The kind of exciting, flavorful meal we all need right now. Japanese Okonomiyaki with Kimchi and Fried Egg — YUM!
I started cooking Okonomiyaki when I fell down the YouTube rabbit hole of cooking videos. What was this? Why had I never eaten this before?
And so began my obsession. I started with the classic Okonomiyaki recipe and extensive cooking notes from Just One Cookbook. She was the inspiration base to this recipe. But I also tried the many different variations Google had to offer. An endless variety composed of different ingredients and proportions.
Pretty soon, Okonomiyaki became all I wanted to eat. Yes, it consumed me.
Soft, fluffy interior. All those layers of flavors + texture. Lots of veggies. Filling and satisfying, savory and completely delicious!
What is Okonomiyaki?
Okonomiyaki is a popular Japanese street food. Described as a savory cabbage pancake and/or frittata, it’s very unique. There’s nothing quite like Okonomiyaki!
There are many different styles of Okonomiyaki. Most people are familiar with these 3:
- 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.
My recipe is an Osaka-style Okonomiyaki. Everything is mixed in one bowl. Then cooked together.
Okonomiyaki is translated “how you like it” in Japanese. You can add whatever you like!
Common additions include pork belly, scallop, shrimp, chicken, pork, cheese, bean sprouts, bacon, etc.
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!
How do I eat Japanese Okonomiyaki? Is it a meal? A snack?
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.
All to say, Okonomiyaki requires no additional sides. The genius is that it’s a complete meal, all by itself.
I don’t think I would serve it as a main dish for family dinner though. It would take too long to cook 5 separate Okonomiyaki for my family.
Instead, I see this as fast meal option for 2 people. Or, just for myself. (Make one to eat now, make one for the next day — but don’t add the toppings until you’re ready to eat.)
Okonomiyaki Flour. Traditionally, Okonomiyaki is made with dashi (Japanese soup stock) and flour. To make things easier, I use Okonomiyaki Flour instead. Instant dashi is included, making this 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 it makes for a light + fluffy texture when cooked!
FYI 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.
Cabbage. Chop into small pieces for the right texture (see notes in the recipe below). If the cabbage is too large, it will affect the texture.
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. They add tons of smoky flavor. And the texture!
Kimchi + Fried Egg. My Korean American twists. I love this combo so much!
Essential Cooking Tools: Skillet + Lid
Typically, Japanese Okonomiyaki is made on a special grill that’s custom ordered in restaurants.
During recipe development, I experimented with 3 options: stainless steel skillet, cast iron skillet, non-stick pan.
All 3 of them worked well. But my preferred option was a well seasoned cast iron skillet. The Okonomiyaki was easier to flip and it tasted better overall.
Also, you will also need a tight-fitting lid. A covered pan produces steam, making sure the Okonomiyaki is fully cooked and fluffy.
How to Make Okonomiyaki with Kimchi + Fried Egg
Whisk the batter together. Okonomiyaki flour, water, eggs, grated Mountain Yam (optional but highly recommended, if you have access to it).
Add cabbage + green onions. Mix with spatula until well combined.
In a cast iron skillet, add half the batter and shape into a thick pancake. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Flip the Okonomiyaki, cover, and cook for another 5 minutes. The steam should cook the inside of the pancake.
Transfer to a plate and drizzle with Okonomiyaki sauce + Kewpie mayo.
Add kimchi, fried egg, and bonito flakes.
Eat immediately and enjoy!!
Japanese Okonomiyaki with Kimchi + Fried Egg
- well seasoned large Cast Iron Skillet
- tight-fitting lid
- 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
- Whisk the batter together: Okonomiyaki flour, water, eggs, and grated Mountain Yam if using. Make sure there are no lumps.
- Add cabbage + green onions. Mix with spatula until well combined. The cabbage and batter should cling together loosely.
- 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.
- 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.
- Add kimchi.
- Add fried egg.
- Top off with Bonito flakes.
- Enjoy and eat immediately!