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Okonomiyaki is a Japanese savory pancake that is loaded with shredded cabbage and green onions, glazed with a sweet tomato sauce, and finally drizzled with mayonnaise. Here, we are making a vegan version that is incredibly flavorful, hearty, and easy to prepare!

The Best Vegan Okonomiyaki

I’m super excited to share this recipe with you, friends! This recipe is a personal favorite!

📘 What Is Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki is a very popular Japanese dish. It is basically a savory pancake drizzled with a sweet and salty sauce, mayonnaise, and topped with green onions.

There are two kinds of okonomiyaki: the one created in Osaka and the one from Hiroshima. In the former, all the ingredients are mixed together and then pan-fried in a pancake shape.

The Hiroshima style is cooked in different layers and contains noodles, omelets, and usually bacon. It requires more ingredients and a bit more technique. You can find our recipe for Vegan Hiroshima-Style Okonomiyaki here.

Traditionally, okonomiyaki is made with all-purpose flour, dashi, and grated mountain yam, also called Nagaimo. This kind of yam has a very slimy, almost gelatinous texture and helps bind everything together. Plus, it gives the okonomiyaki a fluffier texture. Unfortunately, it’s a bit hard to find, especially if you want the right kind, so I made a few substitutions. I don’t claim this is an authentic Japanese recipe because it’s not! But to make it healthier and vegan, some changes were needed.

The Best Vegan Okonomiyaki

🥣 How to Make It

It all starts with the batter that is gluten-free. I went with a blend of oat and buckwheat flour, both whole-grain and easily digestible. I didn’t want to use chickpea flour here because it would have been overpowering and slightly bitter. Oat and buckwheat are not only nutritious, they are also pretty bland. Buckwheat has a subtle nutty flavor, but you can’t really taste it here.

Then comes ground flax seeds that help the pancakes hold together, and ground shiitake for flavor. Instead of using dashi, which usually contains fish, I ground dried shiitakes that are packed with umami and stirred it into the batter. To make shiitake powder, just grind one cup of dried shiitake in a blender or food processor. You will get a fine powder that will keep for months in an airtight container. It can also be used to add more flavors to soups, curries, etc.

To add even more flavor, I added some coconut bacon and marinated ginger. You can use chopped ginger if you don’t have the marinated kind on hand.

Finally, the addition of jackfruit not only makes the okonomiyaki fluffier but also adds a meaty texture.

The Best Vegan Okonomiyaki

When your batter is ready, add the shredded cabbage, spring onions, and jackfruit. For the jackfruit, we will first coat it with a flavorful marinade made of sesame paste, soy sauce, and maple syrup.

Sesame paste is different than tahini since it’s made from roasted sesame seeds; it has a nuttier flavor and a light brown color. What you can do to substitute sesame paste is mix 1 tablespoon of almond butter with 1/4 tsp of toasted sesame oil. Obviously, the taste will be slightly different, but it should do the trick!

The Best Vegan Okonomiyaki

Once all your ingredients are mixed together, cook it like pancakes in a skillet until golden brown. Brush with a generous amount of sweet and sour okonomiyaki sauce, and drizzle with mayonnaise. I like to top it with more chopped green onions, seaweed, and/or coconut bacon!

The Best Vegan Okonomiyaki

Don’t skip the okonomiyaki sauce or mayonnaise. Those two toppings are essentials! For those of you who are worried about the mayonnaise calories, don’t worry it’s just a drizzle! Plus, there are several oil-free mayonnaise recipes online if you want to make the recipe lighter.

What I love about okonomiyaki is how versatile it is; you can add your favorite ingredients or leftovers to the batter. Carrots, smoked tofu, mushrooms, ginger, bell peppers, spinach, peanuts, the choice is huge!

💬 FAQ

What kind of cabbage should I use?

Napa cabbage, also called Chinese cabbage, is best for this recipe. You could use green cabbage, but I recommend blanching it first to pre-cook it.

How do you eat okonomiyaki?

Use a pizza cutter to cut the okonomiyaki into smaller pieces and grab pieces with chopsticks. Or simply use a knife and a fork; we won’t judge!

How to reheat okonomiyaki?

Okonomiyaki is best enjoyed immediately, but it can be reheated in a non-stick skillet over medium heat on the stove.

