Thursday, March 3, 2011

Okonomiyaki - Japanese Savory Pancakes

Okonomiyaki- Japanese Savory Pancakes

I was browsing for some recipes on the internet when I came across this word "Okonomiyaki" accidentally. I had never heard of Okonomiyaki, a Japanese savory pancake. It has several ingredients in it. The recipes that I stumbled upon looked easy and healthy. The word okonomi means "what you want" or "what you like". It happens to be a dish which is prepared right in front of you using your choice of ingredients(meat, vegetables etc.) It seemed like this one was going to give me plenty of opportunities to experiment with my ideas and play with a lot of ingredients!

The recipe that follows is an outcome of those ideas. As always, I have made quite a few modifications to the classic recipe. The batter is made of whole wheat flour with ground cumin, cloves and black peppers, making it more nutritious. Instead of serving it whole as any usual pancake, I cut it in quarters and stacked them up with a dab of soy sauce on each quarter. The panko gives the pancake a great crunch while the soy sauce gives it the perfect salty bite. We ate these delicious pancakes with a side of citrus salad.

Okonomiyaki - Japanese Savory Pancakes
Serves 2 with a side salad or soup


1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 to 2 cups water
1/2 tsp cumin, 1 clove and 4 black peppers, finely ground
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 head of a cabbage, thinly sliced
1/4 cup baby bella mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
4 TBS panko (Japanese bread crumbs, can substitute regular bread crumbs)
1-2 TBS soy sauce
2-3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
Salt as per taste


Mix the flour and spices and add water as required to make a pancake-like batter.

Add the egg, vegetables, salt and stir.

Heat a medium sized (about 8 inch) skillet. Add 1 TBS olive oil. Pour half the batter in the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Sprinkle 2 TBS of panko on top. Cook for 8 to 12 minutes per side adding more oil if needed. NOTE: The panko topping is only on one side.

Use the same procedure for the remaining of the batter.


Cut each pancake in quarters and stack on top of each other (panko topped side on top) with a dab of soy sauce on each quarter. Enjoy with a soup or salad.