How To Make Vegan Okonomiyaki (Plant-Based Savory Japanese Pancake)

How To Make Vegan Okonomiyaki (Plant-Based Savory Japanese Pancake)

by Mana Sobral

Easy Main Party food Popular Regional Cuisine Street food Tofu Under 30 Minutes Vegan Vegetarian Weeknight Dinner Idea

Vegan Okonomiyaki is like the plant-based remix of the classic Japanese savory pancake known as Okonomiyaki. While the original version comes from Osaka (Kansai), there is also a version that comes from Hiroshima as well. However, this recipe will be an Osaka-inspired Vegan Okonomiyaki.

Okonomiyaki batter is usually made from flour, grated nagaimo (a type of yam), water or dashi, eggs, and shredded cabbage, often jazzed up with goodies like green onion, meat (usually pork), octopus, squid, shrimp, or cheese. And let's not forget the party on top with condiments like okonomiyaki sauce, Japanese mayo, dried seaweed, and bonito flakes.

Now, when it comes to crafting this vegan gem, the challenge is swapping out animal products without losing that special Okonomiyaki taste. The pancake base is a clever mix of rice flour, all-purpose flour, and kombu broth, with ground flaxseeds acting as egg stand-ins. And a touch of seaweed brings that sea-flavored magic to the Vegan Okonomiyaki, holding everything together just like the original.

But let's talk about the heart of Okonomiyaki - the fillings and toppings. The vegan version doesn’t hold back. We're talking finely chopped cabbage and green onions for that crisp texture and sweet kick. And if you're after a protein punch, toss in some soybean curd sheet or vegan meats, and you're golden.

And what's Okonomiyaki without its signature toppings? Homemade vegan okonomiyaki sauce, vegan mayo, and a sprinkle of nori step up to the plate, giving you tangy, sweet, and umami-packed bites in every mouthful.

What's cool about vegan Okonomiyaki is its versatility. Whether you've been rocking the vegan lifestyle for ages or you're just dipping your toes into plant-based eating, this dish is all about getting creative. Mix up those ingredients, play with flavors, and make it your own unique masterpiece.


Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 10 mins

Total time: 25 mins

Total servings: 4

Difficulty: Easy

  • 200 g Cabbage, chopped
  • 20 g Pickled Ginger (beni shoga), chopped
  • 25 g Green Onions, chopped
  • 10 g Tempura Bits (Tenkasu)
  • 30 g Dried Beancurd Sheet
  • 10 g Shiitake Mushrooms (fresh or dried)
  • 50 g Rice Flour
  • 30 g All Purpose Flour
  • 80 ml Kombu Dashi (or mix of Kombu and Shiitake Dashi)
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • 2 inches x 2 inches Seaweed Sheet
  • 1 Tbsp Flaxseed, ground
  • 2.5 Tbsp Water
  • Vegan Okonomiyaki Sauce (for serving)
  • Vegan Mayo (for serving)
  • Aonori (Green Laver Seaweed Powder)

Expert's Tip

How To Make Vegan Okonomiyaki (Plant-Based Savory Japanese Pancake)

Can't find soybean curd sheets in your local supermarket? Then go for this minced soy meat from Daihoku instead! It adds another textural element to this vegan Okonomiyaki that takes the whole thing up an extra notch.


1) Gathering the Ingredients

Gather the ingredients together.

2) Making a Flax Egg

Place 2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal and 4 tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Stir well and let it rest for 5 minutes to thicken.

3) Preparing the Dried Bean Curd Sheet

Simply crack the dried bean curd sheets into pieces by hand and place them into a tray. Pour enough water to cover them completely. Allow them to soak for 30 minutes or until tender. Then, drain the water from the tray and set aside.

4) Making the Vegan Okonomiyaki Batter

Place kombu dashi and hand-torn small pieces of nori seaweed into a measuring cup. Add flour, rice flour, salt, and the flax egg. Mix well and set aside.

5) Chopping Up the Vegetables & Mixing Them Into the Batter

Finely chop the cabbage with a food processor or knife. Finely chop the green onions and shiitake mushrooms. Place the finely chopped cabbage, green onions, shiitake mushrooms, pickled ginger, and tempura bits into a medium bowl. Mix well.

6) Cooking the Okonomiyaki

Place the Okonomiyaki mixture in a pan with a bit of oil over medium heat and shape it into a round by gently pressing towards the center. Arrange the soybean curd sheets on top of the Okonomiyaki. Cover with a lid and cook for 2 minutes on medium heat. Flip it over when the bottom is nicely browned. Flip it again and it's done when the soybean curd sheet becomes nicely crispy.

7) Plating the Okonomiyaki

Brush Vegan Okonomiyaki Sauce onto the hot okonomiyaki! Sprinkle with Aonori to taste. Additionally, vegan mayo pairs perfectly with Vegan Okonomiyaki.

Tip: Check out this recipe for our homemade Vegan Okonomiyaki Sauce!

8) Enjoying the Vegan Okonomiyaki


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