Skip to content

Konichiwa Okonomiyaki!

January 9, 2014

Todays version of Okonomiyaki

Todays version of Okonomiyaki

Finally the last of the Christmas ham is done! The vinegar soaked ham bag can be washed and put away for another year.

We had the final scraps of ham to be used up and my dear husband suggested we turn them into a meat pancake… Huh?! A meat pancake? In my childhood, my mother would turn any leftovers from the weekly roast or Christmas ham into “bubble & squeak“: a concoction of mashed vegetables and chopped meat bound together with mashed potato. We would sit in front of the TV (which was rarely allowed) and eat up our bubble & squeak smothered in tomato sauce! Those were the days…….he, he, he..

My husband’s family, his grandfather would make him meat pancakes with their leftovers which sound more akin to a fritter. The leftover meat was bound together with a batter of eggs, milk & flour. (My face is making a grimacing look right now!)

He insists that they were delicious and has very fond memories of them. I had never heard of them. A quick Google search uncovered this recipe. Do you know them? Did your grandparents make them? Do you make them?

I felt that we could make something a little more cosmopolitan than meat pancakes or bubble & squeak so with the help of a few condiments, I turned them into a favourite left-over standby: Okonomiyaki!

Okonomiyaki is a Japanese savoury pancake containing a variety of ingredients. The name literally means “whatever you want” and so the ingredient list is often open for interpretation. The most common rendition, hailing from Osaka, has a batter made with flour, grated yam, stock and eggs. The yam gives the batter a very glutinous, almost stringy consistency which isn’t really desired on a western palate. The batter is always mixed with shredded cabbage and usually green onion, meat, seafood, and sometimes even cheese. You can understand why it is commonly referred to as Japanese pizza!

My recipe is a simplified version of this and doesn’t use yam in the batter. It is a perfect vehicle for using up any leftovers and is importantly garnished with the trademark accompaniments.

The accompaniments are okonomiyaki sauce, nori flakesbonito flakes, Japanese mayonnaise, and pickled ginger. Don’t worry if you don’t have all of these in your cupboard, the sauce and the mayo are the important parts. I have included a recipe for okonomiyaki sauce from Dani Valent and her first book In the Mix. This is a beautiful sauce and goes well with grilled meat also but if you don’t want to go to the extra trouble, I have written a “cheats” version too!

6 chopped spring onions
170g cabbage
1 cup of chopped cooked meat/seafood
1 carrot (optional)
100g plain flour (GF is fine too)
2 teas sesame seeds
60g water or dashi stock
1/2 teas salt
3 eggs
3 tabs oil for frying
Okonomiyaki sauce*
Shredded nori & bonito, pickled ginger & mayonnaise for serving

Chop vegetables for 5 secs SP 4. Add flour, salt,  water, eggs & seeds and mix on REVERSE SP 3 until combined. Add meat and mix on REVERSE SP 3 until combined.

Heat oil in a large frying pan until hot and make a thick pancake with half of the mixture and cook, covered for 10 – 15 mins. Check that it does not burn. Flip onto a plate so that you can slide the pancake, uncooked side down back into the pan and cook for another 10 mins or until the cabbage is done. Just before serving, brush the top liberally with okonomiyaki sauce and drizzle with mayonnaise.  Sprinkle with nori, bonito and extra spring onions if desired. Repeat with the remaining mix.

* Cheats Okonomiyaki sauce
2 tabs tomato sauce
1 tab worcestershire sauce
1 teas hoisin sauce
1 teas mild mustard
pinch ginger powder
Mix together in a cup and set aside.
Okonomiyaki sauce – Make ahead (Dani Valent)
 2 cloves garlic
10g ginger
60g tomato sauce
30g soy
50g water
10g mirin
20g rice vinegar
20g sugar
1 teas mustard
Put all ingredients into TM and mix SP 7 10 secs. Scrape down bowl and cook for 13mins 100⁰C SP 1 MC off. Set aside.
PS Sometimes I serve this up with a fried egg on top too!




2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 9, 2014 3:19 pm

    Yes!! My mother also used to make leftover meat pancakes as your husband described. WE loved them! I made them for my children a couple of times and they also loved them. This looks like an interesting variation. Will have to try. BTW I made your coconut yoghurt. Yummo. Thank you so much for generously sharing your hard won recipes!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: