Japanese-style Pancakes (Okonomiyaki) Big Batch! Gluten Free!

by Karen Swan

I’ve been craving Japanese food for weeks!  When I posted my craving on facebook and asked for your favourite Japanese family-style foods, okonomiyaki was the overwhelming favourite!  So I got cooking.

I adore food like this, that seems so plain but is full of flavour and, in the style of all the best Asian foods, it’s the accompaniments that you can go crazy with and create an explosion of taste!

As the first, huge pancake set in a perfect circle I gave myself a little pat on the back, only to be bought firmly back to my feet by the realisation that I had to flip the bloomin’ thing!  I explain my somewhat unorthodox methods in the recipe.

We spread this batter (a half batch of what I’ve written here) to cover two dinners, and still had mix left.  This is a big mix.  For single family serves, please halve the ingredients listed here.

When my nearly 4 year old asked for seconds, I knew I was onto a winner!


(Makes approx 12 medium sized pancakes)

1 large cabbage

1 x bunch spring onions – white and green parts finely chopped (some reserved for sprinkling on the cooked pancake)

4 cups flour (I used White Wings gluten free self raising)

4.5 cups water

8 eggs

4 tsp chicken stock powder

2 tsp ginger powder

Meat of your choice:  thinly sliced poached chicken, ham slices, bacon slices (optional)


3 T tomato sauce

3 T worcestershire Sacue

Extra toppings:



Fried Onion

Coriander or mung bean sprouts

GF Okonomiyaki BIG BACTH7Method:

Finely shred the cabbage.  I used a food processor, so my cabbage was more finely chopped than ‘proper’ okonomiyaki which uses shredded strips of cabbage.

In a large bowl combine the cabbage and most of the spring onions.  Reserve some spring onions to top the cooked pancake.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour with the chicken stock and ginger powder.

In a third bowl, beat the eggs and the water.

Combine the egg/water mix with the flour and beat for a few minutes until the mix is smooth. (I used electric hand beaters)

Pour the batter over the cabbage (you’ll need a BIG bowl!) and mix well.

gluten free okonomiyaki03

To Cook:

Heat a well oiled, large frypan over medium/low heat.

Spoon one or two ladles of the batter into the pan.

Using two wooden spatulas, press around the edges to stop the mixture from spreading and into a circular shape about 1.5cm thick.

If adding meat, lay it in strips across the top of the pancake.

Cook for 7 minutes or until the mixture is set enough to flip and the edges begin to brown.

Flipping is tricky.  I went for a few options!  With my first, and biggest pancake, I put it under the griller to set the top, then used the ‘plate on top of the frypan’ method to flip the pancake and then slide it back into the frypan for a further 7 minutes cooking time.  When I started making the pancakes smaller, I was able, for the most part, to flip them just using two egg flips.

gluten free okonomiyaki08To Serve:

Mix together the tomato and Worcestershire sauces (alternatively you can use a store bought Okonomiyaki style sauce)

I like to mix some wasabi into the mayo for some extra zing!

Spread or drizzle the sauce and mayo onto the hot, cooked pancake.

Top with extra chopped spring onions, fried onion, coriander and any other toppings you like!

The batter will last for 2 days in the fridge.





*recipe adapted from and inspired by here.


  1. OK, I give up… (and can’t find a glossary 🙂 )… what is ‘thinkly’ sliced meat – closer to thick or thin? 😀

  2. We are a retired couple, I made this tonight and halved the recipe. I then suggested we invite the neighbours in, I think there would be enough to go round!!
    I actually changed 2 things. I cooked my thinly sliced chicken, with some onion, in a little oil. I also cooked the pancake for about 10 minutes on the stove top (slow-med heat), then put in under a slow griller for about 5 minutes. This cooked it right through and lightly browned the top. Just as well, it was so big and so heavy I couldn’t have turned it by myself.
    It was absolutely delicious. A great recipe, easy, and something I would think my grandchildren will enjoy too.

Speak Your Mind