japanese vegetable pancakes

Last week was not my week in the kitchen, friends. I had great, ambitious designs on a rhubarb meringue tart that would be pink and pretty with a scalloped tart-shell edge and a meringue that looked like piped roses that had toasted petal tips. But as the week went on and as various really non-torments in the greater definition of the word but nonetheless tormenting to me mounted — thin curds, too thick curds, beige (you know, the color of pink rhubarb + multiple yolks) curd, slumped tart shells, wet meringues, useless broilers, blowtorches so close to empty, they emit the useless wisps of sleepy dragons, refill canister AWOL — my enjoyment of the project plummeted. But, because I’d like to teach my kid one day that he should follow through and finish what he started, I did, and lo, it was good, you know? Maybe I’m just not a meringue pie person and I forgot? None of this matters because the finished pie slid off the plate flopping face-down into the open fridge as I tried to put it away and then, as I crouched on the floor in front of the open fridge scooping fistfuls of meringue and curd into a garbage bag and questioning my life choices, my son walked in and asked what I was making for dinner.

maybe not the prettiest vegetables to start
carrot peels and ribbons

I took a break from the kitchen after that. Sometimes, you just need some space, right? See if time apart restores that magic? Absence makes culinary ambitions grow fonder? Not to be clichéd or anything (cough, ugh), but I did go get a pedicure and while I was there an email appeared on my phone from Tasting Table extolling the virtues of the Japanese vegetable pancake known as okonomiyaki and all I wanted to do was run home and make it, immediately. That’s no small feat, considering the comfort of those massage chairs, and yet, if I were to wax philosophical for a moment, I would argue that this thing — when you think you’re done with cooking forever but see something new or different that’s so incredible, so doable, that you find all the minutes between then and when you’re finally able to get to the grocery store an irritant — is about the loftiest recipe goal there could be.

reducing the cabbage to shreds
a mess of ribboned and mandolined vegetables
tangles of cabbage, carrot and kale
flipped and craggy and crisp

I actually got to making the pancakes a few days later, because life is like that, but please don’t wait so long because these are crazy delicious, filling and wholesome, as good as a side dish as they are as a main, topped with a fried egg. From what I can gather, there are many, many ways to make okonomiyaki and that this is by design — according to Wikipedia, the name is derived from the word okonomi, meaning “what you like” or “what you want.” What most have in common is a base of cabbage, flour, and egg, fried in a small or large fritter pancake form — can I call them Japanese latkes without offending anyone? Probably not, but there you are. From this base, only you are limited only by your imagination; I’ve seen versions with everything from kimchi to shrimp or octopus, green onions or pork belly/bacon, but I kept with the relatively earnest version outlined in the newsletter, with cabbage, kale, carrots and scallions. While okonomiyaki is often made omelet-like and thick, served in wedges, it turns out I like mine the way I like my potato pancakes, which is for them to resemble a flying spaghetti monster that ran afoul of a hot skillet and crisped up on impact in all of its straggly glory — i.e. heavy on the vegetable, light on the batter, charred at the edges, tender in the center and absolutely impossible to stay irate at your kitchen long in the face of.

scallions, sesame and a mahogany sauce
cabbage, kale and carrot fritter

One year ago: Warm, Crisp and a Little Melty Salad Croutons and Chocolate Buckwheat Cake
Two years ago: Leek Toasts with Blue Cheese and Vermontucky Lemonade
Three years ago: Oatmeal Pancakes, Spring Asparagus Pancetta Hash and Pecan Cornmeal Butter Cake
Four years ago: Endive and Celery Salad with Fennel Vinaigrette, Rhubarb Cobbler and Broccoli Slaw
Five years ago: Martha’s Macaroni and Cheese and Crispy Salted Oatmeal White Chocolate Cookies
Six years ago: Pickled Garlicky Red Peppers and Raspberry-Topped Lemon Muffins

Japanese Vegetable Pancakes [Okonomiyaki] with Cabbage, Kale and Carrots
Adapted, just a little, from Josher Walker of Xiao Bao Biscuit, in Charleston, SC via Tasting Table

Okonomiyaki are traditional served squeeze with a generous criss-cross of Japanese mayonnaise and a okonomiyaki sauce, tangy-sweet-salty mixture I’d liken to Japanese barbecue sauce, which is sold in bottles but I attempted to cobble together a version from recipes I found online, below. Please forgive me if the flavor isn’t perfect; I am new to it, but we loved it, just the same. Pancakes are then sprinkled with bonito flakes, seaweed flakes or even pickled ginger, but we enjoyed ours with a finely slivered scallion and toasted sesame seeds. I imagine they’d also be good with bites dipped in a simpler dumpling dipping sauce.

Yield: 4 large pancakes or I am really sorry, but I forgot to count, but I’d say at least 12, probably 14, smaller ones

1/2 small head cabbage, very thinly sliced (1 pound or 5 to 6 cups shreds) which will be easiest on a mandoline if you have one
4 medium carrots, peeled into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
5 lacinato kale leaves, ribs removed, leaves cut into thin ribbons
4 scallions, thinly sliced on an angle
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
6 large eggs, lightly beaten
Canola, safflower or peanut oil for frying

Tangy Sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (note: this is not vegetarian)
1/4 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon rice cooking wine or sake
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey (use 2 if you like a sweeter sauce)
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

Make the pancakes: Toss cabbage, carrot, kale, scallions and salt together in a large bowl. Toss mixture with flour so it coats all of the vegetables. Stir in the eggs. Heat a large heavy skillet on medium-high heat. Coat the bottom with oil and heat that too.

To make a large pancake, add 1/4 of the vegetable mixture to the skillet, pressing it out into a 1/2- to 3/4-inch pancake. Gently press the pancake down flat. Cook until the edges beging to brown, about 3 minutes. 30 seconds to 1 minute later, flip the pancake with a large spatula. (If this is terrifying, you can first slide the pancake onto a plate, and, using potholders, reverse it back into the hot skillet.) Cook on the other side until the edges brown, and then again up to a minute more (you can peek to make sure the color is right underneath).

To make small pancakes, you can use tongs but I seriously find using my fingers and grabbing little piles, letting a little batter drip back into the bowl, and depositing them in piles on the skillet easier, to form 3 to 4 pancakes. Press down gently with a spatula to they flatten slightly, but no need to spread them much. Cook for 3 minutes, or until the edges brown. Flip the pancakes and cook them again until brown underneath.

Regardless of pancake size, you can keep them warm on a tray in the oven at 200 to 250 degrees until needed.

If desired, make okonomiyaki sauce: Combine all sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and let simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, until smooth and thick.

Serve pancakes with sauce and any of the other fixings listed above, from Japanese mayo to scallions and toasted sesame seeds.

Do ahead: Extra pancakes will keep in the fridge for a couple days, or can be spread on a tray in the freezer until frozen, then combined in a freezer bag to be stored until needed. Reheat on a baking sheet in a hot oven until crisp again.

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420 comments on japanese vegetable pancakes

  1. Katie C.

    I guess the advantage of these “latkes” over the potato or zucchini is that you don’t have a lot of extra moisture that you have to get rid of before you fry. We made your zucchini ones and they were great! Inexpensive too.

  2. M

    Man, Tasting Table is so good. I like that the vegetables in this recipe will also work and be in season for latkes in December. Incidentally, re. the Purelll comment with Jacob’s kisses: Did you see The New Yorker article from a few months back about Purell? It’s so strange how something that didn’t really exist a dozen years ago is EVERYWHERE these days.

  3. June

    Hey, I’m a huge fan. My favorites are carrot pancakes and coconut muffins. We make these Japanese noodles that look allot like these veggie pancakes. I am wondering how much oil is in your pan when you fry? When we make fried noodles we just cover the bottom and usually before both packages are gone have to add oil a few times. I have experimented by using pancake rings that I set in the pan and stuff the ingredients in so they cook up in a perfect circle..makes for a prettier presentation often kids need that pretty look, well my kids! Anyway can’t wait to try..thanks.

  4. Kelly

    I am sure we have these ingredients in the fridge – so when I get back home – they are what’s for dinner! They look amazing! I’ll be using Coconut Flour in mine.

  5. Anna

    Wow these look delicious. I’ve been in a bit of a “what’s for dinner?” Slump lately, especially as we’ve gone vegetarian some months ago.
    I’ll definitely be making these this week!

  6. Hi Deb! I know all of us who blog about food or who just love to cook, can relate to this post. There are some weeks where I want to just give up cooking as nothing turns out right or recipes flop, and I loose all inspiration and desire to be in the kitchen. The recipe failures usually happen when I’m trying to make something complicated or something that calls for unique ingredients. I’m realizing that sometimes simple recipes with simple whole ingredients (like these vegetable pancakes) are best for me, my blog and my readers. I’ve decided to leave the complicated recipes to the pros. If I can’t make them with ease, then how are my readers going to do so! Life’s busy for all of us, so the simpler that we make things in the kitchen, the happier we all are. These vegetable pancakes look amazing and uber healthy. I know my son would love these topped with that sauce because he is such a sauce guy! I’m glad you found inspiration through something so simple and took a much needed break from the kitchen :)

  7. Trader Joe’s makes a frozen version of this, which, I must confess, is not too shabby. However, I love the idea of making them from scratch. And I’m all about dumpling dipping sauce, or as a kid I know calls them — dunklings. Thanks for another pretty veggie recipe.

      1. yandle

        I was actually reading through the comments on this old post JUST to see if someone would mention those TJs birds nests and confirm that this is similar! Any luck?

    1. Thank Goodness I’m not the only one. The TJ scallion pancakes are delicious. Ten to fifteen minutes from freezer to plate. When I heat them up I sprinkle them with sesame oil. We tend to use them as a side dish for fish or serve them with an egg for breakfast.

  8. gaijintendo

    This is nothing like a okinomiyaki, given there was absolutely no layering going on, no pancake base, however it is a bit like the veg nokakiage, but in a pancake batter instead of a tempura batter.
    Either way, an inspired take on the classic, looks yum.

  9. cb72

    Awesome. But it reminds me of the Vietnamese “happy pancakes” I tried to make this weekend- they didn’t turn out right- sorta gummy. Maybe it’s the rice flour I’m using (Bob’s), or the recipe (rice flour, water, turmeric) could use an egg or something? I bet Deb or one of her talented commenters would know…

  10. This is exciting–I love all your vegetable pancake recipes! I can’t wait to see which region you draw inspiration from next… Maybe your next cookbook could be Latkes of the World?!

  11. Ohhhhh Deb, I know how it feels to diligently plan out the most gorgeous recipe that you just KNOW is going to turn out perfect and then have it flop in every way shape and form. Sorry about the rough go with the rhubarb…I have full faith it will turn out next go-round. :) You’re the queen of savory pancakes and these look amazing!

  12. Sparkly Jules

    Oh Deb…the vision of that perfected pie bellyflopping on your floor resonated loud and clear for me. I even exhaled a loud “No!”

    I so appreciate you sharing that as I so admire your skill, curiosity, and passion as a cook, and it’s so nice to know this happens to you, too, in a very real “with you”, not “at you” way. :-)

    Ok, I laughed just a teensy bit, too.

    Thanks for that.

  13. This looks fantastic! My husband and I are participating in a weekly farm vegetable bag program, and I’m so keeping this recipe on file for when the veg starts coming in.

  14. deb

    aks — You could do a 1/2 swap with whole wheat, a majority swap with white whole wheat or I suspect that whatever all-purpose gluten-free flour mix you like will work here too.

  15. Jacinda

    @S, as a gluten-free option maybe chickpea flour? I’ve seen it work well to hold together shredded zucchini, so it might work here.

  16. Erika

    Yay! Okonomiyaki! With your fritter obsession, I kept meaning to suggest you check them out, but then, you know, the 2yr old got in the way.
    Anyway–if you have access to a store that sells Japanese food staples, I highly recommend you get the mountain yam flour that they sell for Okonomiyaki (or just the okonomiyaki mix). It adds a subtle earthy sweetness that is a huge complement to the veggies, and doesn’t taste so floury.
    Our favorite cooking method is to start with half a piece of raw bacon per pancake in a skillet. Cook it on one side, then flip and surround the piece with the raw okonomiyaki batter. By the time you have the batter cooked on that side, the bacon is also cooked–flip to cook the other pancake side. Yummy veggie pancake with embedded bacon cooked in bacon fat! Swoon. Doesn’t need the fried egg to be a main dish that way.

