Main Dishes

Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pancake)

Savory pancake fans will love this Japanese okonomiyaki recipe from Mami in Portland, Maine; made with shredded cabbage, bacon, scallions, shimmery bonito flakes, and a tangy-creamy sauce.

By Yankee Magazine

Feb 08 2019

Japanese Okonomiyaki Recipe from Mami in Portland, Maine

Japanese Okonomiyaki Recipe from Mami in Portland, Maine

Photo Credit : Brian Samuels | Food and Prop Styling by Catrine Kelty

Two years into their courtship, Austin Miller and Hana Tamaki bought a food truck, named it Mami, and began dishing up Japanese street food. It wasn’t a typical step toward marriage, but that’s where it led—and today they’re running a Mami restaurant in the Old Port as well as keeping up with their two kids.

Austin still remembers the first time Hana made him okonomiyaki, a savory pancake with shredded cabbage, pork belly, scallions, shimmery bonito flakes, and tangy-creamy sauces. “It was one of the greatest things I had ever tasted,” he says. “The texture and flavors were eye-openers.” A few ingredients may require a trip to an Asian supermarket or a bit of online shopping: the fish-based bouillon hondashi, for instance, and the sweet-sour okonomi sauce. But once you have the ingredients in your pantry, you’ll want to make this dish again and again.


4 pancakes


8 strips bacon, uncooked
2 cups water
2 tablespoons hondashi
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 cup shredded Napa cabbage
Bonito flakes
Okonomi sauce
Japanese mayonnaise, such as Kewpie brand
Sliced scallions
Pickled ginger


Preheat oven to 375° and set a rack to the middle position. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the bacon strips on it. Bake until the bacon is browned but not fully crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain, then break into bite-size pieces. Reduce oven temperature to 175°.

In a medium bowl, combine the water and hondashi and mix well. Add the flour and whisk until the batter is smooth. Whisk in the eggs until just incorporated (do not overmix).

Set two large nonstick skillets over medium-high heat and drizzle with oil. Stir the shredded cabbage into the batter. Once the oil is hot, add ¼ of the batter to each skillet and cook until the bottom of each pancake is golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook the other side, about 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate and keep warm in the oven while you cook the remaining pancakes.

To serve, top each pancake with bacon and a sprinkle of bonito flakes. Drizzle with okonomi sauce and mayonnaise, and sprinkle with sliced scallions and pickled ginger.