Japanese Vegan Okonomiyaki Recipe [Cabbage Pancakes]

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I’m excited to share another amazing Japanese recipe, Vegan Okonomiyaki. Okonomiyaki is a flavorful Japanese pancake filled with shredded cabbage and green onions, then sprinkled with mayonnaise and coated with a delicious tomato sauce.

We’re preparing a vegan option that’s wonderfully tasty, filling, and simple to make!

Okonomiyaki: What is it?

Okonomiyaki, also known as the “Japanese savory pancake,” is a famous street dish in Japan. It’s primarily created with a batter comprised of flour, eggs, and yamaimo (mountain potato) that’s blended with cabbage, a protein, and some other components.

You may make okonomiyaki with a variety of ingredients; the possibilities are unlimited! Elements including cheese, mochi, chips, and kimchi have been introduced to okonomiyaki in the past few years. The title of this meal reflects its adaptability: okonomi means “what you want” or “how you like it,” and yaki means “grilled.”

Okonomiyaki is a dish that holds a special place in my heart and stirs up many good feelings. We always seemed to have Okonomiyaki when we went out for a quick dinner or snack since it was easy to cook.

Then we could individually choose our favorite. I also enjoyed watching the cooks prepare it directly in front of my eyes on a massive teppan (iron griddle). The speed with which their hands worked was astounding!

I’ve also gone to restaurants with a teppan in the center of the table where we make our own, as well as restaurants where they make it in the kitchen and deliver it on a small person-sized teppan.

Okonomiyaki Variations

In Japan, there are two primary kinds of okonomiyaki to choose from: the Osaka (Kansai) version and the Hiroshima version. Since it was much more widely accessible and much simpler to cook at home, I usually ate the Osaka version.

The batter is blended with all the other ingredients in one huge batter for the Osaka style, but the Hiroshima version is cooked in layers and contains yakisoba noodles. Today I’ll show you how to build Osaka style but check back soon for the Hiroshima option later!

Japanese Vegan Okonomiyaki Recipe

What exactly is Yamaimo?

Yamaimo (ヤマノイモ) literally translates to “mountain potato,” and it’s a yam family member that produces a long root with bristles that have a tan complexion and white meat. Yamaimo is distinctive in that when shredded raw, it has a viscous, gelatinous consistency that is quite comparable to raw eggs.

The starch in the yam thickens when cooked, allowing it to capture some air. This is why it works so well as an egg replacement. Traditional okonomiyaki dishes often rely on both yamaimo and an egg.

However, yamaimo may hold it together just as well without an egg. The structure does get a little more heavy and wet, but I enjoy it since it resembles takoyaki.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What sort of cabbage should I use for Vegan Okonomiyaki? This dish calls for napa cabbage, often known as Chinese cabbage. Green cabbage could be used but blanching it beforehand to pre-cook it would be a good idea.
  • What is your preferred method of Vegan okonomiyaki consumption? To cut the okonomiyaki into smaller pieces, use a pizza cutter and chopsticks to grasp portions. But, we won’t shame you if you just use a knife and fork.
  • Can okonomiyaki be reheated? Vegan Okonomiyaki is best served hot, but you could reheat it in a nonstick pan on the stovetop over medium heat.

Share the image below to your Pinterest board if you’ve liked my Vegan take on this Traditional Okonomiyaki Recipe!

List of Ingredients

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp kombu seaweed dashi
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder, optional
  • 1 heaping tbsp Beni shoga (25g) or ½ tbsp if using fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp tenkasu / tempura scraps (20g)
  • 2 spring onions, chopped (30g)
  • 3–5 tbsp rice flour or all-purpose flour (30-50g) **
  • 3 dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated (60g)
  • 2 cups finely chopped cabbage (180g)
  • 225–250g yamaimo / Chinese yam*

The Toppings:

  • Anori
  • Beni shoga
  • Green onions
  • Okonomiyaki sauce
  • Vegan Mayo

The Special Okonomiyaki sauce:

  • 2 tsp soy sauce (10ml)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar (12g)
  • 2 tbsp Japanese Worcester sauce (30ml) tonkatsu sauce, Bulldog brand, or chuno sauce
  • 4 tbsp ketchup (60ml)


  1. Peel the yamaimo and shred it into a big bowl. Yamaimo is slick and slippery, so use caution when grating it.
  2. Mix in the dashi, rice flour, and salt to the mixing bowl. Stir in the green onions, sliced shiitake mushrooms, tenkasu, cabbage, and Beni shoga until everything is well covered in batter.
  3. Spray a big pan or skillet with oil and heat on high. When hot (400 F / 200 C), add half of the batter, spreading out into a 2 cm thick disk. If turning a giant pancake scares you, divide the batter into smaller pancakes. Cook for 5 minutes covered.
  4. When the pancake’s bottom is golden brown, flip it with two turners. Heat for another 5-6 minutes, covered. Place on a platter and continue with another pancake.
  5. To present, lay the pancake on a platter and top with okonomiyaki sauce, vegan mayo, green onions, anori (nori), and additional Beni shoga.

Tips for Vegan Okonomiyaki

  • *The texture will become mushier and mochi-mochi when more yamaimo is used. Customize the consistency to your liking. If you can’t locate yamaimo, a 1:1 ratio of soft tofu and water will suffice (i.e., 112g tofu and 112ml water).
  • ** The texture of this okonomiyaki is traditionally mushy. Boost the quantity of rice flour (up to 2 tbsp) and add 3/4 tsp baking powder for a softer texture if you want your okonomiyaki to be slightly cooked.


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