The Best Vegan Okonomiyaki

Please do me a favor and try this recipe, I swear you won’t be disappointed! This okonomiyaki is soft, moist, and almost meaty, thanks to the addition of jackfruit. And, of course, this recipe is totally acceptable for breakfast. It’s filling and boasts 9 grams of protein per serving.

The Best Vegan Okonomiyaki
The Best Vegan Okonomiyaki
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Recipe
The Best Vegan Okonomiyaki

The Best Vegan Okonomiyaki

4.91 from 10 votes
Author: Thomas Pagot
Perfectly tender Okonomiyaki that is loaded with shredded cabbage, marinated sesame jackfruit, and green onions. Sweet, spicy, and tangy, Okonomiyaki is a flavorful and hearty meal!
Prep Time : 30 minutes
Cook Time : 15 minutes
Total Time : 45 minutes
Servings 3 Okonomiyaki (or 2 large)
Calories 293 kcal

Ingredients
 

Jackfruit

Okonomiyaki

  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 2 tbsp ground dried shiitakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp five spice powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup cabbage finely shredded
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup coconut bacon optional, but recommended for a smoky flavor
  • 1 tbsp chopped marinated ginger
  • toppings: okonomiyaki sauce, vegan mayonnaise (store-bought or homemade), green onions, aonori seaweed (optional)

Okonomiyaki Sauce

Instructions
 

Jackfruit

  • Drain and rinse the jackfruit. Chop off the core (the hard part) and discard. Roughly mash the jackfruit with a fork. Transfer to a bowl, add the sesame paste, soy sauce, and maple syrup. Stir well to coat the jackfruit with the sauce.
  • Heat a teaspoon of oil in a skillet. Once hot, add jackfruit and sauté for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Okonomiyaki

  • Combine the oat flour, buckwheat flour, ground flax seeds, ground shiitakes, salt, and five-spice powder in a large mixing bowl. Add the water and whisk until no clumps remain.
  • Stir in the shredded cabbage, chopped green onions, coconut bacon, chopped marinated ginger, and jackfruit. Mix well using a wooden spoon or spatula until all the ingredients are coated with the batter. Let it rest for 5 minutes.
  • Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add one tablespoon of oil. Pour 1/3 of the okonomiyaki batter into the skillet in a pancake shape. I like to make thick okonomiyaki, a bit less than 1 inch thick. Cover with a lid and cook for about 5 minutes or until the bottom is golden brown.
  • Carefully flip, cover, and cook for another 7-9 minutes. Once both sides are golden brown, transfer to a plate, spread about 1 tablespoon of okonomiyaki sauce on top, and drizzle with mayonnaise.
  • Serve immediately topped with more chopped green onions and aonori seaweed (optional).
  • The batter will keep for up to two days, covered, in the refrigerator. You might have to add a few tablespoons of water if it has thickened too much.

Okonomiyaki Sauce

  • Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl.

Notes

Nutritional information doesn’t include mayonnaise. It can vary a lot depending on which brand and how much you are using.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 okonomiyaki | Calories: 293 kcal | Carbohydrates: 55.1 g | Protein: 9.2 g | Fat: 6 g | Fiber: 11.5 g | Sugar: 14.9 g
Course : Entree, Main Course
Cuisine : Japanese
Did you make this recipe? Tag @fullofplants on Instagram and hashtag it #fullofplants
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About the Author

Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.

Learn more ➜

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Thomas, this looks absolutely amazing! The pics are seriously stunning and the recipe sounds divine. I have never heard or had this pancake before but I lived in Osaka many, many years ago so I’m surprised I don’t remember it, haha. Such a beautiful recipe!

Shojin Ryori is the vegan Japanese temple food that has been a buddhist tradition since the 13th century and is still very popular in Japan and America today. Check it out. There are endless, wonderful vegan Japanese recipes.

Hi Thomas! Wow! This recipe landed in my lap at the right time! Can’t wait to make this!! I picked up a packet of jackfruit earlier that has been sitting in the pantry for a little bit wondering what I was going to do with it and same with the unopened oat flour!

Your pictures are magical! Will let yoy know how I go!! Thanks for sharing!

What’s your favorite vegan mayonaisse? Did you use a Japanese mayo that’s sweeter than American mayo? I’ve used the avocado mayo but it never tasted quite right, so I’d love a recommendation on a mayo variety and brand you’ve liked?

