Savory Cabbage Pancakes (Okonomiyaki)

Written by Beth - Budget Bytes

I know, I know, two cabbage recipes in a row? While I’m sure some of you are delighted, some might be totally “over” cabbage. But I’m all about reducing waste over here, so I needed to find a recipe to use up my leftover cabbage, carrot, and green onion from my Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry. I decided to try my hand at Okonomiyaki, or Japanese savory cabbage pancakes. And as per usual, this is my interpretation of Okonomiyaki, not a traditional representation of the dish. I love putting spins on classics to make them work for my pantry and taste buds.

Two Savory Cabbage Pancakes on a plate drizzled with sriracha Mayo, green onion, and sesame seeds.

What Else Can You Add to Cabbage Pancakes?

What attracted me to this dish is the extreme flexibility of ingredients, which makes it a great “sweep the kitchen” recipe. And you know how I love recipes that accept whatever leftovers you might happen to have in the fridge at the time!

I didn’t buy anything special ingredients for my cabbage pancakes. Instead, I used all the ingredients that I had on hand, and you can too. Other vegetables that would be great in these pancakes include:

  • kale
  • bean sprouts
  • radish
  • shredded broccoli or Brussels sprouts
  • zucchini.

In addition to vegetables, you can toss all sorts of meat into your pancakes. Try:

  • shrimp
  • canned salmon
  • shredded chicken
  • pork
  • bacon

Have Fun with Toppings!

And that’s just what you can put IN your cabbage pancakes. Don’t even get me started with what you can put ON your pancakes. Traditionally, Okonomiyaki has a special sauce that is kind of sweet-salty-tangy (here’s a great Okonomiyaki Sauce recipe from Just One Cookbook if you want to give it a try!). But since I was using what I had on hand today, I went a different route.

I kept it simple with a drizzle of sriracha mayo, sesame seeds, and sliced green onion, but you could do hoisin sauce, toasted seaweed snacks, a fried egg, bonito flakes, pickled ginger, kimchi, or anything else you like. Honestly, the toppings are where it’s at for this recipe. It’s like pizza (and sometimes called Japanese pizza). The toppings make it fun, unique, and just all around extra special.

Front view of one Savory Cabbage Pancake on a plate with chopsticks, sriracha mayo, green onion, and sesame seeds

So, what do you have in your fridge that you could put in or on a savory cabbage pancake?

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4.78 from 96 votes

Savory Cabbage Pancakes (Okonomiyaki)

Savory Cabbage Pancakes are a fun and filling way to use up pantry leftovers. Fill them and top them with whatever your heart desires! 
Author: Beth - Budget Bytes
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Servings: 6 6-inch pancakes



  • 2 extra large eggs ($0.53)
  • 1/2 cup water ($0.00)
  • 1.5 Tbsp soy sauce ($0.14)
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil ($0.33)
  • 3/4 to 1 cup all-purpose flour ($0.07)
  • 4-5 cups shredded green cabbage ($1.78)
  • 1 carrot ( $0.11)
  • 3 green onions ($0.17)
  • 2 Tbsp oil for frying ($0.04)


  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise ($0.28)
  • 2 Tbsp sriracha ($0.10)
  • 1/2 Tbsp sesame seeds ($0.04)
  • 2 green onions ($0.11)


  • Remove any wilted leaves from the outside of the cabbage. Cut the cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Thinly slice or shred half of the cabbage, or until you have 4-5 cups shredded cabbage. Peel the carrot and shred it using a large-holed cheese grater. Slice the green onions.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, water, soy sauce, and sesame oil until smooth. Begin whisking in the flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until it forms a thick, smooth batter (about 3/4 to1 cup total flour).
  • Add the cabbage, carrots, and green onion to the batter and stir until the vegetables are mixed and everything is evenly coated in batter.
  • Heat 1/2 Tbsp oil in a non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 3/4 cup of the vegetable and batter mixture. Press it down into the hot skillet to form a circle, about 6 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick. Place a cover on the skillet to hold in the steam, which will help the cabbage soften as it cooks. Cook the pancake until golden brown on the bottom (3-5 minutes), then flip and cook until golden brown on the second side. Pile the cooked pancakes on a plate and cover with foil to keep warm until ready to eat. Add more oil to the skillet as needed as you cook the pancakes.
  • To prepare the sriracha mayo, mix together 1/4 cup mayonnaise and 2 Tbsp sriracha in a small bowl. Drizzle the sriracha mayo over the pancakes just before serving, followed with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and sliced green onion.
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Serving: 1 ServingCalories: 263.32 kcalCarbohydrates: 23.6 gProtein: 5.9 gFat: 16.65 gSodium: 449.58 mgFiber: 2.95 g
Nutritional values are estimates only. See our full nutrition disclaimer here.

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Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Overhead view of one Savory Cabbage Pancake with chopsticks on the side.

How to Make Cabbage Pancakes – Step by Step Photos

Shredded cabbage, carrot, and sliced green onion

Begin by shredding the vegetables. You can use a food processor, mandolin, or just a knife. Just remember, the thinner the better. Shred 1/2 of a small head of cabbage (4-5 cups once shredded), 1 carrot (about 1/2 cup), and slice three green onions.

Eggs Soy Sauce Sesame Oil and Water in a bowl

In a large bowl, whisk together 2 extra large eggs, 1/2 cup water, 1.5 Tbsp soy sauce, and 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil until smooth.

cabbage pancake batter whisked in a bowl, dripping off whisk to show viscosity

Begin whisking in flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until it forms a thick, smooth batter. You’ll need between 3/4 to 1 cup flour.

Stir Shredded Vegetables into batter

Add the cabbage, carrots, and green onion to the batter, then stir until everything is well mixed and coated in batter.

Fry Pancakes in skillet

Since eggs and flour both like to stick to surfaces when cooked, I highly suggest using some sort of non-stick surface in addition to the oil. I used a cast iron skillet. Heat about 1/2 Tbsp cooking oil in the skillet over medium heat. Once hot, place about 3/4 cup of the vegetable and batter mixture into the skillet. Press the mixture down to form a 6-inch circle that is about 1/2 inch thick. Place a lid on the skillet to hold in the steam (this helps soften the cabbage) and cook until it is golden brown on the bottom (3-5 minutes). Flip the pancake and cook on the second side until golden brown as well. I could actually fit two pancakes in this skillet, but doing one at a time made for prettier pictures. :P

Sriracha Mayo mixed in a bowl

To make the sriracha mayo, stir together 1/4 cup mayonnaise with 2 Tbsp sriracha.

One savory cabbage pancake on a plate with sriracha mayo and chopsticks on the side.

Drizzle the sriracha mayo over the savory cabbage pancake and then top with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and more sliced onion. Dig in!