Here’s a great way to turn whatever the garden offers into instant dinner! Last night’s version included home-grown carrots, spring onions, rainbow chard and lettuce but it could have been any vegies really. The leftovers caused a stir in the staff room at lunchtime today so here, by popular request, is my attempt at the recipe. (Apologies to any Japanese readers for utter bastardisation of whatever the original recipe was!)

Okonomiyaki is basically a pancake or small omelette made of noodles and vegetables stuck together with an eggy batter, and topped with several incredibly yummy condiments. All are available at Asian grocers and at some supermarkets.


Pancake ingredients

  • 1 packet Hokkien noodles
  • about 3 cups shredded/grated mixed vegetables (e.g. cabbage, carrot, wombok, spinach, zucchini, lettuce) plus bean shoots/peas/choppped spring onions etc.
  • 2 Tbsp chopped pickled ginger
  • 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • about 1/2 cup water
  • oil for frying


  • Japanese mayonnaise (or soya mayo)
  • Okonomiyaki sauce (various other thick sweet Japanese sauces or even ordinary BBQ sauce are OK in a pinch)
  • Rice seasoning (this comes in a glass jar and consists of mixed dry sprinkles including sesame seed, nori, bonito etc)


  • Soak the noodles in hot water for a few minutes until they separate easily. Loosen and break them up a bit, then drain.
  • Mix together noodles, vegetables, sesame seeds, spring onions and ginger.
  • Mix flour and water to form a medium batter, then mix in the eggs. Stir this mixture through the noodles and veg.
  • Heat frypan with just enough oil to cover the base lightly.
  • Place large spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan (4 will fit in an average pan) and cook for a few minutes on each side until golden and crispy. If they don’t hold together well enough, use more batter next time. If they are too doughy, use less.
  • Transfer to a plate and top with a smudge of mayo, a squiggle of sauce and a sprinkle of rice seasoning.


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