Sunday Brunch: Okonomiyaki (Japanese Cabbage Pancakes)

Sunday Brunch

How to make the best meal of the week even better.

Editor's note: Each Saturday morning we bring you a Sunday Brunch recipe. Why on Saturday? So you have time to shop and prepare for tomorrow.


[Photograph: Sydney Oland]



Everything you need to make the most important meal of the day delicious.

Pancakes drenched in syrup and butter are all well and good. But pancakes filled with savory cabbage and shrimp? Even better. These Japanese pancakes are a great change of pace. A light batter coasts the mixture, which is then layered with bacon and flipped for a crunchy, smoky base. The dish is served with an array of savory toppings—classics like Kewpie mayo, pickled ginger, and scallions, along with a slightly unorthodox sprinkle of sesame seeds.

I call for cooking the filling in either dashi or stock, but if you really want to dazzle your guests, then I'd recommend opting for the former. The delicate umami flavor of kelp- and bonito-infused dashi elevates the shrimp and cabbage while letting their natural flavors still come through. Most Asian groceries should have a powdered variety, which will do very well here in a pinch.

What else can I say? Move over buttermilk, you've got competition.