  17. You say you read about them and “all I wanted to do was run home and make it, immediately.”

    This is exactly waht happened when I opened this up in my reader. I’m making this, topped with fried eggs, this weekend for breakfast. If not sooner, becasue all I awnt to do is run home tonight and make them immediately, but meal planning is already done for the week.

  18. Lovely okonomiyaki adaptation! I’ve never seen carrots (or kale) in okonomiyaki, but they seem right at home in your latke-style versions (I like that comparison).

    I think your next okonomiyaki adventure should be Hiroshima style! (You made Osaka style, by mixing the cabbage etc. into the batter.) Hiroshima style is thin batter-only crepes topped with soba noodles, topped with the cooked down cabbage and other good stuff, and you can still make it “as you like it” like the name of the dish, but I think it’s especially amazing with some chewy melty mochi thrown in there along with some cheese and an over-easy egg.

  19. Era

    These look great and may tempt me to risk going back to the vegetable pancake concept – I have been burned by courgette fritters that were burned and dry on the outside, wet and raw on the inside. Urg. But sometimes you’ve got to wrestle that demon! This week has been low on the kitchen creativity front, but I did just make a batch of your cauliflower pesto (but with broccoli because green is good in spring y’know) and my kitchen seems more friendly as a result than it has for days. So thank you for this, and for the cookbook! I would like to rail at your publisher for splitting the recipes across pages, rather than starting on the verso, but then I’m reluctant because it’s so great to have multiple photos and your fabulous notes for each recipe and most publishers seem to want to cut back on that. Which is kind of a backhanded compliment. I should have just stuck with ‘thanks’!

      1. Patt

        If you julienne the zucchini, it should be fine if they are 1/4 of the total or less. If you want to shred them, squeeze the water out before adding to the mix.

  20. I don’t comment here much, but I was stoked to see that this recipe comes from a restaurant in Charleston! I lived there for 4 years and I’m actually headed back that way for a visit this weekend. Even better, the restaurant is maybe 4 blocks from my old house, where my little brother lives now. Although Charleston is full of great places to eat, maybe we’ll hit up a new place this weekend.

    From reading your blog I have developed a taste for all things fritter/latke. I’ll have to give these a try. I love anything with an asian kick, and it looks like a great way to use what’s leftover in the fridge!

  21. What timing! I was just diagnosed with gestational diabetes and I thought I’d have to swear off your site for the next three months. I think I can eat this. Thanks!

  22. Love love love this, Deb! I have definitely felt that pie-flopping, kitchen-hating pain all too well, and it’s comforting to know that it happens to us all from time to time. I’ve been super focused on baking and haven’t put much time into cooking since, well, many months ago– sometimes I feel like I’ve forgotten how to do it, or it just seems like such a pain to deal with all those veggies (which I love, by the way), but this recipe DOES make me want to run out to the farmers’ market and make these babies for dinner right away! Thank you for your inspiration. Again. :)

  23. Kirsti

    I’m a long time lurker and I love your recipes. This looks amazing but I don’t have a mandolin. What do you use? It looks sturdy and I love the color! Thanks!

  24. Abbie

    My husband and I have talked about but never gotten around to firing up our griddle to this purpose. We lived in Japan for a while, and folks are big on their okonomiyaki there. Truthfully, as much as I liked the enthusiasm people had for it, its comfort-food role in their culture, and the performance aspect involved when chefs made it in front of us, I never liked the taste of it. I suspected this was because I really didn’t like the Japanese take on Worcestershire, which they swirled on top when it was finished, and which tasted to me like sweetened and slightly fishy meat sauce. It seemed a shame to me that I was missing out on the cake because of the sauce, so, I have wanted to give okonomiyaki another spin with flavorings more to my taste. Perhaps this is it.

  25. C M

    I’m not usually a veggie dish person, but these look delicious.

    For the sauce, I’ve usually got a bunch of mirin around. Would that be a decent substitute for the straight rice wine? I’d guess it would be a bit sweeter than normal, so adding a second spoon of honey wouldn’t be wise.

  26. Michelle

    My favorite thing my Japanese roommate makes is okonomiyaki. Hers has a higher pancake to vegetable ratio, but this looks great and possibly healthier. She also adds dashi (a type of fish broth) and maybe the equivalent of about two cups of a grated root which wikipedia says is called Chinese yam. She says it’s important for the texture. And I definitely recommend the addition of pork belly, bonito, and a little bit of mayonnaise! If you like these, try takoyaki which are like this but balls with octopus. You can sometimes find them in China Towns.

    If you’d rather buy a sauce, my roommate uses tonkatsu sauce and it can be put on just about anything and tastes awesome (fried pork chops, burgers, fried eggs…).

    That said, my roommates, boyfriend and I love your blog, Deb! I’ve made them tons of your recipes and I’m thoroughly enjoying introducing them to a wider range of Western food. Thanks a lot!

  27. Jamie

    Any recommendations on how to make this gluten/grain free? Do you think almond flour or coconut flour would work as a good substitute? Thanks.

    1. deb

      Jamie — I think any gluten-free all-purpose flour blend you like to use in baking would work here.

      CM — I think mirin would be fine.

  28. Holy crap, I went from never hearing of okonomiyaki to having it take over my life recently! First, we were watching random YouTube videos of foreign takeout joints with my FIL on Mother’s Day, and we came across an epic okonomiyaki video. (I’m at work, so I can’t find the link right now.) My husband and I started researching this mysterious Japanese deliciousness, and when it came to figuring out dinner Monday night, we tackled it. I’ve never been so grateful for excess cabbage and carrots in our crisper drawer before! It was sooo good. And here you are posting about it! Again, I’m very grateful that the masses are exposed to okonomiyaki, thanks for sharing!

  29. Wow, these look amazing! Have never heard of this dish before, so I’m interested to try them out. Need to start cooking more asian food – not just getting takeaway sushi…!

  30. Ash

    As today is a day off this is a perfect time to make these little pancake thingies. Also, I have been following SK for a whole year. A whole year of mainly busting out the SK recipes for social gatherings and being delighted as silence falls over a table full of friends. You know the whole, “can’t talk. must eat.” kind of silence. Thanks for writing this website.

    {The Board and Wire}

  31. Lori

    I think chickpea flour would give these more of an Indian bent, but that could be a great variation. Like veggie pakora! Which I adore.

  32. This looks beautiful. I have the yeasted waffle batter rising (in my oven where the cat cannot get to it), but this makes me wish I hadn’t already prepped tonight’s brunch for dinner!

  33. Nita

    I’m sorry I’m so fond of your description of the rhubarb meringue that would not give in… I will admit to having failure after failure on a recipe that has reduced me to a satisfyingly childish tantrum alone in the kitchen.

  34. Jess.

    Please open a restaurant and be ready to serve these by lunchtime tomorrow. Nothing but these sounds good.

  35. Stephanie

    1- might be your best post ever
    2- Yum
    3- Great picture of Little Man. For years, when my daughter wanted to get on the horse/truck/car/thing in a mall or on our way out of a store, I put her on it, we sang 2-3 rounds of ABCs, and I took her off. She didn’t know until she was 4 that we could put money in it and have it move!!!

  36. Yum, it must be a brassica week somewhere… Everyone is posting something cabbage-y and kale-y, myself included. I am definitely trying these in the nearest future. They look amazing!

  37. Wait, you’re indulging your fritter addiction again! Oh, hang on, can I really say anything given that most of the recipes I have ever bookmarked are all of the fritter recipes that you’ve posted here? :) These look super-yummy!

  38. You are on fire today, Deb! “…a flying spaghetti monster that ran afoul of a hot skillet…”!? “…that you find all the minutes between then and when you’re finally able to get to the grocery store an irritant…” You are a gifted and hilarious writer. Can’t wait to make these.

  39. The Rhubarb Meringue Tart sounds cool. I can understand your dilemma. Maybe another time… LOL. Nevertheless this recipe looks great and fits the fact that our farmers markets are heating and will make this a definite try. :-)

    1. Barbara Qualls

      Made these tonight and they were DELISH…will be having them for breakfast in the morning too! Served with crispy rice with tamari on the side. Another great dish from Deb, regardless of what you call them…thanks!

  40. Miche

    My mom makes them thin and crisp the way you do, with a high ratio of veggies to batter too. She uses tons of cabbage, ginger, and green onions.

    I highly recommend using leftover sauce on top of eggs.

  41. Derek

    These were one of my favorite foods in Japan when I lived there for the summer. They have restaurants dedicated to Okonomiyaki – each table has a griddle in the center. The waiter or waitress comes out and heats it up, takes the order of what you want in them, then brings out the noodle/veggie/fish/crab combo, then cooks them a little, and comes back with the batter. My favorite part was the end, where she used a giant spatula to flip the okonomiyaki and then shot sauces on top from above her head. I have often wondered how to make a show at home…maybe now I will try!

  42. Susan

    I’ve never heard of okonomiyaki before now. I will save aside extra the next time I make slaw as these do look very good. Your picture reminded me of latkes but I thought for sure you’d say they were some sort of fritter. I’ve been collecting recipes for those scallion pancakes I’ve seen so much of lately but have yet to give them a try. My son (he who rarely even makes a sandwich) actually made them for us one day (we LOVED them) which is where my search started. I figured if he could make them, I should, too!

  43. Dahlink

    Double memories from this post, Deb. Your rhubarb flop reminded me of my second son’s first birthday. I wasn’t feeling great, had had a bad day at work, and we had a house guest, but somehow I came home and made a birthday cake. My dear one-year-old took one look at it and tossed his piece off the high chair onto the floor. Perfect end to a perfect day.

    The second memory was walking all over Kyoto with my husband and two sons (several years later). We were starving and finally found sustenance at a stand that made takoyaki. The boys liked it just fine until they found out that “tako” meant octopus!

  44. these remind me of my mom’s Korean version…much less dense! and she always serves them with a dumpling-style dipping sauce. Those crispy edges are the money bits!!

  45. So. I grew up with my grandmother’s version of vegetable tempura that I have yet to run into at any sushi house. They were essentially fritters, comprised of onion, carrot, and green bean; not the long, individually fried rounds of sweet potato, stalks of asparagus, or whatever else restaurants serve. I rarely make them because I hate deep frying.

    It never even remotely occurred to me that they were a relative of okonomiyaki until this veg-heavy version you present here. So, thanks again Deb.

  46. About a year ago I made some grated carrot/zucchini fritter-pancakes because I had zucchini up the ying-yang to use and this is a reminder to work in some more veggie patties! They’re beautiful, Deb, and love the chunky texture!

  47. laslig

    Ooh, Deb. I love okonomiyaki, but also love *cough* lemon meringue and *cough* rhubarb, and I was very sad to hear of the fate of your new recipe. Any chance of another attempt at some point when time has eased the pain?

  48. Ryan

    One fun thing to try with Okonomiyaki is putting the Dashi (dried bonito flakes) on the pancake when it is warm and ready to eat. The flakes kind of dance around, it was one of the most striking things I saw when I first started eating Okonomiyaki. I do have to say, the Kewpie mayo is a must (in my opinion). Once I had that stuff I never went back to regular mayo, unless I made it myself. Hopefully I’m not repeating anyone.

  49. Oh man, I’ve had those weeks. My fridge has been so full of ingredients for recipe testing lately that I opened it up the other day and yogurt spilled all over my bare toes. Gooey, cold, gross. Cookie was happy to help clean it up. Your rhubarb lemon meringue concept sounds delicious (I’m sorry that it met a sad fate) but these vegetable pancakes look like something I need to make for dinner, like, tonight.

  50. I love Okonomiyaki (Note to self – youhaven’t madethis in a while) though yours are much more vegetably than mine (I tend to add just a LEETLE bacon, and serve them with mayo and bonito flakes and all that good stuff.)

