Okonomiyaki Style Cabbage

Okonomiyaki Style Cabbage

A while back I posted my take on Okonomiyaki, Japan’s famous savory cabbage pancake. It’s filled to the brim with yummy delights like shrimp and bacon, and remains a family fave. But sometimes I’m craving this deconstructed version, where I cook just the cabbage, drizzled with sauce and served with an array of the traditional toppings. Think of this Okonomiyaki Style Cabbage as all the best parts of Okonomiyaki, without the more labor intensive process of making pancakes. This works as a perfect side to so many dishes, and if you’re doing Veganuary it’s easily veganized. If you are used to having cabbage mainly in raw applications like coleslaw or kimchi, cooking it until it’s a bit charred in places will be a revelation. Like I always say, if you want to include more veggies in your meals make them interesting and exciting, and this one really delivers! My Okonomiyaki Style Cabbage is full of pleasing textures and smoky, umami laden flavors, so let’s get into it.


This is a really straightforward recipe. The cabbage gets cut and roasted, and while it’s roasting I whisk up the sauce.  I like to use Taiwanese cabbage for this, as its leaves are a bit sweeter and more tender, but a regular green cabbage will work as well. You might need to roast it longer until it really cooks down.

salt style cabbage

The cabbage goes into the oven at 450 degrees. You really want that high heat to wilt the cabbage and char the edges. Trust me, the charred and browned bits are the best part. That’s what gives Okonomiyaki Style Cabbage the smoky flavor that makes it so irresistible. It can take up to a half hour to get roast it to perfection. So while the cabbage is roasting in the oven, I make the sauce. Multi-tasking for the win! This sauce is made with ordinary pantry ingredients, but it is far from ordinary! Hoisin works its salty and sweet magic,  and then worcestershire (no I can’t pronounce it either), red wine vinegar and a handful of other ingredients really make it shine.

sauce okonomiyaki style cabbage

spices cabbage style

Once the cabbage is done roasting, I take it out of the over and add the sauce. And then the real fun begins-the toppings!

Okonomiyaki Style Cabbage Toppings

The toppings really elevate this dish from a humble cabbage side to a superstar! I use the toppings that I would usually put on top of my Okonomiyaki pancakes. Kewpie Mayo, katsuobushi flakes, beni shoga (pickled red ginger), chopped green onions, powdered nori…the works! Okonomi means as you like it, so you can certainly add or omit to your heart’s desire. If you want to veganize this, use a vegan mayo and omit the katsuobushi. The katsuobushi adds an intriguing smoky element, but it will be delicious without it too.

ginger cabbage

Then I drizzle the cabbage with the Kewpie Mayo and top with the katsuobushi flakes.

I hope you enjoy this fresh new spin on cabbage as much as I do. Let me know what you think; you can leave a comment or tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!

Did the Okonomiyaki Style Cabbage inspire you to look at cabbage in a new light?  Check out my Stuffed Cabbage, Braised Cabbage with Seafood, and of course our super popular Real Deal Kimchi!


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recipe card cabbage

Okinomiyaki Style Cabbage

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4-6 1x
  • Category: sides
  • Cuisine: japanese


  • 1 ½ Pounds Cabbage (Taiwanese Style preferred, about ½ large head)
  • 3 Tablespoons neutral oil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • 4 Tablespoons red wine vinegar (white wine vinegar is fine too)
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon granulated onion
  • A couple dashes cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 Tablespoons hoisin sauce


  • 2 tablespoons shredded pickled red ginger
  • 1 scallion trimmed and sliced 
  • 1 package katsuo bushi (about 5 grams, optional)
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (kewpie brand preferred)
  • 1 teaspoon aonori (powdered green nori)


  1. Heat oven to 450°F. Cut cabbage into 1/2-inch slices, then cut across the slices so you have a pile of 1- to 2-inch pieces. 
  2. On a large baking sheet, toss with neutral oil, salt, and pepper so the cabbage is evenly coated.
  3. Roast for 15 minutes, then remove the pan from the oven and flip the cabbage so you can cook it evenly. Return the pan to the oven for 5-10 minutes, until the cabbage is wilted and a little charred. The almost burnt brown edges give it the smoky flavor and crisp texture that makes the dish great.
  4. While the cabbage is roasting, make the sauce. Combine the red wine vinegar, sugar, granulated garlic, granulated onion, cayenne pepper, worcestershire sauce, ketchup, oyster sauce, and hoisin sauce. Stir until the sugar is fully dissolved. 
  5. When the cabbage is done roasting, pull the pan out of the oven and pour the sauce over the cabbage and stir/toss to combine. 
  6. Pile the cabbage high on a platter and garnish with the scallions, aonori, bonito flakes, and pickled ginger. You can serve the mayo on the side for dipping or just drizzle it on top of the cabbage.

Keywords: cabbage, veggie sides, okinomiyaki

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