Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pancakes): Vego


‘Vego?’ I hear you ask? Yep, Aussie for vegetarian. We like to abbreviate everything! So, ‘university’ becomes ‘uni’, ‘BBQ’ is a ‘barbie’, ‘youi’ is a u-turn on the road – but I digress! Back to the Japanese okonomiyaki.

Don’t you think okonomiyaki is fun to say? I got hooked on these when I was teaching English in Japan many years ago. I remember going to a restaurant where we sat around a hot plate and mixed our own ingredients together to make okonomiyaki.

So, the thing about this dish is that you really must have the authentic sauces on hand. You need the Kewpie Japanese mayonnaise and true okonomiyaki sauce – see Note below too. In Melbourne, I buy these from Suzuran, which is a Japanese grocer in Burke Rd, Camberwell. The place is amazing. If you go there, be sure to try daifuku (sweet rice balls filled with beans) and nutto (fermented soybeans) that you can use for California rolls (maki, in Japanese).

Anyway, let me imagine that you have the mayo (yep, another Aussie colloquialism meaning mayonnaise) and okonomiyaki sauce. Now you’re ready to make these babies!

My friend Lisa, this recipe is for you!  cabbage

Ingredients – may be doubled to make bigger batch

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1/4 big cabbage finely sliced(I use purple and white to make it pretty)
  • generous pinch of salt (1/4 tsp)
  • Bit of chopped kale
  • 3 generous tablespoons of olive oil


You basically just mix it all together, adding cabbage last, then fry in frypan. Add enough water so that the batter is quite runny before you add the veggies. Top with sauces and enjoy!

Note: these are the sauces you need. I see Aussies aren’t the only ones to abbrev. If my Japanese is correct, it says Okonomi Sauce on the bottle! If you aren’t in Melbourne, and don’t live near an authentic Japanese grocer, you can actually buy these sauces on Amazon. I know, can you believe it? I just looked and I’m freaking out with excitement over this. Might even save me a trip to  Camberwell!  Buy here if you want:

saucesOkonomiyaki sauce


Kewpie Japanese mayo











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