Reiko Hashimoto’s Japanese Savoury Pancake

This is such a satisfying dish, as it has everything in it and is so scrumptious! It is in the simpler Kansai style, whereas the Hiroshima style includes egg noodles in the batter mix. The condiments are very important and tonkatsu sauce is a definite must.

Serves 4


420g plain flour

4 eggs, beaten

1/2 tsp baking powder

3 tsp instant dashi powder

1 pointed cabbage, shredded

2 bunches of spring onions, finely   chopped

1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil (for frying)

2 tbsp tenkasu or deep-fried shallots

For the tonkatsu sauce (makes about 180ml)

3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp caster sugar

5 tbsp tomato ketchup

1 tbsp sake

1/2-1 tsp English mustard

To serve

Mayonnaise or mustard, optional

2 tbsp ao-nori (seaweed) powder

20g bonito flakes


1. First make the tonkatsu sauce. Put all the ingredients, except the mustard, in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 7 minutes or until the mixture is thickened to the consistency of tomato ketchup. Remove from the heat and cool, then stir in the mustard to taste. Refrigerate and use as required.

2. Put the flour in a large bowl, add 500ml water and mix. Once all the flour has been combined with the water, add the beaten eggs, baking powder and dashi powder then mix well until the batter is smooth with no lumps. 

3. Add the cabbage and spring onions and mix in well. This is the base of the okonomi-yaki pancake.

4. Heat a little oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. When hot, pour the pancake mixture into the pan, tilting the pan to spread the mixture out to a thickness of about 1.5cm. Sprinkle with deep-fried shallots and your choice of toppings, making sure to evenly spread them over the surface of the whole pancake.

5. Reduce the heat to low and partially cover with a lid (to release the condensation) and cook for about 15 minutes depending on the size of the pancake, making sure the bottom of the pancake is not burnt. 

6. Flip the pancake over, using two large spatulas, and then cook for a further 5 minutes without the lid until done. To check if the pancake is cooked, insert a toothpick into the centre and it should come out dry. If the toothpick comes out with sticky batter attached, flip it over again and leave it to cook for a few more minutes.

7. Transfer the pancake onto a large plate and then slather with the tonkatsu sauce, mayonnaise and mustard if you like. Sprinkle with ao-nori and bonito flakes to finish.

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