  51. Kyla

    These look great! I first had okonomiyaki when I was in Japan as an exchange student too long ago and I’ve been fiddling about with the recipe ever since then. Love that you’ve reverse engineered the sauce, I always forget to buy it when I’m at the Asian shop, and regular BBQ sauce just doesn’t cut it.

  52. Olivia Arakawa

    I love okonomiyaki! But you really need nagaiimo or yamaimo, Japanese gelatinous yam thingies. They make a huge difference in taste and texture. If you can’t get them, buy okonomiyaki flour in an Asian supermarket–it has grated nagaiimo in it.

  53. Julia

    It’s actually quite comforting to hear of your kitchen stumbles. I used to be a prolific baker years ago, but for many reasons had fallen out of the habit. Until, that is, I was inspired to use a hefty bag of oranges I could not resist and along came Muffin Madness. Well let’s sum it up by saying I made some rookie mistakes that I can only blame on my lack of practice (and my dodgy oven’s wavering temp – not my fault!). I had pretty much decided to retire my muffin pans (or should we call them heavy dough-like-round-bricks molds) but maybe I’ll just give them a rest and take up baking again after re-reading some tried and true cookbooks that never fail me. Like yours!

  54. Kelly

    You mention that dumpling dipping sauce might be a good alternative, and I wanted to recommend you try pa-jeon, Korean savoury pancakes which are traditionally eaten with this method. Slightly different, but oh so good!

  55. How amazing that you can cook such a special dish with simple ingredients and easy guidelines. Simply inspiring, going to try this recipe for sure and will come back to share how it went!

  56. V

    We had a glut of spinach and bok choy from the garden and lots of eggs from our chickens so I was very happy to see this recipe tonight! They were FABULOUS and very easy. I had never heard of okonomiyaki but these are going to be a staple in our house from now on. Thank you!

  57. Becki

    Deb, your timing is perfect. We had half a head of cabbage languishing in the crisper and wanted/needed to make something with it besides slaw. Extra points for using the mandolin and vegetable peelers and eating kale! It was a great ‘cook dinner together’ recipe too. We finished half the pancakes (slathered in the yummy sauce) and have the rest ready for tomorrow.

    PS…wowed the family with brisket and flourless chocolate cake from the cookbook over the weekend. Thanks!!

  58. TracyS

    Wow, thank you for this recipe! I have lived in Japan for several years now. I love the food here, but have had only lukewarm feelings at best about the traditional okonomiyaki. The batter’s usually way too thick, and it’s often light on vegetables and other fillings. Why didn’t I ever think to make it this way? It’s so much more appealing! I will definitely be trying this soon! Thanks again!

  59. I can totally understand the kitchen mishaps and somewhat glad that it’s normal for a great cook like you to also go through it sometimes. Like you said, a breather is definitely needed to regroup and this recipe is definitely a redeemer. Yum!

  60. That is crazy, I was just thinking this morning how I’ve never tried to make these excellent little pancakes, and here you are. I had these street-side in Tokyo last year, they’re packed with cabbage and have a zig-zag of Japanese mayonnaise on top. Then, a final sprinkling of very finely chopped green nori flakes on top, which gives them a real Japanese aroma. I’ll definitely be making these fellows, thanks.

  61. Myra

    This reminds me of a Filipino snack. We call it ukoy, or vegetable fritters. Battered grated squash or sometimes green papaya, mixed with tiny shrimps, then fried. served w/ a garilc vinegar dipping sauce.

  62. Jill Susan

    sometimes I luv reading you. I felt so much empathy when your finally-completed after-so-many-botched-attempts meringue slid off the plate upside-down into the fridge. How many of us have been there . . . “thought I was finally done working – and now I just made a clean-up project for myself” – The fact that you write so pleasantly about the incident speaks volumes about your pleasant personality – not even a “Yikes!!” And of course, the whole reason I read the column tonight, was those delicious Kimchi pancakes. YUM.

  63. Belinda Naylor

    These look so tasty and I love your mandoline – is it a particular brand/easy to get hold of – I’m on the hunt.
    Thank you – I love your recipes.

  64. I love these veggie pancakes and will make them this weekend at my friends house to try out her newly installed teppan in her kitchen, perfect recipe timing…
    love all your recipes and often get inspired to cook from them, greetings from the black forrest, Germany

  65. These look perfect – I think it will please six out of six in my family – which is a feat not often met! I get you on the kitchen fails – I bet we all do! In fact, I’ve been failing A LOT lately, or just haven’t had the time to devote to really working hard at succeeding, and I thought to myself, “I need to just make something new out of the Smitten Kitchen cookbook. . . .” You’re recipes never fail me! ;)

  66. Stacey James

    Made these tonite and was more than pleasantly surprised!
    Lots of love for your website all the way from Oz

    I am a great fan of your site, keep the kitchen love coming x

  67. Cris

    Those look so good! I’m going to make a bunch and freeze them, they’ll be great with a fried egg for breakfast.

  68. Caroline

    I made these last night, with modifications based on what I had (pea shoots instead of kale, red onion and ginger instead of scallions, and a dash of togarashi to make it even more Japanese-y). I also used a gluten-free flour (Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose) so my girlfriend could eat it, and that worked just fine. I got 8 medium-sized pancakes out of it. The pancakes were really good, like a lighter less eggy Egg Foo Yung. The sauce was too much work for 9:30pm on a weeknight, so I made a sriacha mayonnaise that went pretty well with it. Since I always have cabbage, carrots, and eggs in my fridge this recipe will be making it into my regular repertoire, I’m sure.

  69. Jori

    I’ve been in love with okonomiyaki since a semester abroad in Japan 15+ years ago, but even the Tasting Table recipe couldn’t move me to inspiration until it just got Smitten’ed. And with kale?! So excited. Plus, the image of a flying spaghetti monster may have just made my week :) Thanks as always.

  70. Glenda

    I remember a Huckleberry Cheesecake I was putting in the fridge when the locking buckle let go and the cheesecake did a face plant on the floor. I was so mad (and young at the time) that I stomped the buckle to death and went out and bought a new spring-form pan. I must confess I still remember how good that felt.

  71. Okonomiyaki. Love the stuff. This recipe looks interesting and as I live in Costa Rica and cannot get okonomiyaki flour (I still have a little left over that I brought from the States), I will try your version. Thanks.

  72. Brittany W.

    Hi Deb, so do you put all the flour and then the eggs in the bowl with the veggies? Or do you have them each in separate bowls and have a dredging assembly line? Also, does the sauce have a strong soy sauce taste? This looks really good!

  73. Patryce

    Hooray! I knew I bought big carrots instead of baby-cut ones today for some good reason, just didn’t realize yet what it was. The only veggie I don’t have for this recipe is kale, so I threw in some sweet onion and shaved sweet potato. No ketchup in the house either, but I liked the hoisin idea, I added a drizzle of fish sauce too, rice vinegar, grated ginger and sesame oil. I have something labeled “rice seasoning” that looked interesting, consisting of sesame seeds, salt, sugar and seaweed, so I used a tablespoon of that instead of the teaspoon of salt in the mix. Frying is not my strong suit, I never seem to get the temp quite right, but these were quite tasty anyway!

  74. Kate

    Made these last night using Trader Joe’s Healthy 8 Veggie Mix, extra shredded cabbage, and kale. Ate one and knew it was my new favorite recipe. Forgot to bring sauce to work for leftovers, but a quick soy sauce/sriracha mix worked super well! Thanks Deb!

  75. Velops

    @CB72: The proper translation for “banh xeo” is Vietnamese sizzling crepes. The batter is very watery. If the batter is too thick, let it sit and some of the rice flour will settle on the bottom of the mixing bowl. You can just ladle the liquid above it. It is also important that the pan is hot enough such that you hear sizzling when the batter hits the pan. They are best served right away. Leaving them to sit for too long will cause the crispy parts to get stale or soggy.

    Variations in the batter include the addition of coconut cream or omitting the turmeric. There are many recipes on YouTube if you need a visual reference. Simply search for “banh xeo recipes”.

  76. tiny cook

    eagerly awaiting noshing these gorgeous looking things for dinner tonight.
    while prepping, realized i had some leftover harissa in the fridge, so my partner in crime & i decided to go bold & improv a harissa/okonomiyaki (culture-clash!) bbq sauce… along with some soy sauce, honey, lemon, toasted sesame oil, liquid smoke, and a few drops of rye whiskey. mysteriously, it was a success.
    we’ll see how the actual pancakes turn out tonight…
    thanks for always encouraging adventurousness in the kitchen, deb! huzzah!

  77. Sara

    Ooh, I want to make these so badly–and I have a head of cabbage waiting sadly in my crisper that would be perfect. Is this at all similar to a Japanese vegetable pancake recipe in the Sundays at Moosewood book? I just returned it to the library, so I can’t check, but I swear I read something very similar in there. That made it seem daunting, but your explanation seems very accessible. Thanks!

  78. Charity

    Wait….what the hell is in Worcestershire sauce? I use it a lot and pride myself on ingredient checking, but I cannot for the life of me think of what is in it that is a part of an animal.

  79. These look AMAZING! I love all versions of vegetable pancakes, but I’ve never tried an Asian variation! Definitely going to have to try it with a fried egg, and pork belly too would be insane! Ok now I’m hungry…

  80. Eliza

    Charity – Worcestershire sauce has anchovies in it. There are brands out there that are made without anchovies and are labeled “vegan” or “vegetarian”.

  81. Sarah

    Do you think this recipe would be adaptable to the addition of ramen-style noodle, or would there not be enough batter to accomodate the heft of such a noodle? I ask because I had “Hiroshima-Style” okonomiyaki in Japan a few years back a loved it!

  82. Subechya

    For the gluten free version try potato starch. I have made countless Deb’s zucchini fritters substituting flour for potato starch.

  83. AngAK

    phew, I was out of breath several times reading this—-such descriptive long sentences in this post. lovely sidedish I can’t wait to try.

  84. Lori

    Just made this for dinner tonight. Everyone loved it, my kids were fighting over the sauce, too. I used a bag of coleslaw mix, spinach and grated carrots. It was great. It was time-consuming to prep and cook, but worth it. Thank you!

  85. Lexine

    Yes! I’ve been craving these ever since I tried them Japan, but the ingredient list seemed a little intimidating and I was scared of being anything less than authentic… that is, until I saw your adorable adaptation. Since I’m now blessed with the supermarkets of the SGV, I’ll probably soon find myself picking up a few of the ~authentic~ ingredients as well as the beloved Kewpie. c:
    (P.S. If you can make it out to try these somewhere in person — I do not doubt NYC has a few awesome places — the okonomiyaki experience is SUPER fun, especially at the places where you sit at a spectacularly cool grill/table hybrid. Jacob may even love it… it definitely excited my brother and I as kids.)

  86. Kathi Sorensen

    We ate Okonomiyaki in a little restaurant in a Kyoto neighborhood where we stayed for two weeks. It was a godsend for my husband who is a vegetarian ( but not a vegan) which is very difficult in Japan unless you are a millionaire and can afford to eat at temple restaurants. You can order it without the bacon or shrimp. When we got home, I attempted to recreate it, but it always seemed to fall short. I found an authentic recipe which calls for some ingredients which are only found in Asian markets. We. Live in the Sacramento, Calif area and have many. Oto’s is a Japanese market and has everything you could need. The recipe is on the website which is a very informative and fun site if you are devoted to all things Japanese.

  87. Ashamed to admit to a gooseberry meringue pie coming to the same end as yours but as my guests were waiting I scooped it into cocktail glasses and put some whipped cream on top. No one was any the wiser. Love the pancakes. I make a Korean pancake but it uses kimchi, pickled veg. Also delicious but will be giving yours a try soon.

  88. Based from what i see its far beyond from the word delicious. I’m a huge fan of vegetables and I think this recipe will rock my kitchen and my palate as well. Keep on posting. XOXO

  89. Vanessa

    How great it was to wake up to a recipe from Xiao Bao Biscuit via Smitten Kitchen zinging right back to me in Charleston! I usually add some sesame oil and soy sauce to the fritter batter too; skipped the soy sauce this time because I made your sauce, but did include the sesame oil. The 20-something boys ate this up and EVERYONE raved about the sauce. (And though I think XBB is really a cool place with a great food concept, I like my own okonomiyaki better … including this one!)

