What Is Okonomiyaki?
Okonomiyaki is a Japanese-style pancake made from shredded cabbage, egg, flour, water and various type of toppings (meat, seafoods, cod roe, cheese, rice cake, etc). You can make your own okonomiyaki with your favorite foods.
The sauce fo okonomiyaki is very unique, brown savory sauce. It matches so well with the pancake!
What Is Okonomiyaki Flour Made Out of?
You might be able to find some flour exclusively for okonomiyaki at Japanese grocery stores.
It’s obvious that you can make delicious okonomiyaki so easy at home by using this flour.
But, what if you can’t find any of it?
You don’t have to give up making okonomiyaki at that time!
There are various ways to make it with the great substitutes.
Before going through the substitutes, let’s check the raw materials of okonomiyaki flour with me.
The ingredients in okonomiyaki flour could differ depending on the manufacturers. But, usually it contains
・Dashi stock (taste)
How to Make Okonomiyaki Flour at Home
So, can we make up the okonomiyaki flour at home?
Yes, you can do that by mixing your flour at home, some dashi granules, and baking powder.
You can use mentsuyu or dried bonito shavings in place of dashi granules. If you can’t get any dashi or you don’t like the taste, you can skip it.
Also, there is no need for okonomiyaki to inflate like pancakes, baking powder is not so important neither.
8 Best Okonomiyaki Flour Substitutes
You can make okonomiyaki flour by mixing the 3 ingredients like I mentioned earlier.
But, there are other substitutes that you can easily make okonomiyaki at home!
As already mentioned, the main ingredient of okonomiyaki flour is all purpose flour. Even if you have no dashi and baking powder, you can make delicious okonomiyaki with only flour.
My favorite way is using more egg than the recipe so that the pancake will be fluffy and tasty.
Also, if you don’t add dashi, I recommend to put a little soy sauce, sugar, salt, and pepper to your liking before baking the dough.
2. Rice Flour
You can make gluten-free okonomiyaki with this.
Most of Japanese okonomiyaki restaurants generally use wheat flour for the dough. So, people with wheat allergies who have never had the opportunity to eat okonomiyaki might be able to eat it at home by using rice flour.
Just like the all purpose flour, you can use rice flour in the same way. I mean please add some seasonings to your liking.
3. Japanese Yam/Chinese Yam
Adding grated yam into the okonomiyaki dough is very popular in Japan. It makes the dough really fluffy and nutrient rich.
Usually people add both flour and grated yam, but you can also make okonomiyaki only with the yam (please add shredded cabbage, egg, and toppings as usual). Grated yam is pretty sticky before baking, so it can make the dough hold together.
Japanese yam is much more sticky than the Chinese one, so I recommend to buy the Japanese one (called yamaimo) if you have a chance.
4. Panko (Bread Crumbs)
Panko is originally bread, so it can be used as two substitutes for flour and baking powder.
You can make okonomiyaki fluffy by using panko. But you need to follow some tips here.
・Please soak panko in water or milk before mixing it with cabbage
・Both (water or milk) are recommended to be around body temperature
・If you wait for about 10 minutes, the dough will rise easily with the effect of yeast
5. Takoyaki Flour
As you can expect, takoyaki flour is the best substitute.
The reason is very simple, the ingredients in takoyaki flour are almost the same as okonomiyaki flour. (Please note that the composition can be slightly different.)
The great thing is that you don’t have to add any dashi or seasonings in it when making okonomiyaki.
I think it’s hard to get it at stores, but please try to find one if you have a chance.
6. Tempura Flour
Tempura flour helps you to make crispy texture of the food. It usually contains
Unlike the okonomiyaki flour and takoyaki flour, it doesn’t contain dashi stock. So, it would be great if you can add some dashi granules or other dashi substitutes.
7. Potato Starch
Potato starch can make the dish chewy, so it is recommended to use a small amount. Then, you should bake the thinner pancake for this time.
If you do not make a mistake in the amount, the thin pancake will be crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside just like chijimi (Korean pancake).
Sometimes corn starch has been known as a substitute for potato starch, but it’s not suitable for this time. That’s because it thickens at a lower temperature than potato starch and is difficult to mix with the dough.
▲Chijimi (Korean Pancake)
8. Okara Powder
Okara is the residue that remains when squeezing soy milk in the process of producing tofu from soybeans.
It has been popular as gluten-free material and healthy food. Recently, it has become popular as a substitute for wheat flour.
You can use it just like the all purpose flour without any special tip.
The taste of okara will not ruin the taste of okonomiyaki, and it becomes fluffy and delicious!