Fried, savory, and with a touch of fattiness from sliced pork belly, these Japanese-style cabbage pancakes are destined to be enjoyed with a crisp beer or chilled sake. This traditional version doubles the umami with dashi broth in the batter and bonito flakes on top.

Total Time:
25 mins


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (about 4 1/4 ounces)

  • 1 cup prepared dashi

  • 2 large eggs

  • 4 cups thinly sliced green cabbage (about 10 ounces)

  • 1/4 cup chopped bonito flakes

  • 1 tablespoon salted butter

  • 8 (1- x 3-inch) 1/4-inch-thick pork belly slices (about 4 ounces)

  • 3 tablespoons okonomiyaki sauce or sweet barbecue sauce

  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (preferably Kewpie)

  • 3 tablespoons ground bonito flakes

  • 2 tablespoons slivered beni shoga (Japanese pickled ginger)

  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced nori


  1. Whisk together flour, dashi, and eggs until well incorporated. Fold in cabbage and chopped bonito flakes.

  2. Melt butter in a 10-inch nonstick skillet or flat griddle over medium. Spread batter evenly in skillet, and top evenly with pork belly slices in a single layer. Cover and cook until bottom is browned, 6 to 8 minutes.

  3. Slide pancake onto a large plate or cutting board. Place skillet over pancake and, holding plate and skillet firmly together, invert pancake into skillet, pork side down. Cook over medium until pork is browned and pancake is heated through, about 10 minutes.

  4. Invert okonomiyaki onto plate, pork side up. Brush or drizzle with okonomiyaki sauce, and dollop or drizzle with mayonnaise. Sprinkle with ground bonito flakes, beni shoga, and nori. Cut into wedges, and serve immediately.

    Victor Protasio
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