Easy Japanese Savory Okonomiyaki Pancakes, #WeekdaySupper

Imagine a samurai slashing his sword through a pancake. Seems comical, right? Except for this Ninja Baker's hyperbole about sword play, something similar to today's savory okonomiyaki pancakes were served to warriors of the Edo (Feudal) period.

Similar to a pizza, you can pick whatever toppings you like
for your okonomiyaki pancake.


Two styles of okonomiyaki vie for affection on the Japanese culinary scene. One is out of Hiroshima and involves fancy grill work. The second okonomiyaki style originates out of the commerce bustling city of Osaka. The latter is simple. Whisk up some pancake batter; rough chop and grate a few veggies, add protein and a #WeekdaySuppper is on the table in minutes!

Sunday Supper Movement

The aim of the #WeekdaySupper group is to share do-able and tasty recipes which are quickly made during the workweek. Scroll down to see the diverse and delicious dishes on this week’s menu. All of the recipes are handy for potluck parties, too.

Okonomiyaki pancakes are typically topped with mayonnaise in Tokyo.

While my easy Japanese savory okonomiyaki pancakes will have to be reheated if transported, they are perfect for a potluck party held at your home. Why? Okonomiyaki literally translates as “fried/cooked to your liking.” The foundation of the savory pancake is batter. So, each savory pancake can accommodate those who are swearing off onions, meat or any other ingredient. You could also substitute gluten-free flour if you’ve got gluten sensitive friends or family.

Even if you are not having a potluck, please do tweak the following recipe so you can savor pancake perfection on your plate.

Easy Japanese Savory Okonomiyaki Pancakes

Japan's savory okonomiyaki pancakes provoke debates among the best of friends about which toppings are the most suitable for the popular dish. Contention about the deliciousness of okonomiyaki is nearly zilch. Try it! And let me know which toppings you recommend.


Makes 4 pancakes

For the pancakes:
1 cup frozen peas and carrots
2 cans (6 ounces each) crab meat
2½ cups roughly chopped cabbage
5 scallions, chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup water
1 cup grated yam (about one medium-large yam)
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, lightly beaten
4 teaspoons pickled beni shoga ginger from the Asian market OR 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger

For the sauce:
12 tablespoons ketchup
4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
4 teaspoons soy sauce

Optional garnish:
Crumbled dried seaweed (nori)
Bonito (katsuobushi) flakes


1. Zap peas and carrots per package instructions in the microwave. Drain. Set aside in a bowl.
2. Drain the crab meat. Set aside in a bowl.
3. Chop cabbage for the needed 2½ cups. (Packaged slaw works, too.)
4. Chop off the ends of the scallions. Discard. Rough chop the rest. Set aside.
5. Whisk together the flour, water, yam and salt. Briskly stir in the eggs.
6. Add the peas and carrots, cabbage and scallions.
7. Coat a small fry pan with vegetable oil. Sauté the crab and ginger for about 10 seconds.
8. Spread ¼ of the batter over the crab and ginger.
9. When the edges are golden brown and the batter is slightly bubbly, flip the pancake. (About 4 to 5 minutes on each side.)
10. If desired, squeeze a generous dollop of mayonnaise on top. Also, sprinkle the pancakes with dried seaweed and bonito flakes.

Here are a few more tasty meals for a potluck or weekday supper:

Monday - Stuffed Orzo Salad by MealDiva
Tuesday - Grilled, Garlicky Lamb Lollipops by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Wednesday - Easy Japanese Savory Okonomiyaki Pancakes by NinjaBaking.com
Thursday - Chicken and Israeli Couscous Vegetable Salad by Shockingly Delicious
Friday - Coconut Rice Pilaf with Peas & Fresh Herbs by Sue's Nutrition Buzz

Wishing you week days which feel like weekends!

The Ninja Baker

© ™ Watkinson 2012

The Ninja Baker has guest blogged and contributed recipes to numerous food sites. These additional recipes can be found here.



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