One of Osaka’s Famous Regional Dishes

Many people have referred to this dish as a “Japanese pancake,” but I’d say it’s more along the lines of a crab cake. The inside,  filled with squid, small shrimps, cabbage and flour, has a soft texture while the outside is fried. I’m not even going to pretend like I know the exact science of making this, but my okasa (host mother) did point out all of the ingredient names in Japanese as we went along. If I can eat like this every night for the next few months, I am not leaving this country.

What You’ll Need*

Okonomiyaki mixture

  • pork
  • squid
  • small dried shrimp
  • cabbage
  • green onion
  • okonomiyaki flour (a special type of rice flour)
  • okonomiyaki sauce (comprised of tomatoes, apples and other veggies)

Separate Ingredients 

  • soba noodles
  • mayonaise

*This may not be the complete ingredients list. Apologies for not having the measurements.

How To Do It 

1. Gather necessary ingredients and set up a George Forman-esque grilling device (or a skillet).


2. Spread pork so that it cooks evenly. Flip it once so that both sides are cooked through.IMG_0362

3.  Add cooked pork to okonomiyaki mixture (a combination of the ingredients listed above) and stir.IMG_0363

4. Evenly divide the okonomiyaki mixture into three portions. Place them on the cooktop as you would a pancake.


5. Add soba noodles to each portion.


6. Once the bottom has cooked (you can tell by whether or not you can move the portion without breaking its shape), flip the okonomiyaki to cook the other side.

7. Flip one more after about five minutes. The soba noodles should be visible.IMG_0372

8. Cover with okonomiyaki sauce.

9. Add mayonnaise if desired. IMG_0376

10. Say Itadekimasu (an expression of gratitude for all that went into the meal you are about to eat)and enjoy!IMG_0377


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