Emma Alter Photo
Emma Alter

When my husband went to university in Toronto 30 years ago, he used to frequent a restaurant called the Okonomi House which served good cheap Japanese food. It's still there, and now my 22 year old daughter goes there with her friends.They have lots of different dishes there, but we always, always order the okonomiyaki.

Truth be told, it's rather an odd thing to eat - a cabbage omelette slathered with a ketchup mixture and topped with mayonnaise, but it's delicious and compelling in it's own way. I knew as soon as I saw this recipe I had to make it for my daughter and we were pleasantly surprised to find it quite close to the restaurant equivalent. We had two minor quibbles. We thought it needed twice as much cabbage, and despite the fact that we often scrape some of the ketchup stuff off in the restaurant, we thought it needed more ketchup stuff. As you can see from the photo, it's no beauty, but it's a really filling, cheap and tasty meal.

This recipe is from the website FoodForFriends.


1/2 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup water
1/3  washed and shredded cabbage
slices of ham, thinly chopped
salt and pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
washed and chopped spring onions
(tough parts removed)


  1. Mix the flour and baking powder together in a large bowl. Add the water and whisk until most of the lumps have gone. Add the eggs and continue to whisk until combined.
  2.  Sprinkle in the cabbage and ham, season with salt and pepper and mix together.
  3. Place a large non stick frying pan on a medium heat and pour in the vegetable oil. Once it's hot spoon in the mixture and use a couple of spatulas to flatten it to around ann inch thick. Push in the edges to keep it round in shape.
  4. Cook for around 5-7 minutes. Once the edges start to brown carefully flip over and cook on the other side for a further 5-7 minutes. Once cooked through slide onto a plate.
  5.  Mix the Okonomiyaki sauce ingredients together and spread over the top, then combine the mayo ingredients together and drizzle on top. Sprinkle with chopped spring onions and eat.
This recipe appears in: Asian
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