  90. Kathi Sorensen

    Years ago, while visiting my parents, I baked a 10 ” lemon meringue pie as a thank you for their hospitality. It was worthy of a food magazine with double filling and meringue and I set it to cool on top of the top loading portable dish washer which was the only available counter space in my moms tiny kitchen. Just then my brother slammed the front door and the dishwasher latch unhooked, the dishwasher top flew open and my beautiful pie was flung against the wall, where it ran down, mixing with the glass shards of the Pyrex pan.

  91. Deb: A trick I learned about making pink rhubarb red: add some beet juice (you need a juicer) to the rhubarb as it cooks (instead of water). You don’t need much. Result is glorious flavour as well as a deep rich red — this life rushing towards you!

  92. Suzi

    We made these last night with major shortcuts (using coleslaw mix and a few green onions, in place of chopping up the other vegetables), and they turned out fantastic! Thanks for the new go-to easy dinner!

  93. I have been reading your recipes for quite sometime and really enjoy your candor — as I can, often times, relate. This post specifically spoke to me though because I recently had a horrible day in the kitchen, and needed that “time away.” Such an epic fail in making something that in my mind was meant to be as beauteous as your intended meringue pie. It spoke to me so much that I felt inclined to write my very first comment (hopefully the first of many).

    P.S. – I look forward to trying out this recipe, I love Asian flavors in cooking and these looked uber delicious :)

  94. Sandra

    I had all the ingredients on hand for these last night and needed to use some kale up ASAP, so I made these for dinner last night. They were fantastic! Will add these to my repertoire…will have to remember them at Hanukkah. Thanks, Deb!

  95. Sheila

    I simply cannot get over this post! I have been thinking non-stop about what I will make with the rhubarb once it is ready to be harvested! And, was actually thinking about a rhubarb pie with a meringue top because I have chickens and plenty of eggs which leads to plenty of egg whites and I have not made a meringue with them yet and was wondering if the meringue will be any different! So please give the rhubarb meringue tart another try and share the recipe I would be forever in your debt!

  96. Kate

    I just made a vegan version using 3 Tbsp flax meal mixed with 1 cup water and 1/2 cup brown rice flour (it’s nice and sticky) instead of the eggs. I also used one cup flour but you could try less.

    Make sure you pat them down in the pan. They didn’t look like they were going to come together but they were AWESOME. Like Vegan Latkes without all the starch.

  97. I love these things; the one thing I miss the most about not living in Japan anymore is the lack of okonomiyaki in my life…I know they’re relatively easy to make at home, but somehow it’s not the same. On some level, I suppose I miss the whole Friday-night-okonomiyaki-with-friends experience. This version sounds great, but my favorite combination is mochi, bacon, cheese and bits of pickled ginger: glory!

  98. Kathryn Kapusta

    Nowadays, you seem to be focusing almost exclusively on dishes that require lots more work and ingredients that may be easy to find in Brooklyn but not necessarily in other areas. I used to love coming to your website to find something that I, not an experienced cook, could make an enjoy with relative ease, but no more. It’s really depressing, and I find that I hardly come here anymore. When I do, it’s mostly to check for recipes from years gone by.


  99. Dizzilizzy

    @gaijintendo – not all Okonomiyaki has a pancake base or layering. I lived in Kyoto for a while and at my favorite Okonomiyaki bar there they would give us the bowl of ingredients which we were instructed to fully mix together before placing on the grill on our table – very similar to this recipe. Like so many things in Japan, recipes for Okonomiyaki vary greatly regionally and in my experience it was in restaurants in Osaka and Hiroshima where I would see them first create a very thin pancake on the bottom and then layer noodles and other ingredients, finally topping it off with an egg on top. My favorite way of making it is with kimchi, mochi, and cheese, a recipe which I think comes closest to the way I’ve often heard Okonomiyaki described – as Japanese pizza :)

  100. Beth

    I had the great fortune to learn to make okonomiyaki in Hiroshima several years ago. Ours started with bacon and then added layers of veggies & other ingredients. Every time I ate okonomiyaki in Hiroshima (and that was many times!) it was different but always yummy. Thanks for reminding me of that special time and wonderful dish, can’t wait to try your recipe!

  101. Lauren

    I think I just figured out how to get my husband to eat more veggies… what a great side-dish or lunch this would make!

    1. deb

      Hildre — Try using another firm green. I have a recipe for zucchini fritters here you might enjoy.

      Hi Kathryn — Sorry you are not finding the recipes to be easy to shop for, which is still my goal. Can you tell me which ingredient you cannot find? Btw, I use my mother — who lives in suburban NJ, hardly nowheresville, but she only shops at unfancy big chain grocery stores (no Whole Foods) — as a yardstick for whether ingredients are findable, mostly because she will complain to me if they are not.

      Rollie — They are based on a Japanese cabbage pancake known as okonomiyaki, which I discuss in the post.

      Manodline — I use this one. It’s wonderful, relatively inexpensive, and pretty much all I’ve ever seen used in restaurant kitchens.

      Charity — Anchovies! I actually had no idea, either, but a commenter pointed it out to me years ago and lo, there it was. (I definitely ate it when I was a vegetarian for many years, but I was also never really obsessive about it, i.e. I ate marshmallows).

  102. CR

    Yes Sabine, Trader Joe’s Vegetable Bird’s Nests – not shabby at all. They bake in the oven super easy and, sorry Deb, look EXACTLY like your little pan-fried lovelies!

  103. Margaux

    I made these yesterday morning with purple cabbage, kale, carrot, and baby leeks (didn’t have spring onion) and they were really good. Mine were a little underseasoned I think – they relied on the sauce (which was delicious) for flavour. I think next time I will add more salt or some garlic or spices to it … they were a fantastic way to sneak my boyfriend some vegetables and so low in calories it was insane!

  104. Margaux

    Hi Hilde – kale was hard to find in Australia until a little while ago (at least where I lived) so I always switched in silverbeet (Swiss chard) or spinach. Texture wise there was little difference and they’re all delicious.

  105. I think I’m making these for dinner tonight! I always find inspiration on your site when I’m in a food rut. So thank you for that! Hope you’ve got your food mojo back! :)

  106. Annie

    MMmm, do those look yummy. I wonder if I could get the husband and kid to eat them? I am trying to eat healthier – lots of veggies – so these are exactly what I would like to have for dinner.

  107. Anna

    We just made these and they were delicious! I used garbanzo bean flour to make them gluten free and it worked perfectly.
    Thanks so much, it was good for us to try something so different!

  108. I am so sorry about the rhubarb meringue tart. I feel your pain. I did the same thing with an apple caramel caramel tart the other day. I’d just topped it with apple caramel (the recipe from your apple latkes) and was taking it to the table to serve when it slid off the bottom of the tart pan and landed upside down. We still ate the tart, but the caramel coated the floor. I’m still mopping it up.

    I’d even made the stupid puff pastry from scratch. So annoying.

    May your next rhubarb exploits be more successful. Oh, and thank you so much for this website. I love it!

  109. Harlan

    This type of ‘pancake’ is Korean in origin (I believe), not Japanese. I understand Japanese make this, but I believe it to be a ‘traditional’ Korean favorite.

  110. Nina

    We made these last night for dinner and they were a huge hit. I didn’t have kale, so I omitted it. I think they would be delicious with a variety of veggies. We also made the sauce using mirin instead of rice wine and it was also delicious. My five year old lapped them up. Thanks! We will definitely be making them again.

  111. If we didn’t limit ourselves to what we already know, we could come up with amazing possibilities as you have here. Love the idea of making them of all kinds of veggies. I’ve done it with several veggies, each on their own, but love your idea, Deb, of mixing them together.

  112. Traci

    I made these last night — they were fantastic and easy to make. I added a tsp of sesame oil and one of light soy to the batter rather than salt for flavor. Satisfying, yummy and fun! Thanks!

  113. Moriah

    These are phenominal! I was prepared to like them, but not to have my mind blown!
    I think I like them better without the sauce too.

  114. Nima

    I do love fritters so this was a recipe I had to try. I just made these and they are very tasty. I served them with the sauce in the recipe but also with your carrot ginger dressing. It was good with both sauces.

  115. Kelli

    I made these for dinner the day you posted the recipe, and we ate them for lunch the next two days too! We loved them more each time–and decided they pretty much tasted like a naked egg roll! Can’t go too wrong there. Plus, they were so pretty! Thanks for another great recipe.

  116. jwg

    Now all I can think of is the rhubarb dish. Please try again. I feel your pain. I once had an entire pan of lasagna slide onto the open oven door because I used a disposable pan, didn’t put it on a cookie sheet and it bent in the middle as I took it out. Nobody was watching so I carefully lifted it back into the pan.

  117. Megan

    I doubled the recipe since when I’ve made latkes/fritters from your recipes we are still super hungry, but actually doubling it might not be necessary (6 eggs would have been filling enough). When I was making these my husband saw and thought they’d be terrible, but they were actually good, kind of like we were eating egg rolls. Even my 1 year old liked them although at first my husband thought she’d just choke and spit them out.

  118. Stephanie

    I am eating them as I write. Awesome, I used coleslaw mix, zucchini, onion and carrots. I added a little Penzeys Sandwich Sprinkle, and soy sauce in the veggies. Tossing the veggies in the flour first and then adding the eggs created the perfect texture. Thanks for the great ideas!

  119. emily

    I agree with Ryan that one of the best things about okonomiyaki is putting the bonito flakes on once the pancakes are cooked and watching them dance.

  120. Jillian L

    These are delicious! I made these this weekend and topped them with eggs and a modified version of the sauce in the post, instead of the ketchup I substituted sriracha (I love spicy foods). I think my veggies were a bit over-sized because the fritters were much more like fritters than pancakes (the egg bound the veg, but was not nearly as noticeable as in the above photos), but still absolutely fantastic! As always, thanks for sharing!

  121. Sarah

    Bags of pre-cut cabbage and pre-shredded carrots and spinach (i.l.o. kale) from Trader Joe’s worked wonderfully. These were simple, inexpensive, and delicious! They’re definitely going into the rotation.

  122. Greg

    These were delicious and simple! I thought the tangy sauce tasted too much of Worcestershire, so I substituted 1/4 T. Sriracha and 1/4 T. Sesame Seed Oil for 1/2 T of the Worcestershire. I also added 1/4 teaspoon of Chinese Five Spice to the pancake.

  123. Theresa

    I saw this recipe this morning and made it tonight. It was a big hit. Thanks
    P.S. we loved the sauce, thinking of lots of other things we could use it on.

  124. Sally

    Your pie-on-its-face has a long tradition: my newly married parents pulled a cherry pie out of the oven and the rack dumped it onto the freshly washed kitchen floor. Since it was freshly washed, they sat down and ate pie. In about 1936. Thanks for reminding me!

  125. kiera

    Made it as written and they turned out great! Thanks – I now have a new staple base to play with. I already have a list of variations to try… with shrimp,with different veggies, with fried egg, with a hearty spicy eggplant sauce…

  126. Stellastarlitr

    I gave my workmate your recipe and her husband made it. She shared one pancake with me and it is delicious! I will definitely make it, thank you.u

  127. I just came back from a vacation to Portland where my sisters and I tried our first okonomiyaki from one of their many food trucks and it was awesome. And lo and behold I’m catching up on missed blog posts and I run into your recipe! It was meant to be, so I’m going to make it for dinner tonight and compare. Thank you for sharing!

  128. cb72

    @Velops- thanks so much for the helpful advice! I am definitely going to try what you suggested. I’ve had banh xeo a few times at the Slanted Door in SF and will not rest until I’ve at least approximated them!

  129. Lindsay

    Lazy cheat method: I put all the veggies in my VitaMix and did a “wet chop,” chopping the carrots and cabbage together and the kale separate. I drained the veggies and pressed the extra water (and sadly, some nutrients) out. They were undoubtedly not as pretty as Deb’s, but made for a very quick and delicious weeknight meal. I will be making these more often and loved them (and Deb as she’s my biggest influence in the kitchen).

