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Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pancakes) with Homemade Japanese Mayonnaise

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I’ve been trying desperately to get on the kale bandwagon over the last year or so, but with no luck. I’ve tried it half a dozen ways but with no success. My brother kept telling me I needed to try it in Okonomiyaki but because of my earlier failed attempts at eating kale in any form, I kept pushing it off. .

That is, until he made some for me over the holidays, and let me tell you what, I am officially hooked. 20150106_173523

So whether you are already a kale fanatic, or you haven’t yet come to terms with the stuff, you need to go get yourself some kale and make up a batch of okonomiyaki.

I adapted a recipe from Smitten Kitchen (great blog by the way, check it out). It’s a pretty simple recipe:

Chop up some veggies,


Toss with gluten free flour (I use gfJules) and a few eggs,

and pan fry the okonomiyaki in a bit of oil.

We’ve tried okonomiyaki with and without the Japanese Mayonnaise and it’s good either way, but the mayonnaise definitely takes it up a notch. It is seriously delicious stuff. Seriously. It’s not like the Mayo you’re used to (and you might never go back).


I feel I need to make a disclaimer here, though. I have never actually had authentic Japanese mayonnaise. The popular stuff that everyone apparently eats (Kewpie), contains wheat and soy and all the rest, so I knew immediately that I would have to make our own. I combined just about every copycat recipe I found online (they are all surprisingly dissimilar) along with the ingredients list on the Kewpie package. So in reality, I’m not sure if it tastes anything like the real deal, but I do know that it tastes Amazing. So there you go. Just try it and let me know if it tastes like the real deal 😉 


Okonomiyaki (Japanese vegetable fritters)

Okonomiyaki (Japanese vegetable fritters)

Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Okonomiyaki is a pan-fried vegetable fritter and can be used as a side or a complete meal. This recipe also includes a homemade Japanese mayo and BBQ drizzle.



  • 4 cups shredded kale, packed (about 3 large leaves)
  • 5 cups shredded cabbage (about 1/4 small head)
  • 1 3/4 cups shredded carrots
  • 2 Tablespoons green onions, cut diagonally in small slices, plus extra for garnishing
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup gluten free flour (I used GF Jules)
  • 4 eggs, beaten


  • 1/2 cup gluten free mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon dijon mustard (be sure to check labels, not all are gluten free!)
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
  • salt, garlic powder, and paprika to taste


  • 2 Tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 Tablespoon gluten free Worcestershire or soy sauce, or coconut aminos
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • a few dashes of ginger


For the Pancakes:

  1. To shred kale, stack 2 leaves and first remove ribs as shown in the picture above, then slice widthwise to make thin, short, strips. Measure and put into a large bowl.
  2. Shred cabbage by cutting a head of cabbage in quarters, then cutting one of the quarters in 2 equal pieces lengthwise, and finally slicing thinly in the other direction. Measure and add to the large bowl.
  3. Shred carrots by peeling, or using large side of a cheese grater. Measure and add to bowl.
  4. Add green onions, salt, and gluten free flour and toss to coat veggies.
  5. Add eggs, and toss until all ingredients are evenly distributed. The batter will be mostly veggies, just coated in egg and flour.
  6. Heat a skillet with a thin layer of oil. I set mine just a bit below medium, you want it to be hot enough to sizzle, but not so hot that the fritters burn before being done in the middle.
  7. You can make the fritters any size you wish, we usually make them about the size of a pancake.
  8. Scoop the batter into the hot oil and then press down and form with a spatula to make your pancake shape. Cook 1-2 minutes until fairly brown underneath, then flip and cook until the other side is browned as well. These are best served right out of the pan so they are crispy, but you can also put them in a single layer on a cookie sheet or plate.

For the Japanese Mayonnaise:

Combine all ingredients and stir until smooth. Refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour before serving. You can definitely make this a day ahead for easy dinner prep the next day! Leftovers store great in the fridge.

For the Japanese BBQ:

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and heat over low heat until warm and slightly thickened. This can also be done ahead and re-warmed.

Just before serving, drizzle pancakes with Japanese Mayonnaise and BBQ, and top with meat if desired.


  • You can shred the veggies hours ahead of time and store in separate containers in the fridge to make for a quick dinner.
  • These pancakes are best with the Japanese Mayonnaise and BBQ sauce below. You can also top with bacon or other meat if you want. We have eaten these with crumbled bacon, sliced pork chops, or thinly sliced steak.
  • I use GF Jules flour for this recipe. Cup4Cup would also work well.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 342Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 158mgSodium: 798mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 7gSugar: 12gProtein: 11g

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Tuesday 26th of March 2019

I would LOVE to see a video in this. Anything that is out-of-the-ordinary, would do nicely with a video, since others do not know what it's supposed to look like during the process (you know, to show us what were doing right or wrong) :)

Saturday 30th of March 2019

Hi Danielle! I am working on adding videos to all posts, it's a big project!

Jules Shepard

Saturday 9th of March 2019

This looks so yummy! Now here is a pancake I can get behind!

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Raia Torn (@RaiaTorn)

Saturday 20th of June 2015

I have made okonomiyaki once before, but your version sounds SO much better than mine. ;) I'm going to have to try it again! Thanks so much for sharing it with us at Savoring Saturdays, Celeste. Hope to see you back this weekend! :)


Saturday 20th of June 2015

It's a favorite at our house, I hope you get a chance to make it soon! I was MIA today but hopefully I'll catch you next week. Thanks for stopping by!

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