Bacon & Egg Okonomiyaki


Bacon & Egg Okonomiyaki
This recipe for bacon and egg okonomiyaki (a Japanese savoury pancake) is from Tonight’s Dinner by Adam Liaw. Adam loves okonomiyaki. In Japan, he used to live across the road from a late-night okonomiyaki place and can’t tell you how many times he trotted across there for a midnight snack, a beer and a chat. It’s easy to make, too, but outside Japan, a few of the traditional ingredients – such as tenkasu, aonori, Otafuku sauce – can be hard to come by. So, this bacon and egg version uses only ingredients you’ll find in a regular Western supermarket.


Makes 4

Prep 15 min

Cook 15 mins per okonomiyaki



  • 1⁄2 head of cabbage (about 500 g/1 lb 2 oz), diced
  • 1⁄4 cup (60 ml/2 fl oz)
  • vegetable oil
  • 8 belly bacon rashers (slices)
  • 1 cup (125 g/41⁄2 oz) grated cheddar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup (250 ml/81⁄2 fl oz) barbecue sauce (or an okonomiyaki sauce such a  Otafuku or Bulldog; see Tip)
  • 1⁄4 cup (60 ml/2 fl oz) Japanese mayonnaise
  • 3 thin spring onions (scallions), finely sliced
  • 1 tablespoon bonito flakes (katsuobushi; optional)

For the okonomiyaki batter:

  • 2 cups (300 g/101⁄2 oz) self-raising flour
  • 1⁄2 cup (60 g/2 oz) cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 11⁄2 cups (375 ml/121⁄2 fl oz) chicken stock or water
  • 2 eggs



  1. Mix all the batter ingredients in a large bowl. Add the diced cabbage and stir to combine.
  2. Heat a large, lidded frying pan over a low–medium heat and add a little of the oil. (If you want to cook more than one okonomiyaki at a time, you can use a large hotplate or multiple frying pans simultaneously.)
  3. Place two bacon rashers in the centre of the pan and add about a cup of the cabbage mixture on top. Scatter with a little cheese, then top with another cup of the cabbage mixture. As the mixture cooks down, form it into a disc about 20 cm (8 in) in diameter, without pressing down on the mixture. Cover and cook for about 8 minutes in total, then flip the okonomiyaki, cover and cook for a further 6–8 minutes until cooked through, continuing to shape it into a round as it firms.
  4. While the okonomiyaki is cooking, fry an egg, keeping the yolk a little runny.
  5. Slide the okonomiyaki onto a plate and place the egg on top. Cover with some barbecue sauce and a swirl of mayonnaise. Scatter with spring onion and bonito flakes, if using, and serve.
  6. Repeat with the remaining mixture and eggs.


Smart Tip:

Otafuku sauce is a specific okonomiyaki sauce from Osaka, the spiritual home of okonomiyaki. It’s loosely based on a worcestershire-style ketchup or relish, but in reality, neither are very far removed from any number of barbecue sauces. Choose your favourite and give it a try.


This is an edited extract from Tonight’s Dinner by Adam Liaw, published by Hardie Grant Books & SBS, RRP $39.99 AUD, RRP $45 NZD. Available in stores nationally. Photography: ©Steve Brown. Set photography: ©Bruce Walters


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