  130. Kyla

    Made them last night and they were great, even my husband who is a bit of a hard sell on the fritters as dinner concept loved them. It’s the sauce that makes it, mmmmm, deliciousness.

  131. Bianca

    Hi Deb,
    I am in the middle of making these right now and my apartment is filling with smoke from the hot oil! How do I prevent that from happening? It also looks like the pancakes are taking longer than 30s-1min to brown on each side, so my options are to either let them sit longer (more smoke!) or increase the heat (no cooking inside really). What do you think? Thank you for all these tasty recipes!

    1. deb

      Bianca — What kind of oil are you using? Is it one that smokes at a lower temperature? If not, then you might just need to reduce the heat. The pancakes DO take longer than 30 seconds to 1 minute. The directions may be confusing, but what I meant is that it takes about 3 minutes to brown at the edges, and that you should flip them 30 seconds to 1 minute after that so that they’re fully brown underneath. From the recipe: “Cook until the edges beging to brown, about 3 minutes. 30 seconds to 1 minute later, (emphasis added) flip the pancake with a large spatula.”

  132. Therry

    This turned out absolutely divine! I threw it together from across the room, and it worked beautifully. It is not sufficient for an entire dinner, so at the last minute I microwaved some Red’s pulled pork quesadillas, but the pancakes were perfectly delicious and easy though time consuming to make. Take the extra time to cook fully, and do wait until they brown to serve them. They would be terrific with pork dishes, with any barbecue dish and the sauce is terrific. congratulations for including a savory dish for a change. We are not at all fond of sweets and don’t often make recipes from your blog for that reason, but these were sensational.

  133. Therry

    I’m terribly sorry I forgot two additions i made. I added a little toasted sesame oil to the sauce, and I included some shitake mushrooms in the vegetable mix.

  134. Heidi

    These are awesome! Kale, who knew it could be so delicious that even a carnivore husband-man could love it. Needless to say they made “the list” of food to be made again and again. One small confession, I might not have read the directions carefully and forgot the mustard and didn’t cook the sauce (and I didn’t have any rice wine therefore omitted it) and it still turned out delicious.

  135. Linda

    My husband and I love okonomiyaki. When he lived in Japan, my husband even visited an okonomiyaki theme park(?!?) It never occurred to me that I could make them myself. I think we will have to try this. If nothing else, it will justify the cost of my food processor. I’m curious- did your son like it? I have a son about the same age. He loves cabbage and is really into potstickers but I’m wondering how these would go over. You know how kids get about mixing things together? Is this an issue in your house? By the way, my son and I have baked many of your recipes together. It’s a great way to spend a quiet hour or so while the baby sleeps. So far, the fig challah is my son’s favorite and we make it at least once a month.

    1. deb

      Linda — My son ate one, which I considered a fair enough amount. I think he’d have eaten more if we didn’t have other food he liked more on the table. (I was out that night and his dad ordered sushi — he loves tamago and edamame, which he used to mistakenly call “on a monday” and it has stuck.)

  136. Irene

    Made these tonight for my family of 3 and barely rescued a few for my lunch tomorrow before they were devoured!! Sooooo love that the simplicity of ingredients yielded such deliciousness. Yummy sauce, too. Served them with salad greens and leftover cold coins of 5-spice pork tenderloin. Will definitely make again. Thank you!!!!

  137. Sharon

    I made these last night – did not have kale but used thinly peeled zucchini and finely chopped spinach instead – they were delicious! Quite quick to make too. Thanks for the inspiration!

  138. I made these for dinner tonight…actually am eating them as I type this…and they’re absolutely divine! I’ve made okonomiyaki before, but with a higher proportion of batter…have to say I’m a fan of your proportions and won’t ever go back!! :D

  139. Sue

    Very Tasty. Added minced ginger, garlic, fresh parsley, cilantro, dash of sesame oil, and a splash of soy sauce to the filling for a boost of flavor. Served with rice and toasted sesame seeds for a complete meal. Thanks!

  140. LizDuffy

    Loved the look and texture but they were flavourless, like eating shredded styrofoam. Next time will add a more generous dose of salt and pepper.

  141. LeighB in GA

    Sounds delicious and will likely make these and use them as an excuse to get my kids to eat more veg. Also, I live in rural Georgia and grocery shop primarily at Wal-Mart (I know, how depressing, right?). Everything called for in this recipe (and most others on this blog) is available there. But it’s also your blog, so make whatever the hell you want.

  142. Lea

    Ahhh! I had these in Japan when I was fifteen at a little okonomiyaki house where your table had a griddle in the middle and you made your own pancakes from bowls of batter and assorted veggies and seafood. It was amazing, and I’ve never had anything like it since. I’ll be making these immediately!

  143. Kath the Cook

    This inspired me to make my recipe for konomi yaki from Fields of Greens Cookbook – which I had been wanting and thinking about anyway. You really must try adding shiitake mushrooms, fresh grated ginger, cilantro and use napa cabbage – if you add some soy sauce and mirin into the sauteed vegetables, you really don’t need a dipping sauce.

  144. Carolyn

    Deb, thank you so much for the inspiration! I made these last night with bok choy, carrots, and parsnips and they were so good. It was ladies’ supper club, and a friend of mine worked them up on the weight watchers point calculator and couldn’t believe how “cheap” they were for her. I got 12, which served 4 when paired with a kale and ginger salad. And a lot of wine.
    I can’t wait to make these again — I see napa cabbage, carrot and baby shrimp ones in my future. Maybe half fresh napa and half kimchi? Ooh or purple cabbage with summer squash and zuchinni ribbons…

  145. elizabeth

    Hi! Longtime lurker here to say that I am LOVING these savory recipes! I don’t eat many sweets, but I adore your salads and mains. You have a flair for making even simple things absolutely delicious. Made the Japanese pancakes tonight, and they were wonderful. Planning on making the greek salad later this weekend. Thank you! Please keep ’em coming!

  146. tariqata

    I made these for dinner tonight and they were excellent. Tuscan kale is almost never available at any of the grocery stores in my neighbourhood, but ribbons of asparagus made a nice substitute. Definitely plan on making these again, and trying out a whole range of different vegetables.

    I also used mirin in the sauce in place of honey and sake and I can’t say whether the taste was the same but it was pretty good.

  147. Kristine in Santa Barbara

    Your pictures made me want to made these when I saw this post this afternoon. I had never thought of cabbage, which I love, in a pancake. I’m doing the Whole30 Challenge which has no grains, so I subbed a little almond flour, but think they might cook up fine without any starch binder. I fried them in coconut oil (one of the few oils allowed in the challenge). They browned up and cooked through wonderfully and they were delicious! Since sugar and soy are out during the challenge, I’m saving the sauce for another day. I did put homemade mayo and hot sauce on the first batch, which was great. But they were also great with just a squeeze of lemon and salt. What a great way to eat eggs and vegetables together! Thanks for the inspiration.

  148. Janet

    I made these tonight. They will be my new go-to vegetable dish! wow! I used purple cabbage and the little patties were beautiful–so colorful. I also made your tangy sauce–perfect!

  149. Kate in Sheffield, England

    These look great. There is a vegetarian version of Worcester Sauce. It’s called Hendersons and is made in small batches in Sheffield.

  150. sarah

    Can you tell me how long the sauce would keep for? I want to freeze some of these, and it would be really convenient if I could just defrost them whenever I want them and get some sauce out of the fridge. It seems like all the sauce ingredients are super shelf-stable, so if I make it all up and put it in a jar in the fridge, do you think it would just keep semi-indefinitely (i.e. as long as I’d keep any one of the ingredients)?

    p.s. – to reheat these, instead of putting them in the oven, I put them in a dry, nonstick frying pan. There was still enough oil on them that they didn’t stick at all – they just fried right back up all crunchy. I think that for freezing, I will just cook them to light golden, so that they’ll take a little longer to fry up to crispy brown in the pan, long enough to thaw out in the middle.

  151. Paige

    I made this last night. Its wonderful. I just mixed one part Hoisin with one part asian dumpling dipping sauce. Superb.

  152. I made these with spinach instead of kale, as that’s what I had on hand, and they were great! I think I may have eaten half of them on my own!

  153. Beth C.

    I made these last night and they are SO easy and delicious. I totally botched the first one on the flip (I went with the big pancake version) but I just poured the broken cake into a bowl and ate it like that- still delicious, just not as pretty. :)

  154. Ellen

    If you want the sauce to be vegetarian, swap out the worceshire for steak sauce (really, A-1 is vegetarian). Won’t have the depth of flavor the anchovies add, but darn close (I tried it this way tonight in preparation for making this for some vegetarian friends).

  155. My best friend who is Japanese taught me to make okonomiyaki and it has been my “I don’t feel like grocery shopping lazy evening” fallback dinner for at least 10 years. My tip though – and I find this makes a huge difference in flavor and tastes more “authentic” – is to add fried onions to the batter. I’m pretty sure that almost all okonomiyaki in Japan has tempura bits incorporated into the batter, and because these can be pretty difficult to find, fried onions are a good alternative. Also, it really is good served with kewpie mayo, okonomiyaki sauce, green onions, and bonito flakes! Totally jonesing for some okonomiyaki now….

  156. Suzame

    Made these for company and they turned out stellar. No problems flipping the large pancake. I got 5 out of my batch. Sauce was perfect. Leftovers for breakfast. Will make again and again. Also thanks for the excuse to use my new mandolin.

  157. kanani

    this is the funniest coincidence… my parents just returned from a 3 week vacation in japan and they have made perfecting okonomiyaki their life goal. no joke, they have made it about 22 times since they returned a month ago. they even celebrated their 43rd anniversary last week by going to an okonomiyaki class at a local japanese market. they will just LOVE that you made an okonomiyaki post!

  158. allison

    Every time I go to Tokyo, I always go to the same place for Okonomiyaki. Like first thing after I land and check-in!
    I remember they have one with tomato sauce, cheese, and bacon. It’s awesome.

  159. megan

    I made these just the way you recommended the other night – so good! i had unused glaze mixed up from a salmon dish, from the Sriracha Cookbook – white miso, sesame oil, brown sugar, soy sauce, and of course sriracha. with the toasted sesame seeds- turned out quite nice. I’ll have to give some of the other sauces mentioned a go next time, because i’ll be making these again!

  160. These okonomiyaki look so tasty. I am really going to have to have a go at making these. I think they will become a favourite accompaniment to many meals.

  161. I just made these today and they were delicious. I made four large pancakes and flipped them with no disasters! We are vegetarian so I opted to make a simple unagi sauce (soy sauce, mirin, sugar and a bit of sake). Thanks for the recipe!

  162. C M

    Just made these this weekend for my father (with mirin in the sauce and only one spoonful of honey). Everything turned out great and my dad loved it, though I think next time I might put it in the oven for a bit to crisp them up a bit more to fit my taste or add some potato for a super-vitamin rich potato-veggie pancake :d

  163. Annie

    These are dangerous! So addictive. I’ve made these twice since you posted the recipe and am already planning a third time, they are just so tasty and easy. I substituted the flour with corn flour for a gluten free version and they’ve turned out beautifully! love love!

  164. Briana

    I just made these for my husband and I’s lunch and they were fantastic! I substituted rice wine vinegar in the sauce because it was all I had and it was great! A nice tangy accompaniment to some seriously delicious pancakes. I threw a fried egg on top of mine which made them doubly delicious! Thanks for expanding my Horizon yet again! I so look forward to every post!

  165. sarah

    i was skeptical, but these were DELISH. my meat-and-potato loving husband loved them too. so hearty for a veggie dish

  166. Jeuno

    Made them for dinner tonight. We did the half-slice-of-[turkey]-bacon per pancake trick mentioned above, and my kids (6 and 9) were bonkers for them. Served with your sauce and a zigzag of American mayo (as that’s all we had). We will definitely be making them again. Thanks!

  167. Kit

    Deb and Charity, another vegetarian alternative to Worcestershire sauce is mushroom ketchup. I made a bunch a bit ago and was putting it in everything. There’s a great recipe for it here if you need:

    (Also, Deb: thanks for this recipe, it’s wonderful! I made it last night to much acclaim around the table.)

