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Bacon Okonomiyaki - Savory Japanese Pancakes

I had a sudden craving for okonomiyaki, a savory Japanese pancake filled with cabbage, which I haven't eaten in.... 20+ years!! I used to have Japanese neighbours when I lived in Korea and would always play with the kids. I was maybe only a few years older than them, but sometimes their mum would make me (an 8 year old then) babysit 5 and 6 year old kids. And we all know how well that can turn out... 😈
Babysitting had its perks and I was lucky to have so many home-cooked Japanese meals! The most memorable dish was Okonomiyaki, because of the dancing bonito flakes that are sprinkled on top and the peculiar tangy sauce mixed with kewpie mayonnaise. It was something I had never tried before and the flavor is something I still crave today. I hope you go grocery shopping at an Asian market and try to make this at home!

Bacon Okonomiyaki

makes 2 x 6" pancakes

1/4 cabbage
3 inch leek (white part, or use white part of the green onions)
1/2 onion
6 pieces of bacon, cut into thirds (optional if you vegetarian)

1 heaping cup of Korean jeon flour (or okonomiyaki flour; if using plain AP flour, add 1 tsp each of salt, pepper and baking powder)
2/3 cup water
2 eggs
2 tsp black pepper

tonkatsu/okonomiyaki sauce
kewpie mayo
bonito flakes
dried nori/seaweed sheets (the same nori you use for sushi)

  1. Thinly slice cabbage so it almost looks like it's shaved by a mandolin (finely like really fine coleslaw). Do the same for onions, so you get thin half-moons and for leeks. If you don't have leeks, I would finely chop the white part of green onions. Set aside
  2. In a mixing bowl, add 1 heaping cup (about 1.25 cups) of jeon flour or seasoned flour with addition of salt, pepper and baking powder. Whisk water and 2 eggs. Season with black pepper. Add the veggies into the flour mixture and stir to coat evenly
  3. In a non-stick pan, heat on medium fire 1 tbsp of veggie oil. Place half of batter to pan and flatten to make a pancake. Place cut bacon strips on top and cover frying pan to allow top to steam
  4. Fry for about 3-4 mins or until golden brown. Flip and cover again for 2-3 mins. Repeat for the rest of the batter
  5. Serve immediately onto plate and dress with okonomiyaki sauce and a healthy dose of mayo. Sprinkle bonito flakes and cut nori


  1. I also use pajeon mix to make my okonomiyaki! Although I've never tried an authentic version so I have no idea how close it is, haha.

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