What the kids eat in…. Japan (part 1)

Let’s trawl the recipes of the world to come up with some new ideas about how to get vegetables into our children. Known as “Japanese pizza”, the basic okonomiyake is a delicious cabbage pancake. It’s a great lunch option – healthier than a toasted ham sandwich and as quick to make.

Okonomiyaki recipe

Sneak cabbage and carrot in with this super-quick dish.


4 tbsp self-raising flour
3 tbsp water
1 egg
¼ cup diced ham (optional)
½ cup grated Chinese cabbage, finely shredded
¼ cup peeled, grated carrot
1 spring onion, finely sliced
Canola oil cooking spray

Mayonnaise, to serve
BBQ sauce, to serve

Put the flour in a bowl, add the water and stir well to remove any lumps. Add the egg and mix well. Stir in the ham (if using), cabbage, carrot and spring onion.

Heat a small non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray. Add the amount of mixture you want to get the pancake size you desire. Keep pancake 1cm-thick or less (otherwise it will be soggy in the middle).

Cook 3-4 minutes each side until golden. Place on a plate. Cover with a thin layer of mayonnaise and a swirl of BBQ sauce. Serve immediately.


MAKE IT PRETTY by cooking the mixture in silicone egg rings which come in a variety of shapes.

This recipe is from my Kitchen Collection cookbook!

This recipe is from my Kitchen Collection cookbook!

13 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Helen-Claire said,

    I made these tonight for my partner and myself, delicious! I did add a tablespoon of kecap manis to the mixture, but otherwise followed yours to the letter. I can’t wait to try my little boy on these!

    • 2

      wendyblume said,

      Hi Helen – the kecap manis is a great idea. They’re also good with a generous sprinkle of coriander. Thanks for letting me know, good luck with other recipes!

  2. 3

    Milly said,

    Hi Wendy! Happy new year to you and the family. I’m going to make these pancakes in an attempt to use up some of the leftover Christmas ham. Let you know how it goes. Keep the tops recipes coming.

  3. 4

    Kirrily said,

    is chinese cabbage “wombok””?

    • 6

      Ramesh said,

      (Ring-bound) Gave this to my nephew and his wife as part of a care pagkcae. They both work and go to school and several times a year I send them a priority box with stuff. The last time it was this cookbook, several magazines from the newsstand, cans of hot green chiles (they live in upstate NY and can usually only find mild), box of chocolates from a local candy maker, gift cards for McDonald’s and TGIF, etc. Anyway about the book they said it’s great. I leafed through it before I gave it to them and it seemed straight forward and easy to follow with tons of information. The recipes sounded pretty decent and the kids seem happy (they usually tell me when something doesn’t work out so I don’t send them something similar LOL). It was reasonably priced and the construction was very good. There’s room to add your own pages and I think it will last a long time. I think it made a nice gift and it’s an addition to some of the more trendy cookbooks.

  4. 7

    Amber Barker said,

    these were super popular with 4/5 of our family tonight – and very little is that popular , thanks for the inspiration !

  5. 9

    Michelle said,

    Hi Wendy! Great recipe, I love all Japanese food! Maybe just make a note for people who might not know to use Japanese style savoury mayonnaise rather than Western style sweet mayonnaise? If you used the latter with BBQ sauce… ew.

    • 10

      wendyblume said,

      I think ‘ew’ might be taking things a bit far?

      It’s just a scrape, and I think the regular mayo is fine – not authentic, but the kids will be happy.

      • 11

        Michelle said,

        SORRY I didn’t mean to diss your recipe! I just really dislike Western style and assumed you’d be using the kewpie mayo anyway. And some readers might not be aware there’s a savoury option… just sayin’.

  6. 12

    Bec Pichugin said,

    I think this would have to be the most successful vegie smugglers recipe we’ve tried yet. I’ve made it many times and every single time it’s all dissappeared! What I love best is that I usually have all the ingredients in the fridge. (I just use regular cabbage and it works fine) Thanks for this great recipe 🙂

Comment RSS · TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: