© Lena Staal | Foodstyling: Gitte Jakobsen

Okonomiyaki with Savoy Cabbage, Pork Belly, Mayonnaise and Kombu Dashi

The term "Okonomi" captures the essence of taste and preference, whereas "Yaki" signifies grilling. This Japanese twist on the savoury pancake offers endless variations and is traditionally cooked on a hot griddle. It's a dish that marries simplicity with sophistication.

Toruh Nakamura

Cooking time: 02:00

Ingredients for Kombu Dashi

Ingredients (4 servings)
80 g Kombu seaweed (or another variety such as Rishiri, Hidaka or Ma-Kombu)
Light soy sauce

Preparation of Kombu Dashi:

  • Pour 3 litres of cold water into a large pot and add the kombu seaweed.
  • Heat the water to about 60°C and let the seaweed steep for around 1 hour.
  • Remove the seaweed and season the dashi with salt, a dash of light soy sauce, and a splash of sake to taste.


Once the Dashi has cooled down, it can be frozen in portions like any other broth and is always at hand when needed.

Ingredients for Okonomiyaki

Ingredients (4 servings)
220 g Flour
100 ml Kombu Dashi
6 Eggs
1 kg Savoy cabbage
Pepper, freshly ground
3 Spring onions
some Some sunflower or rapeseed oil
8 slice(s) Pork belly
Japanese mayonnaise
Okonomiyaki sauce
Aonori (Nori seaweed)
Beni Shoga (pickled red ginger)
Hichimi (to taste, depending on how spicy you like it)
10 g Bonito flakes

Preparation of Okonomiyaki

  • Whisk together the flour, dashi, and eggs until smooth. Let the batter sit to thicken slightly, ideally at a cool room temperature or in a cooler spot in your kitchen, instead of chilling it in the refrigerator.
  • Trim the outer leaves from the savoy cabbage, remove the core, and thinly slice or shred the cabbage. Combine with the batter and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Clean, wash, and slice the spring onions diagonally into roughly 5 mm thick rings.
  • Heat a medium-sized pan over medium heat, lightly oil it, and place two slices of pork belly in it. Alternatively, the pork belly can be seared on a griddle.
  • Scatter a quarter of the spring onions in the pan, then ladle a quarter of the cabbage batter over the top, similar to preparing an omelette.
  • Fry until the top of the batter is just set, about 6 to 8 minutes, being careful not to let the pork belly or onions char by keeping the heat moderate.
  • Gently flip the okonomiyaki and cook until done. Keep it warm while you repeat the process with the remaining ingredients.
  • Just before serving, dress the Okonomiyaki with Japanese mayonnaise and Okonomiyaki sauce, sprinkle with aonori and Beni Shoga, and, if you like, a touch of Hichimi for some spice.
  • Finish with a generous topping of Bonito flakes.

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Toruh Nakamura
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