Okonomiyaki aka “Japanese Pizza”


Okonomiyaki means “whatever you like, grilled” in Japanese (Okonomi means “what you like” or “what you want”, and yaki means “grilled” or “cooked”).  It is an interesting combination of frittata, a savory pancake & a pizza. The first time I came across Okonomiyaki is in 101 Cookbooks. Reading thru’ Heidi’s post, I found it really interesting & the different ways the recipe may be adapted, even when making at home.

…there are two main variations of okonomiyaki; Kansai Style (also called Osaka Style), and Hiroshima Style. Thee cooking steps are for the Kansai Style, which is the style of okonomiyaki most commonly found in Japan.

When making okonomiyaki in the Hiroshima Style, the ingredients are not mixed together. Instead, the batter is cooked like a thin crepe and the ingredients are cooked separately. When everything is done the ingredients are placed on the crepe, the toppings are added, and the okonomiyaki is served. Yakisoba noodles are a distinctive ingredient of Hiroshima style okonomiyaki, and are usually included” ..I found some good information on this mysterious food in the Japan Guide.

While going thru’ the recipe in 101 Cookbooks, I had already decided that I was going to make this soon. Then I googled it & read some more. The traditional Okonomiyaki uses meat or seafood as toppings & after it is cooked, the “pizza” is then topped off with Japanese Mayonnaise & Fish Flakes (bonita flakes) before serving. Not a big fan of meat & seafood/seaweeds,  I really liked the way Heidi made an almost  vegetarian version of it. I followed her recipe & then made some of my own adaptations….



Ingredients: (serves 2)


  1. 1 cups cabbage, finely shredded
  2. 1 cup leeks,[the white & the tender greens] well washed and chopped fine
  3. 1 Carrots chopped into matchsticks
  4. 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  5. 1/3 Teaspoon of baking soda
  6. Water or Dashi*
  7. A couple pinches of fine grain sea salt (regular salt will do too)
  8. Black Pepper
  9. 1 Egg, beaten
  10. Olive oil

To brush on the top: 1.5 Tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, 1.5 tablespoons ketchup, 1 teaspoon Ginger Juice

Garnish: toasted slivered almonds, finely chopped Green Onions.

*Dashi is Japanese stock.

(If you want your “pizza” with cheese, feel free to throw in a fistful of your favorite in the batter!
Other ingredients that may be used are some chopped seafood, meat, noodles…)


Mix the Worcestershire sauce, ketchup & ginger juice & set aside.

Mix the flour in the water/dashi. Add the baking soda. Add the salt & black pepper & whisk till smooth.

Add the shredded Leeks & Cabbage & half the amount of the  carrots.

Make a hole in the middle of the batter and add an egg in the hole. Stir until everything is coated with a dusting of flour until everything is evenly coated.



Heat a large skillet ( I used my well seasoned cast iron skillet)  over medium heat and add some olive oil generously.

Scoop the veggie mixture into the pan, and using a metal spatula press it into a round pancake shape, flat as you can get it. ( My suggestion here is to make smaller size.. makes it easier to flip it over )

Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the bottom is golden. Drizzle some olive oil on the top, & carefully flip it over. Again press down a bit with a spatula and cook until golden on this side – another 3 -5 minutes.

Transfer it to the serving plate. Brush on some of the sauce (ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, & ginger juice) on the top.

Garnish with toasted almonds, carrot sticks & green onions/scallions, and  to cut into wedges.

Serve immediately.



Here’s a Slice….It tasted nothing like Pizza:-) It was different, but light, fresh & crunchy good! We had this for lunch.. but cut into thin wedges, it would be as good an appetizer.  Sending this to In the Bag: March hosted by Julia of A Slice of Cherry Pie. The ingredients this time are Leeks, Egg & Cheese. This is also going to A.W.E.D Japan hosted Lavi, & started by DK of Culinary Bazaar.




Related Posts:

The Perfect Pizza Margherita

Farinata with Grilled Vegetables

Ladenia Pizza from a Greek Island

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43 comments to Okonomiyaki aka “Japanese Pizza”

  • this sounds perfect soma! I am going to try it for a lazy lunch this weekend 🙂

  • Wow i have neve rhad pizza like this, it looks so so yummy delcious.

  • Can’t even say the name but fascinating recipe from Japan, cool! 🙂

  • Sounds exotic, but looking so lovely….i am amazed by the number of cuisines you venture into 🙂

    I hate making the regular things i always do. new things always get me inspired & excited..even if the experiments flop sometimes:-D

  • Saw this at Heidi’s. You are quite adventurous & have done a great job! I wasn’t sure my kids would eat it, so gave it a pass. Made her jewelled biscotti though (yet to post that)…Well done Soma!

  • this pizza looks perfect. Nice to see a pizza(though it is the Japanese kind) without all the red sauce on it.

  • How interesting – I have never heard of Japanese pizza – it looks wonderful and I must try it very soon!

  • sandeepa

    This almost like a savory pancake my Mom makes, only this has loads of veggies. Shall give this a try, more doable for me than the regular pizza

    Yeah definitely quicker than a regular pizza, if u are making the crust.

  • Cham

    Sounds very interesting this recipe and colorful!

  • Very different pizza..Love the name of it!The pizza looks scrumptious 🙂

  • Different and interesting..Love the crispyness of the pizza..

  • How creative! I adore your recipes.

  • Ann

    You are a great cook Soma..they look truly professional..yummy yums

  • Love that first picture – gorgeous. You got a lovely crispy crust on it too. Nice one!