Ok I totally see it listed in the recipe itself, nevermind! That’s what I get for skimming >_>

5 stars
I just made this and it is very yummy. However, it was also very time consuming, but I’m not blaming you, Thomas. Because of my many allergies, I needed to make my own mayonnaise (soy and gluten free). I didn’t have any ketchup so I needed to make some of that, too. Had no toasted sesame paste (surprise surprise), so I ended up toasting sesame seeds and putting hem in a high powered blender. Used oats I had in the pantry to make the 1/2 cup of oatmeal flour. By the time I was ready to cook up the pancakes, an hour and a half had gone by. Cooking them up one by one took me about another hour, seeing as I divided my batter into four. The end result was absolutely scrumptious, but I wonder if I’ll ever be tempted to invest that much time again. Then I got to thinking—could I bake them on a heavy cast iron cookie sheet kit I pre-heat it? I’ll certainly give it a try. I have a ton of mayo and ketchup left over, so I should be able to put this all together just that little bit quicker.

5 stars
Mon plat favori sans aucune hésitation. J’ai découvert ce plat à Hiroshima par pur hasard. Il n’était pas végan et depuis je le décline version végétalienne. Je préfère la version d’Hiroshima (en couches) à celle d’Osaka (mélangé).

Nous avons aussi la chance d’avoir à Montréal un restaurant végan qui le sert de temps agrémenté d’algues.

Merci Thomas pour ces merveilleuses recettes toujours parfaites et esthétiques.

4 stars
Just made this and enjoyed it, but next time I don’t think I’ll add as much Five Spice as it called for, that was a VERY strong flavor for me and I could have used less. I cut it by adding a little more soy sauce with the sauces. Thank you for posting!

Tried it for first time . It was yum!!!! Got to know the flavors of japan

Hey! This recipe sounds good and I’m thrilled to try it, I just have one question: can jackfruit be replaced with something else? It isn’t sold anywhere near where I live, so it might be hard to get my hands on it.

Hi Thomas
Just discovered your website… This Japanese pancake recipe looks amazing. Is there anything else I could use instead of the jackfruit?

5 stars
I made this for dinner last night and it was sooooo good.
My partner and I travelled around Japan when we were vegetarian so we ate all the Okonomiyaki in the world!!! Once going vegan I thought that was the end of that. But this was awesome! Held together really well and flipped well too even though I was worried without any eggs.

Thank you

i’m allergic to oats. can i use all buckwheat flour or is there another substitute? thanks.

5 stars
I made this yesterday for a friend, and we both loved it! It was the first time making anything like this, so I was really happy with your clear instructions. The only thing I changed was that I switched the coconut bacon to shiitake bacon, because my friend does not like coconut. Next time I make it (that will be soon), I will use coconut bacon, because I think that the crispiness will be great here.

[…] Get full recipe==>>fullofplants1.wpengine.com […]

[…] – the recipes were actually quite a bit different. This first one (on the left) comes from Full of Plants. It’s a thicker, more battery pancake with jack fruit mixed into it as well as coconut bacon […]

5 stars
Super delicious!!! Usually I don’t do comments on recipes but this had to be an exception! I had to make a few changes because I didn’t have all the ingredients. Replaced the jackfruit with grated carrot and just added it marinated without precooking it and it turned out amazing. Made a garlic mayo out of vegan cream cheese and used some of my vegan salmon marinade as Worcester sauce. Dreamful! Thanks a lot Thomas for this recipe and the inspiration!

5 stars
This was SO good. Definitely making again. My BF gave me a big high five after eating one. I was skeptical at first while putting all these flavours into the bowl. But they turned out so well. Thanks for the great recipe!

5 stars
Great recipe – thank you! I used chickpea flour because I don’t taste the bitterness.

[…] the jackfruit frenzy continues! After vegan okonomiyaki, potstickers, and rillettes, here come jackfruit […]

I would love to try this sounds amazing! Is the buckwheat flour necessary or would it work if I used all oat flour?

5 stars
i LOVE this, I made it yesterday and I am already making it again right now. recommending it to everyone. thank you!

5 stars
This was excellent! Loved the flavor on it, and the sauces made it so delicious and savory.