Okonomiyaki with Homemade Tonkatsu & Spicy Vegan Mayo

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I don’t know why I’ve lived so long without okonomiyaki.  These savoury Japanese pancakes-cum-omelettes literally translate to ‘grilled’ (yaki) ‘as you like it’ (okonomi), and you can fill them with just about anything you like!  What makes them even more amazing is topping them with tonkatsu sauce and mayo (spicy mayo in my case).

Unfortunately I didn’t have any okonomiyaki when I was in Japan, but after returning to London, I did try and make them — and failed at my first attempt.  I read several recipes that used seaweed to give them a fishy flavour, so I added seaweed, forgetting that I hate fishy tastes and smells.  Sadly, most of that pancake went in the bin.
I wasn’t brave enough to try my hand at okonomiyaki again until last night.  This time I left out the fishy seaweed, and made my own tonkatsu sauce, more or less based on a Serious Eats recipe I found.  I figured the Vegg would make a good egg substitute, so I planned to look online to see if I could find a recipe.  But then my Vegg cookbook came in the post and I discovered that there was a recipe in there for Vegg okonomiyaki!  Oh yeah, and did I mention…I’VE GOT A RECIPE IN THE VEGG COOKBOOK!  Page 40, check it out. :)
I of course got my official Taste Tester/non vegan boyfriend to try it, and he approved.  Of course, it helps that he absolutely loves vegan mayo (I use Plamil brand), and in fact prefers it to regular mayo now.  I highly recommend you slather on the mayo on your okonomiyaki, and don’t forget to use plenty of tonkatsu and a sprinkling of togarashi seasoning (a Japanese spice blend) if you like it.  I also like to add a teaspoon of togarashi to my batter as a little bonus boost of flavour to the pancake itself!
As for the vegetables in your pancake, well, it’s okonomi/up to you!  I added grated carrots, chopped courgette/zucchini, green onions, and bok choy to mine!  But you can add whatever vegetables or mock meats you like — broccoli, onion, squash, vegan bacon, vegan prawn, anything else you fancy!  However I recommend limiting your additions to around 1 cup of chopped ingredients.


Makes 2 servings


  • 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp corn flour/cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp Vegg + 1/4 cup water, blended
  • 1/4 cup grated carrot
  • 1/4 cup chopped courgette/zucchini
  • 1/4 cup chopped bok choy
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 1 tsp togarashi seasoning
  • 1 recipe tonkatsu sauce, recipe follows
  • 1 recipe spicy vegan mayonnaise


  1. Mix the flour, corn flour/cornstarch, and baking powder together.
  2. In a blender, blend 1 tsp of Vegg and 1/4 cup of water together.
  3. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in 3/4 cup water and the Vegg mixture you just blended together.  Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients.
  4. Add the green onions, courgette, carrot, and bok choy, and togarashi seasoning if using, and stir to combine.
  5. Heat a non-stick skillet on medium heat (if you don’t have non-stick, add a small coating of oil to the skillet) very hot.  You can test by dropping a small amount of batter into the skillet; if it sizzles, its hot enough.
  6. Once the skillet is hot, pour half the batter in and spread out to form a large pancake.  Cover with a lid and cook 3 minutes, then flip over and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Remove the pancake and put it on a plate.  Keep warm in an oven on very low heat if you need to warm it while you make the second one.  If you’re not sure of your flipping technique, there are some good videos on Youtube.
  7. Repeat step 6 with the second half of the batter.
  8. Top the pancake with tonkatsu sauce, spicy vegan mayo, and togarashi seasoning if desired

Tonkatsu Sauce

  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 2 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder


  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl until everything is incorporated together.

Spicy Vegan Mayonnaise

  • 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp hot sauce


  1. Mix mayonnaise and hot sauce together in a small bowl.

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6 thoughts on “Okonomiyaki with Homemade Tonkatsu & Spicy Vegan Mayo”

  1. I LOVE okonomiyaki – I wish there was somewhere in London where you could get takeaway ones. I’d live on those! I’ve only made them with yam potato as the egg replacer, but they were fab. I so need to get my okonmiyaki on again!

    • I wish there were too, that would be ace. Ooh I didn’t know you could use yam as an egg replacer! How did you do that? Did you have to grate it in there or something?

  2. I know this recipe is three years old now, but I just wanted to say that the tonkatsu sauce recipe given here isn’t actually vegan – Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies! I’ve always made a pretty passable vegan okonomiyaki sauce from mixing soy sauce and ketchup, so you might just want to leave the Worcestershire sauce out.

    • Hi Heather! You can get vegan Worcestershire sauce, in the UK they sell it in many supermarkets in the free-from section (or Biona do one available in many health food shops), or in the US Annie’s make one. Thanks for your comment, I am going to update the recipe because I thought it was obvious but I should really explicitly state to find a vegan Worcestershire sauce! :)


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Caitlin Galer-Unti

Hi, I’m Caitlin and I’ve been vegan since 2008 and vegetarian my whole life. Since going vegan, I’ve lived in 4 countries and travelled to over 30! I’ve also published two bestselling vegan books (The Essential Vegan Travel Guide and The Barcelona Vegan Guide) and had my work featured in The New York Times, Vegetarian Food & Living and Vegan Life magazine. I’ve veganised my life and I’m here to help you design your life around your vegan values. 


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