  168. I just had some Japanese friends make me some okonomiyaki the other day- it was quite different from the recipe pictured here, but more or less the same (she only used 2 eggs and her batter was much more “pancake” like.

    FOR THE SAUCE! I’m surprised no one has mentioned Bull Dog Sauce. That’s the sauce she told me was the most popular, and very popular with Americans. It’s common for dishes like this, and is widely available at asian markets. (as is Kewpie sauce, or Japanese mayo!)

  169. Shellip

    FANTASTIC. and i don’t even like cabbage…just made them for dinner: slicing all the veggies took a little time, used two small frying pans to save on time and made a 7 inch pancake in each . landed up with five of these beauties.

  170. shakti

    Thanks for the cornflour tip, also the chickpea flour, and I like rice flour too!
    Before I embark, I was wondering if egg substitute would work? Anything I do not like or cannot have is simply substituted and mostly it works and sometimes it is a disaster! That is cooking………
    I do not fry but use a griddle pan stroked with oil it just put things in oven, I hate greasy food.

  171. janet

    delicious! we gobbled them up. this is the kind of recipe i LOVE from smittenkitchen – foolproof, simple and still somehow better than your (my) average dinner throw-together.
    i made a sauce that turned out really well:
    blob of hellman’s mayo
    squeeze of lemon
    dribble of sesame oil
    dribble of soy sauce
    — whisk and drizzle

  172. I made this a few weeks ago and never got to post about it. It was FANTASTIC and very close flavor-wise to okonomiyaki and even takoyaki that I’ve had in New York and my boyfriend has had in Japan. I LOVED all the fresh veggies and even though they were fried I felt almost like I was eating a well-balanced healthy meal with the eggs and veggies. It was super easy to throw together.. thank you for this wonderful recipe!

  173. these look very good but not what i think of as okonomiyaki. and i agree with the person who said kewpie mayo and bulldog sauce! the best condiments in the world, i think. i wouldnt suggest putting a fried egg on top of it either, because your recipe already has a lot of eggs in it.

  174. Sarah d.

    I have a favorite restaurant that does great Okonomiyaki and which inspired me to make it at home from scratch with grated Nagaimo yam, but I have since found that Otafuku brand Okonomiyaki flour is just as good if not better than from scratch, and ever so much easier; basically just chopping cabbage and mixing. If we feel super indulgent, we also like to put bacon on the griddle before the batter goes on so it gets a bacon crust on one side (a recommendation that came from the mixes package directions), and we top them with Otafuku brand Okonomiyaki sauce, Kewpie mayo, dried kelp flakes, boniti, and scallions.

  175. Laura V.

    This recipe was delicious. They cooked up beautifully in my cast iron skillet. I used chard instead of kale and the flavor was amazing!

  176. Has anyone tried these with Napa Cabbage? That is what my CSA gave me this week and I have all the other ingredients!! Anyone?? What do you think?

    1. deb

      Becki — I think you could use it. It’s going to cook down very quickly, and have more water released when it does, so I’d watch out for those things but otherwise don’t see why it would be a problem.

  177. Deb: You are amazing, first of all, because you responded to my cabbage question and secondly (but actually firstly – a word?), that you inspire recipe and eating greatness! The pancakes DID work with Chinese Cabbage. However, the mandolin did NOT, but slicing it fine enough was no problem. Excitement.

  178. Summer

    Sounds delish. These would probably be good with any Asian style dipping sauce. I’ll stick to my Duke’s for mayo though since as far as I can tell Kewpi mayo is just mayo with MSG (yuck!) added.

  179. Rebecca

    Any idea how much 5 kale leaves measures out to be? My husband is not a fan of kale, so I’m subbing in spinach when I make these tonight, so I was wondering how much to use? About a cup? Cup in a half? Anyone have a guess? Thanks!

  180. Andrew

    Well, I’m going to be doing this tomorrow night because I grew some carrots and some cabbage (and a couple of straggly parsnips) and I was looking up vegetable fritters to make and the search yielded horrid things involving sweetcorn until I saw this.

    It reminded me of the time a few years ago when my girlfriend make szarlotka (polish apple pie, the pastry has sour cream in it, it’s unfeasibly good) and the same thing happened to her as she was taking it out of the tin. Unlike you, she just started crying because she doesn’t cook much and was on her period and that tends to make her a little emotionally brittle. I think we rescued some of it, it was worth it.

    At the same time, we had a Japanese friend come to stay a few months ago and I still have a lot of sushi vinegar to play with, and I don’t tend to make fried batter-based things unless I can make them good enough to forget how unhealthy frying is.

    So this is happening tomorrow. And I like your blog.

  181. Sara

    I just came across this recipe this lazy saturday morning and jumped up and made it for brunch – my literally late breakfast early lunch – one word ‘amazing’!! My husband and I each had four pancakes – very satisfying. I also took half of the sauce and added a little creamy horseradish to it for a little kick!

  182. Sylvia

    This recipe is great for using things you have in the fridge! I added radishes which went great. I’ve already made this dish three times, and my whole family loves it. I use 1-2 less eggs, though, and more flour, because the first time was more eggy than I prefer.

  183. Cathy

    I made these last night following the recipe exactly and they were wonderful. Did small ones and the recipe made 15. I cooked them on my broil king griddle – a wonderful addition to the kitchen and held them on low until we needed them. Served them with black cod with miso from epicurious. If you do make the fish recipe, the amount of sake is missing on the website, and the amount is supposed to be 3/4 of a cup. Great combination. Great pancakes.

  184. CarolJ

    Delicious. I made a half-recipe for my husband and me for dinner tonight, adding to the mix 1/2 lb. of sauteed shrimp (cut into pieces), and got a dozen 3-inch-ish pancakes. Served them with the pot sticker dipping sauce. We scarfed them down. And…my husband ate cabbage without knowing it :) Thanks for another inspired recipe.

  185. Teri

    silly question alert! can i use rice vinegar instead of rice wine? or can i use a nice savignon blanc? a pinot? These look delish and I will try using my sister’s homegrown and then sadly – forgotten – red cabbage. I do see myself as the vegetable rescuer :)

  186. Pinned these a while ago and finally made them last weekend for dinner, we loved them! Made four enormous pancakes, and served them with a bit of sauteed beef with oyster sauce and sesame seeds= awesome. The hubs is allergic to tomatoes, so instead of ketchup for the sauce we used 1/4 cup of very finely chopped roasted red bell peppers. Thanks!

  187. Megan

    I made these last night and loveloveloved them! They took a lot more time to make than I expected as I could only fit 3 small pancakes in my skillet at a time and the carrot peeling was also time-consuming… But, I quickly forgot all that once I took my first bite – YUM! Also, I wanted to try my hand at making some Japanese mayo, but could not find msg or dashi powder quickly. I just thinned some regular mayo with malt vinegar, rice wine vinegar and tamari and it was so good! The only thing I would change is next time is I will definitely make these on my boyfriend’s big griddle so that I don’t have to wait to get all the yummy-ness into my belly!

  188. Katie

    We tried this recipe and noticed it was missing a flavor, subtle, but missing. (It’s probably the one withheld by the guys as Xiao Bao in the “super top secret receipe file”). We’ve eaten their okonomiyaki and we tried adding a teaspoon of minced ginger to the batter… it was exactly what had been missing. Would definitely recommend trying it.

  189. Jen

    I made small versions of these for a Thanksgiving potluck. AWESOME. I also found Japanese latke was pretty much the best way to explain what they were to people. Thanks for a great recipe. It was a delight to share these with good friends.

  190. Melissa Dell’Orto

    Thanks for the fabulous recipe! I’ve made these pancakes several times … we just can’t get enough. As someone else mentioned, hoisin sauce is a great substitute for okonomiyaki and sometimes in a pinch – I will mix hoisin sauce with good or homemade mayo. Again … thanks for the recipe.

  191. K

    These were delicious with the addition of minced ginger, as Katie suggests in #286. I would also up the amount of scallion next time. We dipped them into Sriracha mayo and devoured almost the whole batch for dinner!

  192. Becky

    Hi Deb
    This was on the list to make for awhile and we finally made them last week. DELICIOUS and I can’t believe how easy it was! We have a flat grill that we used for the cooking so that we could put a few on at the same time. If you are considering this recipe, DO IT! It’s so easy, full full full of veggies, and a great way to use up some left over veggies sitting in your fridge.
    Thanks Deb!

  193. Mareike

    I made these for my family, and when we saw the finished stack we thought we would have leftovers for days… 20 minutes later there was ONE left! They are amazing!!

  194. grace

    We made this twice this weekend. The first time as stated in the recipe. The second time using the food processor to shred the carrots and cabbage (doesn’t look as pretty with the carrot ribbons and long strands of cabbage but it saves a heck of a lot of time!) . And double the oh-so-yummy sauce. My husband said he prefers this to the one we had at the okonomi restaurant.

  195. Jillian L

    I’ve been making this recipe pretty frequently since you posted it, and I absolutely love it! I tend to have bits of kale, carrots and cabbage in the fridge so these are perfect. The 6 eggs make the dish very pancake like, I actually cut this in half to make them more just veggies. With 3 eggs they barely stay together, but on a well seasoned cast iron they crisp up very well. A bit of ginger is a pretty great addition and sprinkling with sesame seeds is so great.

  196. Shelley

    I love these pancakes, and usually have them with the scallion meatballs for lunches through the week. My one issue is that the whole batch takes a while to fry when done all at once. Any tips for storing the pancake mixture over the course of a few days? Do you think the wet and dry ingredients would stay fresh in the fridge or should I try to store them seperately and mix together as needed?

  197. Elizabeth

    I made these tonight and they were great. I bought a shredded coleslaw mix at Whole Foods Market Yorkville, so I only had to cut up the kale and onions. I did use six eggs but I think I had a lot more veggies than 6 cups. Even “Mr. Kale is too bitter” enjoyed them! Big batch, I will freeze some. These would make a nice breakfast. Thanks for the great recipe.

  198. Anna

    Made them for a dinner party tonight. They were a big hit! I cheated a bit in that we are no-carbs for the time being, and so I skipped the flour. They held up with no issues and tasted great! We tried a variety of sauces and codiments to go with them. Fun! Definitely will make again.

  199. Patricia

    We made these to serve with chicken teriyaki. Substituted gluten free flour, and used chard instead of kale, since that’s what we got in our farm basket. We doubled the recipe, using half a head of red cabbage and half a head of green, and it served 12 people with about five pancakes leftover. I was making bacon and eggs the next morning and decided to toss one of the leftover pancakes on the griddle to warm it up and put my fried egg on top. It was fabulous!

  200. Allison

    I made these last night to obliterate my CSA haul — subbing in chard for kale and garlic scapes for scallions. It felt slightly devilish to be frying all those veggies, but a girl can only eat so many salads! I had leftover miso dressing from the napa cabbage & sugar snap pea salad from your cookbook and I used that on top of my pancakes. Perfection!

  201. evl

    Amazing! My meat-and-potatoes husband has been happy to eat these for dinner several times this week and has requested that I make them again. He won’t eat kale so I subbed spinach, which worked fine; I suspect any dark green leafy vegetable will work.
    I also cheated and shredded the cabbage and carrots in the food processor. I’m sure I ended up with more vegetables than the recipe calls for, but 6 eggs held the pancakes together with no problem.
    The sauce was a huge hit at our house; I’ve already received several suggestions about other foods we can use it on :-). I got a dozen
    3-4″ pancakes from the recipe.

  202. Charlyn

    Got back from Tokyo on Friday and was at the Asian market on Saturday (with jet-lag) to get the ingredients to make these! After watching the chefs prepare and grill the Okonomiyaki right in front of us and then serve these delicious pancakes on our section of the grill (so they stay warm) – we were hooked!

    Hints: The chefs used very little oil on a flat griddle and they cooked slowly – about 12 minutes on each side. I used gluten-free flour and did identify the mountain yam (yamaimo) in the market. When you grate it, it foams up and makes a very slimy addition to your batter(pretty wild vegetable!) – but apparently, it worked great.

