Ben's Meat Bible
Benito Martin

These famous Japanese vegetable pancakes make a great savoury breakfast served with poached or fried eggs, and you can easily swap the roasted pork belly for bacon. The Japanese ingredients in this recipe can be found in either the international section of your local supermarket or at specialist Asian grocers.


Quantity Ingredient
500g potatoes, peeled
100g plain flour
75g potato flour
1/2 teaspoon dashi granules, (see note)
or salt
2 eggs
375ml milk


Quantity Ingredient
500g chinese cabbage, finely shredded
25g tempura flakes (tenkasu)
1 tablespoon red pickled ginger (beni shoga)
60g spring onions, finely sliced
6 thin slices Classic roast pork, left-over
or 6 slices smoked streaky bacon
250g okonomiyaki sauce
or 250g Barbecue sauce
125g japanese mayonnaise
bonito flakes, to serve (optional)


  1. First, make the okonomiyaki batter. In a large heavy-based pan, boil the potatoes for 10–15 minutes, until cooked; they should be tender when pricked with a knife. Drain and allow to steam dry. While still hot, add the potatoes to a blender with the flours, dashi, eggs and milk. Whizz into a thick batter, then leave to rest for 30 minutes.
  2. Make the filling. Combine the cabbage, tempura flakes and pickled ginger in a large bowl with most of the spring onions. Pour the batter into the bowl and mix everything together well.
  3. Lightly oil a hotplate or large frying pan and set over medium heat. Add a few spoonfuls of the mixture and spread them out into rough 15 cm discs. Top with slices of pork, gently pressing them into the batter. Cook for 6–7 minutes, or until the bottoms of the pancakes are golden. Flip the pancakes over and poke a few holes in the top to allow steam to escape. Cook for a further 5 minutes, until the pancakes are firm and cooked through and the pork is browned and crispy. Alternatively, you could also make the okonomiyaki as one large pancake and cut it into portions. The thicker it is, the longer it will take to cook.
  4. Transfer to plates with the pork side facing up and drizzle over the okonomiyaki or barbecue sauce and plenty of mayonnaise. Serve scattered with the remaining spring onions and the bonito flakes, if using.


  • Dashi is a Japanese soup stock usually made from kelp and dried fish, and adds a great authentic flavour to this dish.
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