Japanese Tofu Okonomiyaki (Savory Pancake)

Japanese Tofu Okonomiyaki (Savory Pancake) (Recipe – Japanese Cooking)

I’m going to show you my favorite way of making a Japanese savory pancake called “okonomiyaki”. A typical okonomiyaki uses flour as the base, but I will replace most of the flour with tofu so that the pancake will be lighter and softer.

Japanese Tofu Okonomiyaki (Savory Pancake)

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Sakura Yubi
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Cuisine Japanese
Course Main Course
Servings 1 13cm (5in)-diameter okonomiyaki



  • 85 g (3 oz) firm tofu (momen dofu) (Avoid using smooth tofu (kinu dofu), or otherwise the batter will become too watery and not hold well during frying.)
  • 1 tbsp (1 tbsp) flour or starch (You can use wheat flour like all-purpose flour or cake flour, or potato starch (katakuriko). )
  • 0.5 tbsp (0.5 tbsp) dashi powder
  • 1 pinch (1 pinch) salt
  • 0.5 (0.5) whole egg
  • 55 g (1.9 oz) cabbage

Additional Ingredient

  • 50 g (1.8 oz) pork belly slices

Sauces and Toppings


Making the Batter

  • First, let's make the batter. In a bowl, add firm tofu (momen dofu), flour or starch, dashi powder, salt, and egg.
    Mash the tofu and mix everything thoroughly.
    It's crucial to mix the batter really well at this point before adding the cabbage so that you will be able to flip the pancake without disintegrating. You can add more flour to make it easier to flip, but then the pancake will become heavier and firmer and it would kind of defeat the whole purpose of using tofu, so I prefer to use as little flour as possible.
  • Take a leaf from the head of the cabbage. Then chop it into thin strips and add them to the batter.
  • Mix the batter thoroughly.

Preparing Pork Slices

  • We'll also prepare pork belly slices. They will come at the base of the pancake. Chop them up into bite-size pieces so they will be easier to eat.

Cooking the Pancake

  • Oil a large frying pan over low to medium heat, and then place the batter in the center.
    Using a large frying pan will give you enough space to insert a large spatula around the batter later on. This batter is very delicate and easy to come apart, so to make it easier for us to flip it without disintegrating, make sure to keep the pancake small. Somewhere around 13cm or 5 inches in diameter is ideal.
  • While the pancake is cooking, lay the pork slices on top.
  • Sprinkle a little bit of salt and pepper on the pork.
    Take your time to let the bottom of the pancake cook, for about 15 minutes, until it becomes golden brown. This is yet another important step for an easier flip.
  • Sneak a peek at the bottom, and once it's golden brown, use a large spatula to flip it over.
    Don't worry if your pancake disintegrates. Just keep going. We'll cover it with a lot of sauces anyway, so no one will know.
    Let this cook uncovered for another 10-15 minutes until the pork slices are nicely cooked.
  • Sneak a peek at the bottom, and if the pork slices are nicely cooked, go ahead and transfer the pancake onto a plate.

Dressing Up the Pancake

  • Okay, let's dress up our pancake. First, cover the top of the pancake with okonomiyaki sauce. Be generous, because this sauce is delicious.
  • Then sprinkle green seaweed (aonori), all over.
  • Then top it further with mayonnaise.
    This Kewpie mayonnaise I'm using is specialized for okonomiyaki. It has a cool nozzle with three tiny holes so we can easily make a lattice like this.
  • Then sprinkle some bonito flakes to finish it off. And we're done! Enjoy!


Serving: 1servingCalories: 646.1kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 17.3gFat: 51.5gSaturated Fat: 13.9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 16.7gMonounsaturated Fat: 18.2gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 130.1mgSodium: 1832.3mgPotassium: 385.3mgFiber: 1.7gSugar: 15.1gVitamin A: 456IUVitamin C: 22.2mgCalcium: 70mgIron: 2.4mg
Keyword okonomiyaki, pancake, tofu
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