    We used small pieces of shrimp and squid (pre-cooked almost to done);bunch of enoki mushrooms, 2 cups of bean sprouts, 4 sliced green onions, 4 shredded carrots, entire head of cabbage,1/2 of a medium size Mountain Yam (yamaimo (sp) grated; 2 cups of gluten free flour (Bob’s all-purpose) , four eggs, 1/4 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp sugar and a generous dash of gluten-free Soy sauce. It made about 12 large pancakes.

    Also discovered that the may. that is decoratively squiggled on over the Tongatsu (or whatever you choose) sauce is called Kewpie brand – richer and sweeter than American mayo. Found that in the Asian market too! We are going to use it to make potato salad next week! It has red printing on it and a picture of (you guessed it!) a Kewpie doll!

    Happy cooking!

  203. Kate

    Just made these – so delicious! Made the sauce, toasted some sesame seeds and I had a little bit of rice vinegar so i mixed it with some mayo and drizzled that on too. Tasted much better than I thought they would and it is a less boring way to eat the cabbage we have been getting in our produce box. Yum!

  204. Sarah

    Thanks for the recipe — delicious and cheap! I made one tiny change that I borrowed from another pancake recipe I like — I separated the eggs and stirred in the yolks, then used my hand mixer to beat the egg whites until they were foamy and folded those in. I used my big measuring cup so it hardly made any extra dishes and made it super fast, and I think it made the pancakes crispier and helped me get away with using fewer eggs (two in a half batch).

  205. jcka

    Great versatility in this recipe. I used shaved brussels sprouts in place of the cabbage, and purple cabbage instead of kale, and garlic (4 cloves, minced) instead of scallions (trying to use up vegetables I had in the house) — and it was fantastic! Even had a non-veggie eater try a bite, then a whole one, and then go back for seconds. Looking forward to trying again and again, with different combinations!

  206. Lisa

    Around 9 years ago, I was lucky enough to tag along to Japan with my husband on a business trip. Towards the end of that 2 weeks (by which time I had definitively decided that I would never willingly eat another piece of sashimi in this lifetime), we discovered okonomiyaki, and it was just about our favorite meal o the trip! I have always intended to make it at home, but never got around to it… thanks or the reminder!

  207. Morgan

    These look like a super tasty meal or side. I am trying to put together a meal with seared tuna. Is there any change you could try and show experiment more with tuna/ seafood in general?

    Morgan Whitridge

  208. Jess

    These are absolutely amazing, and so is the sauce! I ran out of kale thanks to a previous night’s dinner mishap, but I used pea shoots and asparagus to make up for it. These were easy, taste like spring might really be coming soon, and are absolutely going into the rotation when spring actually does arrive!

  209. Hi Deb
    I made your delightfully easy recipe but tweaked it a bit. I added furitake to the mixture. Made for a nice umami taste. Thanks..loved the recipe and sauce too!

  210. Anne

    These were excellent and the sauce was delicious! I used what vegetables I had on hand from my CSA, subbing in brussels sprouts for the cabbage and a spring onion for the scallions and they turned out great. I also followed the golden rule of “put an egg on it” ;) Thanks for sharing!

  211. Rachel

    So happy to find this recipe!! I had some kale and red cabbage that needed to be used, and these are perfect. Now to convince my 2 boys that they are ‘Japanese pancakes with hoisin sauce’. Wish me luck!

  212. Rose

    These were fantastic. I delegated the sauce to my lovely husband, but didn’t notice that he mixed all the ingredients in, but didn’t cook it! It was delicious anyway. :) I hope you do end up doing a lemon meringue pie…what brought me to this lovely recipe was the mention of lemon meringue in the post!

  213. Amy

    These were delicious! Just made them tonight and mixed in some cut up shrimp pieces. Kind of wish I’d partially cooked the shrimp before but I just turned up the oven to 300 and it finished them off. So good!! I made the sauce mentioned and also a mayo sriracha lemon sauce, they went great together. Thanks for the recipe!

  214. Athina

    Are you familiar with Trader Joes vegetable nests?? These resemble them so much, and I’m hoping these will taste like them. Were they your inspiration for these?

  215. These sound nicer than the one I had before. We had a short term exchange student stay with us and her mother packed the dry ingredients including some I’m still not sure of. However this sweet young lady had never made them before! They included these teeny tiny dried shrimp that were not too bad but the dried flaked stuff on the top was TOOOO fishy!!!

  216. Marianne

    The shredding was tedious but yummy final result even without the sauce. And relatively healthy too. Made one lot with grated Parmesan cheese for kids. Not very Japanese but tasty!

  217. Anna

    These were wonderful! I got cabbage, lacinato kale, and carrots in my CSA yesterday and happily, this was the first recipe I clicked on from your cabbage section. Instead of the okonomiyaki sauce, I made your miso dressing (which, having made the sweet potato & broccoli bowls and snap pea salad, I keep finding excuses to make and put on other things). Looking forward to leftovers for lunch tomorrow — thanks for another lovely recipe!

  218. Jeanne Bischoff

    These are fantastic. I used 1/4 red cabbage, 4 beet greens, 3 scallions and 2 carrots with 1/2 c flour and 2 eggs. They fried up beautifully. I used duckfat for frying which gave them a rich flavor. They’re light, I might serve them with an Asian soup for a full dinner. The sauce is super and easy to whip up – I’d make it in advance with extra feesh ginger and let it marinate.. My husband loved it. Thanks!

  219. When I first got the batter ready, I was full of doubt. I think my vegetables may have been bigger in size, but there was barely anything holding them together. I added another 1/2 a cup of flour and 2 eggs, and flattened a large pancake onto the pan. Need not have worried – they came out golden, held together, and even with my regular offset spatula, flipped over without a problem. I’m 1/3 through the batter and have made 3 large, and 11 small pancakes – I’ll freeze the extra, but you can easily halve the veg. The tangy sauce is liquid crack – my toddler tried to drink it out of a bowl!

  220. Emily

    Every time I’ve made this I’ve ended up almost doubling the eggs to get the veggies to hold together. Maybe we’re not getting the amount of veggies quite right, but just thought I’d mention that.

  221. Christy

    I recently made these (minus the sauce) and they were delicious!
    I am working as an English Teacher in China and some of the “normal” western ingredients aren’t available so I’m always excited to find recipes that I can make with things that are readily available here!

  222. Essie

    Made these and they turned out perfectly! Didn’t change anything apart from using white whole wheat flour. Having a mandoline definitely sped things up and made the vegetables thin enough to hold together in pancake form.

  223. Johanna Dieterich Horn

    I made this for a lazy New Year’s Eve, and we were astounded! So delicious. During prep I was skeptical of having to ribbon the carrots since it took much longer than grating, BUT it really added to the overall form and texture of the pancake. Repeat!

    Thanks as always, Deb! You have inspired so many cooking adventures, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Happy New Year!

  224. Lauren

    Delicious! Have made these a few times and they always come out great. The tangy sauce is wonderful — especially when blended with some mayo at the end!

  225. These look so good! I’ve made other variations before — always with bacon, because…bacon. If you’re feeling lazy, a simple combination of Worcestershire and hoisin sauces makes a quick and tasty stand-in for okonomiyaki sauce.

  226. Katie

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe! Since it was originally published we’ve made it many times – these are a favorite in our house! Our guests have always loved them too. We make a double recipe and toss leftovers in the toaster oven to warm up. No modifications needed for a great meal, although we prefer a spicier sauce so we use the 1 tbs honey (as instructed) and some extra fresh ginger.

  227. Hana

    Thanks, I will see if I can get yam flour or bite the bullet and make tempura butter and have a go.
    Until I moved from the city ( sea change does have some drawbacks) I had lovely Japanese take outs and did need to think about cooking these, and these bought ones were particularly fabulous and large.
    I was spoiled for choice , there we 5 Japanese take outs within walking distance, I used three, one that made the best pancakes, one that made the best sushi and sushi rolls and one that made the best sashimi. Oh, another that made some fabulous soups.
    Now I have to make everything at home.
    I have done sushi and sashimi and the soups, but not the pancakes. I am pretty sure that there was no kale involved. There is however lots of hoisin sauce in the cupboard.
    As to your pie , been there, done that… usually a good time to go out for something delicious to eat or the next best thing(not counting a drink) a lovely indulgent piece of chocolate

  228. Beth

    Wow! Culinary alchemy! My husband kept asking “How are these so delicious?!?” I was skeptical about my bowl of wet vegetables, so added another 1/4-1/2C flour. Not sure I needed it, but when I flipped the first pancake we both gasped at the beautiful, crisp, browned underbelly. They turned out perfectly, and so tasty! The all-purpose GF flour I used didn’t seem to be a problem.

    The sauce was a great accompaniment. I also made a mock Kewpie mayo, which the Internet tells me is a standard Japanese condiment for this dish. I highly recommend the minute it takes to mix sugar and rice vinegar into Hellman’s. A sprinkle of gomasio rounded the flavors out beautifully as well.

  229. Julie

    I made this tonight for dinner to go with some salmon. Since it’s just me and my husband, I halved the recipe, but kept the full sauce recipe (good choice, that sauce is awesome!). The proportions of veg to flour to egg were just right. I made 6 medium sized pancakes and we ended up with a couple leftover — looking forward to having them for lunch. This is going into my rotation for sure.

    1. Michelle Sanders

      These are delish! I made into 8 medium sized cakes and my family loved them. I do have a mandoline and a really good peeler, so the prep wasn’t too bad. The dipping sauce doesn’t make much so I might use a store bought sauce next time, or add mayo. But I got a lot of veggies into my family with this and they liked it. FYI I followed the recipe as is. Score!

  230. Susan

    Made these for dinner with your sesame soba noodles and they were awesome! I used my grocery store’s pre shredded “coleslaw mix” (99% cabbage 1% carrots) which was a great time saver. Don’t be worried that it looks like you made a salad instead of a fritter base, they hold together totally fine during frying.

  231. Maxine Catalano

    Please someone, they look terrific but I cook for clients whom for whatever reasons don’t like the consistency of kugel or anything with an egg-like flavor. I want to make these, are these too eggy?

  232. Read your recipe for “Japanese” Vegetable-Fritters at 5pm and have now (9pm) just eaten the last of them (made 10 of them). Absolutely wonderful. I used all the veggies in the fridge–the last bit of cabbage (about one cup), a half of a fennel bulb, 1 rather tired carrot and part of a bok choi left over from last night´s stir-fry. Sliced them all thin, mixed them with oat flakes and 2 eggs, browned 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds and put it into the mix along with some tamari and a chopped scallion. Fried it in olive oil and threw another tablespoon of sesame seeds on top. I had just bought masses of parsley so made “Chimmi Churri” sauce with parsley, garlic, chili, olive oil and red wine vinegar. Glorious! Thank you for the inspiration! The best way to make just about any veggie into a wonderful family-friendly and VERY fast supper!

  233. Heidi

    These are delicious. Everyone in my family was surprised at how good they tasted considering they are almost all veggies! Only my picky 8 year old turned up his nose. Halved the pancake part, made the full sauce recipe. Enough for 3 of us with a few pancakes left over.

  234. Holly Hazleton

    I love the anticipation and excitement commenters exude when discussing these pancakes. I do hope there will be a follow up once you actually prepare and eat the pancakes as that is very helpful.

  235. joanna


    my last fritter excitement failed miserably.. so i avoided making them for almost a year!

    enter this recipe ~ and since I’ve yet to find a recipe you’ve put together that had failed me (hasn’t happened yet, I’m confident it won’t), i decided to give this a go.

    easy. messy, but pretty quick. and your okonomiyaki sauce IS AWESOME!!!!!! :D :9

    So all in all, third day in a row of fritters.

    Yummmmm <3

  236. These really do look fantastic, so much more veggies than batter. Not quite the way I had them in Tokyo, but probably much better for you. I do remember a wonderful evening in Tokyo with friends at an okoyomiyaki joint where we all took turns adding what we liked tot the batter and cooking massive pancakes for each other while drinking cold Kirins on a hot Tokyo night.

