Shalom Japan (310 S 4th St.) has been serving south Williamsburg a fusion of Jewish and Japanese cuisine for the past nine years. The eatery is owned by husband and wife chefs Sawako Okochi and Aaron Israel. 

They have shared their recipe for Okonomiyaki, which is a savory pancake chock full of cabbage, bean sprouts, and onions, drizzled with barbecue-like okonomi sauce, creamy Kewpie mayonnaise, and a sprinkling of smoky bonito flakes.

Israel told Greenpointers that this casual dish is very popular in Japan. “You could open a restaurant that serves only Okonomiyaki and people would go,” Israel said. 

See Shalom Japan’s recipe for Okonomiyaki below. Find last week’s Community Cookbook recipe here.

Shalom Japan’s Kansai Style Okonomiyaki 


Serves 4 to 6

Total time: 1 hour

Okonomiyaki Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup rice flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup cold dashi or 1 cup cold water plus 1 teaspoon dashi powder. Note: The dashi or water must be chilled. Otherwise, the liquid will cook the gluten and make the batter gummy.
  • 2 cups green cabbage, shredded and packed tightly
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onion
  • ¾ cup canola oil
  • Okonomi sauce (see recipe below), or Otafuku brand okonomi sauce
  • Kewpie mayonnaise, for drizzling
  • 2 tablespoons scallions
  • 1 teaspoon ao-nori
  • Bonito flakes, for sprinkling

Okonomiyaki Directions: 

1. Combine the all-purpose flour, rice flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda in a medium bowl, and mix until all the dry ingredients are evenly distributed. Pour in the dashi and whisk until just incorporated. Just like any pancake batter, do not overmix. It can be a bit lumpy, which is okay. You don’t want to over-develop the gluten and make the pancakes tough.

2. Add the cabbage, bean sprouts, and onion to the batter and mix by hand until everything is evenly distributed. (If you like, you can make the batter up to a day in advance. Before cooking, pour any liquid off the top that was released from the vegetables.)

3. Preheat the oven to its lowest setting, and prepare a baking sheet fitted with a cooling rack or lined with foil.

4. Heat an 8-inch cast iron or other non-stick pan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the canola oil. Once the oil is hot and starts to shimmer, stir the okonomiyaki batter once or twice to ensure the vegetables are evenly distributed, then add 1 cup of the okonomiyaki batter to the pan, and spread it into a round, even pancake about 6 inches across. Cook until the sides start to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip the okonomiyaki and add another tablespoon of canola oil to the pan. Continue cooking for another 4 to 5 minutes, until the second side is golden brown. Flip the okonomiyaki once more, and cook until crispy, 1 minute. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining okonomiyaki batter.

5. To serve, put the okonomiyaki on a serving plate. Brush with a thin layer of the okonomiyaki sauce. Drizzle with Kewpie mayo, and sprinkle with some scallions, ao-nori and bonito flakes. Serve immediately.

Okonomi Sauce Ingredients:

Yield 1 cup

Total time: 5 minutes

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Okonomi Sauce Directions: 

  1. Mix the ketchup, Worcestershire, soy sauce, and honey in a small bowl until thoroughly combined. 
  2. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a year.

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