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.