  • I am mumbling the name now..sounds cool..:P..The pics are great Soma..n look so tempting n crispy yum..Send me some pls..:)

  • A Japanese pizza– who would’ve thought! That’s unusual and just lovely, Soma.

    Sounds like a pizza but does not taste like one:-D

  • pizza looks so different… colorful and pretty.. good one.

  • Looks lovely,I have heard that okanomiyaki is Japanese Pancake.I am not sure anymore.But whether pancake or pizza the intention is to eat and this is too inviting.

    Thanks a lot!

  • Even as I saw this on my dashboard, I had Heidi in mind:). I too read about this in her blog. Yours looks good!

    I wanted to participate in HHDD but could not make it Soma – so sorry!!

    Harini, Please do not say sorry… there is no “must” for it:-D

  • Congrats for winning No croutons required Soma…this dish is really different, colorful ..very delicious!

    Thanks Priya!

  • Soma,
    great info on okonomiyaki ..ami eyi take japanese pancake bhabe hi jaan taam,
    tumi onek clear kore dile ,thanks for that…tobe leek ta thekhe ,cabbage ta ami beshi prefer kortaam ..
    hugs and smiles

  • This is really interesting! haven’t heard of this before and though it sounds like a fritatta, its quite different! Thanks!

  • Rashmi

    that’s a mean looking okonomiyaki! i have been so wanting to try this, but everywhere here it has some octopus thinggies and fish flakes, so couldn’t, will use your recipe on a ‘feeling enthu’ day.
    If you’re into Japanese cooking, this is a cool channel:

  • CONGRATS ON WINNING HOTM. You r truly on a winning spree.Enjoy

    Thanks a LOT!! But my wins are all because of who voted for me. So my thanks to all !!

  • Ki darun Soma! Ekta notun jinish … tobe onekta familiar. Ei weekend er brunch decided … thanks t oyou. 🙂

  • Ben

    That is my kind of pizza, whatever you like, grilled 😀 I have to try this for dinner sometime next week 🙂

    Don’t think pizza when u make this:-) I found no similarity other than the shape & the concept of some topping.. i haven’t eaten the original.. but i liked this

  • Very interesting..

  • You always have the most interesting posts 🙂

    This one was indeed an interesting thing to cook:-)

  • mohana

    looks delicious !! and what a fascinating name !! will try this out at my earliest.

  • I remember seeing this on Heidi’s blog and your version looks good. A sort of vegetable pancake, I guess.:)

    Yes, Veggie pancake with very little of the cake & a lot of crunch:-D

  • I cannot pronounce this, but sure does look lovely… this is my lunch break and the color and picture is not helping me at all 🙂

    I had to work on that rhyme quite a bit.:-)

  • just commented on no recipes okonomiyaki and wanted to come check you out. yours looks great and MUCH healthier version than the one topped w/ lots-o mayo. really nice. it’s one of my favorite things to get out.

    Thanks! I like this version too.. This had this just right light fresh feel to it, which would have been killed with anything like mayo..

  • Oh man, it’s been ages since I’ve had okonomiyaki! Such a wonderful treat… Thanks for reminding me about it, I must make it again soon! 🙂

  • Rashmi

    just wondering, since u said does not taste like pizza, does it taste somewhat like utthapam?

    🙂 closer to utthapam than to pizza.. but it’s more crunchy, the flour & egg here is just about enough to hold the veggies (or whatever else goes in there) together. In uthapam..the is more, so it’s a different feel.. This is what i made.. & I never had the original, so i do not know if i did it right.

  • Really easy to make and mouth watering , Soma..a pizza without an oven…wow, have to try this soon

  • A&N

    Isn’t 101 cookbooks the best ever? 😀

    I’ve not tried this from her site as yet. Will surely do, your post is an inspiration!

  • Anytime I see the word “Pizza”, my name has been called. Your recipe is a new one for me. Looks and sounds wonderful.

  • swinto

    I have lived in Japan for a while now, and I have to say that, while this recipe does look and sound good, it isnt really okonomiyaki. The most important part is the okonomiyaki sauce, and it is never ever topped with almonds, but is always topped with dried bonito flakes. I once found a fairly authentic okonomiyaki restaurant in Toronto, so there are probably some in other western cities. If you cant get to Japan to taste the true and delicious okonomiyaki, I recommend finding an authentic shop in your town.

    I am aware that this recipe is not the original Okonomiyaki. However I was looking for a vegetarian version of okonomiyaki, & I have made my adaptations. If you read thru my post, (other than just the recipe) I have given the information on how it it done traditionally, both Kansai & Hiroshima Style, & also given links to other sites for more authentic information. I have mentioned about bonita flakes & japanese mayonaisse & what other things go in it in Japan.- & I have done that so that the readers do not get misguided.

  • Soma, This is a Great Entry for A.W.E.D – Japan! Pizza Look’s Great with Veggies and Leek.Thanks for sending it over..

  • Lakshmi

    Soma, your posts are so different and interesting. I want to try this on my next to-do cooking list.
    But I didnt get how much water to add to flour…what should be the consistency..watery or vada batter like or dosa like batter…just the thickness. please confirm.

  • Sounds perfect for me pizza without cheese can’t even imagine that.

  • Wow, congratulations on this great Okonomiyaki recipe evolution! You can also reduce the fat and cholesterol by substituting in Egg Beaters. If you’re interested in more Okonomiyaki recipes (the more traditional version), check out http://okonomiyakiworld.com – Have fun!

  • Oh its like the cabbageyaki that we eat in one of a japanese food kiosk. They also have takoyaki and other japanese food too. 🙂

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