  237. Nikolai

    I used wombok (chinese cabbage) which shreds very easily with just a knife, and vegan Worcestershire – the sauce turned out very delicious.

    Seperated an amount of the veggies to make a flax-egg version for myself and an egg version for the omnivores.

    Loved by all!

  238. Mary Jo

    Who would have thought that Cabbage Pancakes would be so good. I used Red Cabbage (that is what I had) and Chard in place of the Kale. Fantastic flavor and so easy. Made great left over lunch the next day when warmed in the microwave. Thank you.

  239. Angela Soutar

    this is one of the few recipes I have tried that seems to be foolproof , comes out in genuine style and always tastes great. Maybe it truly is easy comfort food.

  240. Jessamin Lee Smith

    I don’t comment much but I have to rave about this recipe, it’s incredible. I put off making it for a while but these will be staple for me now. I am just one person, and having a batch of these in the freezer to top with a fried egg is the ultimate single-person easy dinner. Bonus that the ingredients are so economical. I did count, and got a dozen beautiful, hearty-yet-delicate, medium-sized pancakes. Brava.

  241. Cindy

    I have made these a few times already. I usually make them on the smallish side and serve them to guests. I also made them for Thanksgiving last year. The last time I made them, I used rice flour instead of AP flour, as one of our guests is gluten free. They were lighter and really crispy and that is how I will make them from now on. They are delicious!!

  242. Nancy

    I’ve been making a Chickpea Flour (egg free) version of these for those who don’t like or can’t eat eggs. 1 c chickpea flour blended with 1 1/2 cups water – let sit for a couple of hours. Add veggies and spices of your choice. I lean toward Indian flavors for this: turmeric, hot green peppers, onion, tomato (all diced). Fry in a small (7″) non-stick skillet, 2 min on each side. Serve with hot sauce or chutney. I’m not an egg fan, so this is my usual breakfast.

  243. trish

    Made these with Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-free baking mix in place of AP flour. They turned out great. I’ve had okonomiyaki many times in Japan. I actually like these better…more veg/less batter. The sauce was awesome, too! Thanks for the recipe winner!

  244. Jads

    Really easy and delicious!! This is a keeper recipe for sure! I made the tangy sauce, and it was good. My husband (who loves all things hot) put some Chinese hot mustard on his and was quite happy!

  245. Treacle

    I made this almost exact thing, by coincidence last week. But in a waffle iron, purchased explicitly for this purpose. They were crispy, light and delicious. (They still are, I filled my freezer with them too!) I also thought a crispy egg would work well, but will try out the sauces you suggest too, thanks!

  246. Marilyn Gregg

    I am curious as to whether or not you have any control over the ads that appear in your posts. I ask because there is one in particular that makes me gag every time I see it. (not a good thing for a food blog) The ad I speak of is for DrainStix and promotes the device as “a new anti-clogging device that makes those pesky drain clogs disappear”. Now we all know what clogs drains and it’s not the ideal accompaniment for your wonderful recipes.

  247. Rachel

    I love your recipes! Since I am old and love shortcuts I have made this with coleslaw mix complete with carrots! It was lovely. My husband is not a big kale fan so I used spinach, which is always at hand. I plan to make this next week when my daughter, who loves all things Japanese, comes to visit.

  248. Sarah

    Deb, these are good…but I have a question. I mixes the veggies together with salt a little ahead, so I got quite a bit of water, kind of like the zucchini fritters…I drained it off, but found the pancakes definitely lost the salt that they desperately needed…guess I should have figured that out and just added it back? I will say having a stash of these in the fridge has made for healthy, veggie filled lunches this week!

  249. Stephanie

    I cut veggies in half, used 3 eggs, cooked in ghee, and used 1/4 cup GF AP and 1/4 white rice flour. Very crispy and yummy.

    1. deb

      You can try it with a flax egg but the egg is here for binder; it might still work but if it doesn’t, it will be more like a fried loose pile of vegetables — tasty but not a pancake.

  250. Jen M

    These were delicious and pretty easy to make! As I was combining all the ingredients together I really wasn’t sure how they were going to turn out, but my daughter convinced me to keep going, and they were a hit with all of us – my meat-loving husband, my vegetarian 13yo daughter, my 10yo son (who will generally eat anything, tbh) and me. In my concern over the “batter”, I made the sauce but forgot to read the part about cooking it down, so we had uncooked sauce, and there were no complaints. (The vegetarian skipped the sauce.) We’ll definitely be having this again.

  251. Kate

    I made these last night and they were so so good. But the sauce. I want to eat that on everything I ever eat in my future. Yum.

  252. M Krauss

    Sorry. The resemblance to real Okonomiyaki is passing at best here. It is a regional specialty in Japan, which always contains nagaimo/yamaimo and tenkasu (tempura crumbs – nothing in the Japanese kitchen is wasted). These give real Okonomiyaki its texture which is distinct. I think I will pass on this one. It looks like a veggie pancake that is a pale, pale shadow of the Incredibly delicious real thing.

  253. Judy

    Could you be lazy and use an organic bagged coleslaw mix and just add the kale in? I have a bag I bought to make coleslaw and ended up not making the dish that the coleslaw was meant to go with.

  254. Suzanne

    These are delicious! I halved the recipe, but used probably 2/3-3/4 cup flour (I have tried these before and didn’t like the runny mess!). Topped with Kewpie Mayo, Okonomiyaki Sauce (purchased on Amazon), chopped pickled ginger and sauteed shrimp! Will definitely make again!

  255. Amy

    I made these much to the horror of my son who lived in Japan. So he made his beloved Hiroshima Okonomiyaki & I notched up your renegade pancake by adding chopped shrimp. Guess you can tell by my gloating which pancake won the cook-off. Even my son preferred this newcomer version. The whole family has adked me to make it again & this time I will add some ground turkey sausage. Thanks Deb!

  256. LitProf

    Made these tonight and added fresh grated ginger and finely chopped cilantro. Kids hoovered them up and demanded more. Didn’t make the sauce but drizzled a little soy sauce over the pancakes. A great quarantine recipe.

  257. Cindy

    So, so good! I made 1/6 of the pancake recipe but left out the kale (none on hand), and it made six small pancakes. I had them as a side, but would definitely enjoy them as a main dish with eggs or soup. Thanks for a new favorite!

  258. Bethany

    How are these so good? I have no idea, but they’re definitely going into my regular rotation – I like things I can freeze for later, and my toddler likes things he can dip in ketchup.

    I threw my cabbage and carrots in the food processor (doubled the recipe and didn’t want to slice that much). Adults ate them with the dipping sauce (so good, probably will triple the amounts next time), sriracha mayo, and toasted sesame seeds.

  259. Rosie

    I can tell this will become a staple – I used red cabbage, sugarloaf chicory (both shredded with a mandolin) and sweet potato (peeled into ribbons) because that’s what I had and it was delicious – we had sweet chilli sauce and siracha mayonnaise on the side

  260. Deb

    Oooh this has been one of our pandemic go tos. Half a Napa cabbage works great and keeps forever(maybe). Got our recipe from Typing this while lunching on your farro and tomato dish-yum! Funny, I thought to send you the okonomiyaki recipe to try and forgot.

  261. Ayumi

    You can call this japanese-inspired, but I wouldn’t call them “Japanese vegetable pancakes” given that they’re not – okonomiyaki usually have nagaimo, tenkatsu, and dashi. Also, okonomiyaki sauce usually isn’t tangy, and doesn’t have sake or mustard.

    1. Alice+Madden

      I have used gluten free flour with excellent results and also add chopped cooked shrimp! Last time I used collard greens finely sliced instead of kale! Very delicious and forgiving!

  262. I needed to use a bag of slaw mix so I gave it a whirl. They were great! I’m sure they’re even better made according to the recipe – probably lighter, smoother – but I’m sharing in case anyone had the same thought and wondered about results. Would definitely make them that way again.

  263. Robin

    We love these! My hubby likes pork belly on his, and the kids and I have fried runny eggs on top of ours. We also grate some tofu into the batter. Now we can try your way!

  264. Emily Piontek

    Great recipe! Hens have been laying well in spite of the winter season, and I needed a recipe that used a lot of eggs at once. These okonomiyaki fit the bill, and were delicious to boot. I prepped the veg a few hours in advance and fried them up just before serving, then topped the pancakes with bonito flakes for an (easy) impressive-looking entree. I’m excited to try with other seasonal vegetable variations in the future.

  265. Kristin

    Why did it take me so long to make these? So delicious! Even my picky child who eats few veggies liked them. Never would have imagined a cabbage pancake could be so good. I made them exactly as instructed and they were perfect eggy pancakes. Only change was that mine cooked much more quickly than the recipe said, and I needed to turn it down to medium to avoid burning. I was suspicious of the ketchup-based sauce but it was great, don’t skip it.

  266. Holy crap Deb! Why in the H-E- double toothpicks
    Haven’t I made these before today 2/8/21!!!! These were amazing! At first I was a little fearful they would fall apart but they remind me a lot of egg foo yong. And I have years of experience in the latke department so, I forged ahead. We made these for our meatless Monday and they are going to be a frequent meal going forward. Made the sauce too, that was really good. I also made another sauce using chili garlic paste, some fish sauce, soy sauce, Hoisin, Dijon mustard, and sweet chili garlic sauce. It was definitely spicy and had a deeper umami thing going on.

  267. Lucy+D

    Delicious recipe! I made as written last week, small for snack-size, with the sauce recipe and a Japanese-style mayo, topped with toasted sesame seeds and scallions, big hit! I’ve now made another batch using some crumbled tofu (seasoned with the sauce and dried I the oven for 30 minutes) mixed in with the veggies and made six medium size to share for lunch, topped with bonito flakes as the final garnish and WOW! I think I’m going to put bonito flakes on everything! I’m loving the bacon-ish flavor of the bonito flakes, yum! As ever, thank you Deb!!!

  268. Patt

    Thanks so much for posting this. It just took me a few years to find it. We tried it about a month ago and have made the pancakes several times since. Each time it varied depending what was in the fridge and in the garden. Our favorite use is for the leftovers – under a fried egg for breakfast. This is such a great guideline recipe. I normally use only 3 eggs and bake them in the oven for 10 minutes each side. Tonight will be beansprouts, kimchi and whatever is growing outside that I can steal pieces of., sprinkled with furikake. One constant is always your tangy sauce.

  269. Suzanne R Rosen

    Love this, great use up what’s in veggie drawer, I like to add shitakes. Lots of kale. any kind of cabbage. so good. Kewpie mayo on top.

    1. Patt

      Add a dash of Chile Crisp sometime. We use the leftovers for breakfast with an egg on it many times. One thing I learned is that fish sauce does not make for a good breakfast pancake.

    1. Patt

      I think I’ve substituted for everything in the recipe, depending on what has to be used. Spinach, beet tops, lettuce (iceberg or romaine works great), spring radish greens, just about anything that fits the green, leafy stuff category. As long as you have the eggs and flour to bind it, it ought to work.

  270. Esther Lasky

    This sounds delicious. For your and your readers’ information, there is a fish free version of Worcestershire sauce. If you google it, options will come up; for example, Annie’s organic vegan Worcestershire sauce. Hope this is helpful.

  271. Cassie

    Love okonomiyaki, direct translation – ‘as you like it, grilled’. Gotta have Kewpie mayo and bonito flakes on top too!

  272. Linda Hayes

    I’ve been making variations of these for some time now, but really appreciate the proportions, mine have been hit or miss for being too liquidy or not enough in the past. I don’t have a mandolin, but have always had great luck blitzing each veggie separately in the food processor with a few pulses. Since I normally have sweet peppers on hand a half or so usually gets tossed in too. I serve them with a bit of finely sliced scallion and some toasted sesame seeds on the sauce, with soba noodles or black rice.

  273. Nina

    These came out so great. No lie, I was a little nervous about the giant bowl of wet vegetables before we started cooking. But wow, total knockout. They cooked up so crispy and delicious. We served them with sweet soy and a mayo/rice vinegar/sugar mix. They were exceptionally good. We have a few leftover that will go on the griddle to re-crisp for lunch tomorrow.