, making Okonomiyaki MUCH easier to make at home. Check the Japanese aisle in Asian grocery stores or the flour aisle of Korean markets.
  • Mountain Yam. Optional ingredient but if you can find it, I highly recommend it. Peel and finely grate. It will be very gooey-looking. But creates an especially light + fluffy okonomiyaki!
  • Cabbage. The main ingredient. You’ll need a lot! Chop into small pieces for the right texture (see notes in the recipe card below). If the cabbage is too large, the resulting texture will be soggy.
  • Okonomiyaki Sauce. You can make homemade Okonomiyaki Sauce with pantry ingredients. OR purchase at the Asian grocery store, which makes things easier. My preference (for ease and convenience) is to buy from the store. Okonomiyaki sauce lasts a long time in the fridge, like ketchup.
  • Kewpie Mayo. A staple in my Korean American pantry, Kewpie lends richness and an extra dimension of flavor. An essential flavor component of Okonomiyaki.
  • Bonito Flakes (Katsuobushi). Bonita flakes come from smoked, fermented tuna. The tuna is shaved off into curls and seem to dance when placed on top of hot food items.
  • Kimchi + Fried Egg. My Korean American twists. I love this combo so much!

Instructions:

  1. Whisk batter together.
  2. Add cabbage + green onions.
  3. Cook into thick pancake.
  4. Drizzle with Okonomiyaki sauce.
  5. Drizzle with Kewpie mayo.
  6. Add kimchi.
  7. Add fried egg
  8. Add bonito flakes. Enjoy!!

Variations:

To make Okonomiyaki “as you like it,” feel free to add what you like. Some common additions:

  • Scallops.
  • Shrimp.
  • Cheese.
  • Bacon.
  • Pork Belly strips.
  • Shredded chicken.

My version includes kimchi. That fermented, acidic bite is SO tasty!

Also, a fried egg. I think it’s the Korean in me that just loves a sunny-side up egg on top of everything. Really adds another flavor dimension. YUM!

Essential Cooking Tools: Skillet + Lid + Large Spatula

Typically, Japanese Okonomiyaki is made on a special grill called a teppan.

To make easily at home, 3 options work well:

  • Stainless steel skillet
  • Cast iron skillet
  • Non-stick skillet (pan)

You’ll also need a tight-fitting lid to create steam. A covered skillet ensures a fully cooked and fluffy Okonomiyaki.

And a large metal spatula. I recommend a large fish spatula to make flipping easier.

PRO Tips

  • Handle Mountain Yam carefully. There’s an enzyme in Mountain Yam that sometimes causes allergic reactions. Feel free to wear gloves or do what I do: peel one end of the mountain yam and hold onto the other end that’s not peeled. That way, the raw mountain yam won’t contact your skin.
  • Look for large Bonito flakes. Bonito flakes come in several sizes. Large flake Bonito is especially delicious and adds lots of texture.
  • Finely chop cabbage. To finely chop cabbage, first shred cabbage into 1/4 inch strips. Then turn the cutting board and chop into 1/2-inch chunks in the other direction.
  • Use steam to achieve the right texture. Covering the Okonomiyaki with a tight fitting lid is essential! That way, the steam builds and cooks the inside of the pancake so its light and fluffy instead of gummy and runny.

FAQ:

How do I eat Japanese Okonomiyaki?

Okonomiyaki can be eaten as a meal or snack. I enjoy eating Okonomiyaki for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a midnight snack. It’s very tasty and satisfying. The genius is that it’s a complete meal, all by itself!

How do I store leftovers?

Fully cooked okonomiyaki can stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Reheat in the air fryer for 5 min at 400F. Or reheat in a non-stick skillet until hot and sizzling on both sides.

Can I freeze Okonomiyaki?

Yes, fully cooked Okonomiyaki freeze very well. Cook and cool the savory Japanese cabbage pancakes. Do not add toppings. Instead, transfer fulled cooked and cooled pancakes into a ziploc baggie and store in the freezer for 2-3 months. If freezing multiple okonomiyaki, add parchment paper in between. This will make separating the panckaes for reheating easier.

To reheat, heat in an air fryer for 5 min at 400F – flipping halfway. Or reheat in a non-stick skillet until hot and sizzling on both sides. Then add the Okonomiyaki sauce, kewpie mayo, and other toppings of choice!

Other snacks to make at home:

Japanese Okonomiyaki on grey plate with chopsticks

Japanese Okonomiyaki with Kimchi + Fried Egg

The Subversive Table | Lis Lam
Savory Japanese cabbage pancake with a Korean twist — Okonomiyaki with Kimchi and Fried Egg. YUM!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Snack
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 2 pancakes
Calories

Equipment

  • well seasoned large Cast Iron Skillet (or non-stick skillet OR stainless steel skillet)
  • tight-fitting lid
  • Large spatula

Ingredients
  

Batter:

  • 1/2 cup Okonomiyaki Flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup Mountain yam, grated
  • 2 cups cabbage, chopped finely
  • 4 green onions, chopped finely

Toppings (for 2 Okonomiyaki):

  • Okonomiyaki Sauce
  • Kewpie Mayo
  • 1/4 cup kimchi, divided
  • 2 large eggs (preferably organic or free run)
  • 2 handfuls Bonito Flakes (Katsuobushi), divided

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, add Okonomiyaki flour, water, eggs, and grated Mountain Yam if using. Whisk well and ,ake sure there are no lumps.
    batter for okonomiyaki in bowl
  • Add cabbage + green onions. Switch to a rubber spatula and mix until well combined. The cabbage and batter should cling together loosely.
    okonomiyaki batter
  • Heat a large cast iron skillet to medium heat. Add 1-2 tsp oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the skillet. Add half the batter and shape into a thick, round pancake, using the spatula to pat the edge into a circle. Cover and lower the heat to medium low. Cook for 5 minutes. Flip the Okonomiyaki, cover, and cook for another 5 minutes. This allows steam to build and fully cook the inside of the pancake.
    okonomiyaki in cast iron skillet
  • Transfer to a plate and cover loosely with foil to keep warm (or keep in a 200F oven). Repeat.
  • For each Okonomiyaki, add toppings: Drizzle Okonomiyaki Sauce. Drizzle Kewpie Mayo.
    kewpie mayo on Japanese Okonomiyaki
  • Add kimchi.
    Japanese Okonomiyaki on grey plate with kimchi
  • Add fried egg.
    Japanese Okonomiyaki on grey plate with fried egg
  • Top off with Bonito flakes.
    Japanese Okonomiyaki on grey plate
  • Enjoy and eat immediately!
    Japanese Okonomiyaki on table with chopsticks

Notes

*Finely chop cabbage. To finely chop cabbage, first shred cabbage into 1/4 inch strips. Then turn the cutting board and chop into 1/2-inch chunks in the other direction.
*Okonomiyaki freezes well.  Do not add the toppings if storing in the freezer!  Simply wrap tightly and freeze/refrigerate.  When ready to eat, reheat (I use an Air Fryer at 400F for 5 min) then add toppings.  Delicious!
Keyword Japanese, Kimchi, Okonomiyaki, Osaka
30 minutes, All Recipes, Asian, Breakfast + Brunch, Kimchi, Snacks, Weeknight Meals

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