Japanese Cabbage Pancake // The Muffin Myth

Can we talk about time? Specifically, where it goes?

I thought once school was done for the year that I’d have scads of free time. Oodles. But, as is evidenced by my far from regular posting here, that isn’t the case. Adjusting to new routines is hard. I’m sure I’ll hit my stride with some time (hopefully before my thesis project starts in September), but for now I’m kind of struggling. How do you adjust to new routines? Any tips for getting it all done?

Throughout this madness, I’ve relied on the smattering of recipes I documented during less busy times, and have watched the pile dwindle down to just one left. This one. I did spend some blog-dedicated time in the kitchen over the weekend (yay!) and realized there hasn’t been an entry in my recipe journal since March. March!

Japanese Cabbage Pancake // The Muffin Myth

This is something I whip together fairly frequently. It relies on mostly staple ingredients, comes together quickly, and makes for a super healthy meal. It’s good hot, cold, or at room temperature, and at any time of the day. Okonomiyaki are Japanese cabbage pancakes, and they’re all kinds of delicious. If you do a google search you’ll come up with thousands of variations. They’re more veggies and eggs than they are flour, and end up being filling yet still very light.

I like to add in some onion and grated carrot, and I’m sure whatever other kinds of grate-able or slice-able veggies you’ve got lying around would work just fine. I prefer to cook my Okonomiyaki as one giant pancake, carefully sliding the entire thing out of the pan and onto a plate to flip it over, then slicing into wedges to serve. If you prefer to make smaller, individual pancakes, by all means go for it. Traditionally they’re served with Japanese mayonnaise, but I like to drizzle mine with a bit of plain yoghurt and a few dashes of hot sauce.

Let me know if you find time to make these, and how you jazz them up!

Japanese Cabbage Pancake // The Muffin Myth

One year ago: Goat Cheese, Honey, and Arugula Baguette 
Two years ago: Vij’s Spicy Cauliflower Steak

Okonomiyaki Recipe:

I can think of a million ways you can jazz up this recipe. Leeks? Kale? Spicy peppers? What’s ripe in your garden right now? Regarding the flour, I’ve made this with all purpose, whole wheat, and buckwheat flours. The buckwheat isn’t my favourite, but is a good option if you’re gluten free.

Serves 2-4


4 large eggs
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 cup flour (see headnotes)
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, grated
oil for frying


In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, soy, and sesame oil. Whisk the flour in to make a smooth batter. Add cabbage, onion, and carrot, and give a good stir to make sure everything is blended evenly.

Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add a Tbsp or so of vegetable oil. When the pan is nice and hot pour the batter in all at once, and use a spatula to smooth out the top. Wait about 5 minutes, then carefully lift one side with a spatula to check the bottom. If it’s golden brown, carefully slide the pancake onto a large plate. Invert the skillet over the plate and turn everything back over to flip the pancake. Cook for about 5 min more on the second side.

Slide the cooked pancake onto a cutting board and let rest for about 1 minute before slicing into wedges. Serve with a drizzle of plain yoghurt and a bit of hot sauce, or with the traditional mayo if you prefer.


Cabbage is chock full of anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and cancer fighting glucosinolates. It is an excellent source of vitamins C, K, A, manganese, folate, and dietary fiber. Additionally, cabbage has cholesterol lowering benefits. When you eat cabbage, fiber-related nutrients bind together with some of the bile acids in your intestine, which causes them to remain in the intestine and then pass through you (you know what I mean) rather than being absorbed. Your liver then needs to replace these bile acids and does this by using up some of your existing supply of cholesterol, which then causes your cholesterol level to go down. Cabbage for the win!

All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2013



  1. Leanne says

    Ugh, time. As soon as I think I’ve got a good routine down, something goes and changes. (I owe you such an email, and it’s ages overdue! What a terrible friend I am!). I guess that’s the nature of it. THIS, however, sounds and looks delicious … I just got a bunch of cabbage from our CSA and was trying to figure out what on earth I was going to do with it all. We’ll definitely be trying this, this week! It also seems like a great way to get a toddler to eat new and exciting veggies … : )

    • themuffinmyth says

      I hope you like it! You’ve reminded me that I have a whack of cabbage in my frige right now (left over from 4th of July coleslaw) and these could make mighty fine lunches this week!

  2. Oh My Veggies (@ohmyveggies) says

    I’m doing the whole adjusting-to-new-routines thing myself right now (and not doing too well with it either, I might add!), so I’m afraid I have no advice, but I hope you get into the swing of things soon! When we went to Japan, we saw these pancakes everywhere and always lamented the fact that they weren’t vegetarian. So thank you for remedying that!

    • themuffinmyth says

      New routines are hard! I think I’m starting to get things figured out (she says on day two of trying a new strategy) and I hope I can get into the swing of things soon, and definitely hope I have a productive new routine figured out before my thesis project starts in September! I’m just a wee bit nervous about that!

  3. Tessa says

    This looks different, easy and fun. There are many nights when food is an afterthought.
    It’s easy to get more done. Just add hours, energy and a heaping ‘extra’ of goal directed activity to your day. Done! When you are retired you will simply move things to the next column of your day book. Even better.

  4. kellie@foodtoglow says

    Oh, I have made a version of this a looong time ago and even thought I would revisit and blog it! I guess I will wait while 😀 Yours looks superb and obviously quick for your on-the-go lifestyle. I add grated and squeezed courgettes or beetroot to mine as well as finely shopped spring onion, and slather on an unseemly amount of ‘special’ sauce (mayo on steroids really!). Nicely photographed as always. PS still loving my swedish socks – so soft, like bamboo fibre x

    • themuffinmyth says

      Do it, Kellie! I photographed this way back in March and kept trying to find time to post (and failing) and then Deb from Smitten Kitchen posted Japanese cabbage pancakes. The nerve! In the past I’ve held back posts because other people got to them first, but I’m done with that noise. Great minds think alike, right?! Glad you like the socks, they’re my favourite!

  5. cooking with audrey says

    time isn’t real – it’s all simultaneously happening at once… just my two cents. and who cares anyway when there is food like this to eat!! nom nom nom… love your blog, love the pics, love the facts, love it all! keep up the great work!

  6. Christine says

    We had a Japanese student make these for us with seafood and bean sprouts- SO good! I wondered which variety of cabbage you chose.


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