Try Emiko's vegetarian cheese and cabbage okonomiyaki, then try our easy okonomiyaki, Japanese vegetable pancakes and 22 savoury pancake recipes.

Emiko says: "This is one of my very favourite dishes to make at home and because I don’t always have calamari or the other seafood lying around that you normally see in this dish, I often make it with just cabbage (the one ingredient that is non-negotiable), like my mother does. One day, I added some cheese to it and the stringy interior was so good it has now become my go-to."

Recipes extracted from Gohan: Everyday Japanese Cooking by Emiko Davies (£26, Smith Street Books). Photographs: Yuki Sugiura/Emiko Davies. Recipes are sent by the publisher and not retested by us.

Vegetarian cheese and cabbage okonomiyaki recipe


  • 60g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 80ml kombu dashi or water
  • 2 tbsp pickled ginger
  • vegetable oil, for the pan
  • 70g melting cheese, shredded or cut into thin slices
  • 350g cabbage, finely sliced


  • tonkatsu sauce
  • Kewpie mayonnaise
  • aonori (green seaweed flakes)
  • katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)
  • pickled ginger


  • STEP 1

    Make a batter by mixing the flour, baking powder, egg yolks and dashi. Rest for 30 mins.

  • STEP 2

    Meanwhile, beat the egg whites until you have firm peaks.

  • STEP 3

    After the resting time, fold the whites into the batter along with the pickled ginger.

  • STEP 4

    Oil a large, heavy-based frying pan (cast-iron is great as it holds the heat and cooks evenly) and heat over a low-medium heat. Spread half of the batter mixture out in the pan, sprinkle over half of the cheese, then layer over the cabbage, top with the rest of the cheese, then pour over the remaining batter. Cover and cook for 5 mins. Remove the lid and carefully flip over the okonomiyaki – either use two spatulas or an inverted plate, flipping the whole pan over onto the plate, then back into the pan on the raw side. Cover and cook for a final 5 mins.

  • STEP 5

    Put on a plate and garnish with some drizzles of tonkatsu sauce and Japanese mayo, then sprinkle over aonori and katsuobushi. Put the pickled ginger in the centre. Serve cut into wedges if you like, or just dig in with chopsticks.


Alternative ways with cabbage


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