Kimchi Okonomiyaki

Since I have a large half-used bag of 부침 buchim pancake mix begging to be brought onto the front lines of my kitchen, I decided to make kimchi okonomiyaki. I’m always in such a hurry — 빨리 빨리 bbali, bbali! So what could be better than adding kimchi to the popular add-whatever-you-like Japanese pancake?

Looks like the plate is spinning, doesn’t it? (Tammy Quackenbush photo)

Okonomiyaki makes a wonderful canvas for nearly any kind of topping you want, even pizza type toppings could work. After all, the Japanese name (お好み焼き) literally means, “Cook what you like, the way you like it.”

With that commission, I threw almost everything everything in my kitchen on top of mine:  Worcestershire sauce, mayonnaise, bonito flakes and seaweed mixed with dried anchovy. Hubby’s was a little more spartan, with just dabs of spicy mayonnaise but without the ocean products.

OK, I got a little too happy with the bonito flakes. Some may deride them and seaweed as “fish bait,” but the bounty of bonito was more like cat bait. Both my kitties tried various ploys to get at the plate.

Kimchi Okonomiyaki

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4


  • 1 cup [amazon_link id="B0000DC4P4" target="_blank" ]buchim mix[/amazon_link]
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 eggs, scrambled
  • 4 cups finely chopped 배추김치 [amazon_link id="B0035GXXDM" target="_blank" ]baechu kimchi[/amazon_link] (common red-pepper cabbage kimchi)
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • [amazon_link id="B000UWE0AO" target="_blank" ]Bonito flakes[/amazon_link] (optional)
  • [amazon_link id="B001E5DRP0" target="_blank" ]Seaweed flakes[/amazon_link] (optional)
  • Mayonnaise (optional)
  • [amazon_link id="B000FKHVW0" target="_blank" ]Okonomiyaki sauce[/amazon_link] or Worcestershire sauce (optional)


  1. Mix the buchim powder, water and egg together. Mix until there are no clumps.
  2. Put the chopped kimchi and green onion in the batter, and mix well.
  3. Heat up a frying pan, and add high-temperature-rated oil.
  4. Pour the batter into the frying pan, smoothing it into a circle.
  5. Turn the heat to medium.
  6. When the bottom of the okonomiyaki is almost brown, flip it over carefully to avoid breakage.
  7. Use a chopstick or a wooden skewer to poke the center of the okonomiyaki to check if the middle is cooked. If the skewer comes out dry, it's cooked.
  8. Plate the okonomiyaki, adding as many of the optional condiments as you like. Serve with 반찬 banchan, of course.


Author: Tammy

I'm a writer/blogger for Koreafornian Cooking (USA), the San Francisco Bay Area Editor for ZenKimchi Food Journal (South Korea) and occasionally for WineKorea.asia developing Korean and Korean fusion recipes, and writing articles on the Korean food scene in the San Francisco Bay Area and commentary on Korean food culture. I've written articles for Yonhap News Agency based in South Korea and Plate Magazine, a culinary magazine. My recipes have been featured on Serious Eats/Slice, Foodbuzz.com, New Asian Cuisine, Marxfoods.com and Korea.net.

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  • Spam Dude

    why does it have to be named a  “japanese” dish on a korean food blog?  Why can’t it be kimchee pajun with worcestershire sauce.  Are you promoting Korean food or Japanese food?

    • Koreafornian

      On the face of it, your comment appears to be very anti-Japanese but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that you’re not an anti-Japanese troll and address your concern directly.
      If the Worcestershire sauce was the only topping or accompaniment to the pancake, than I could understand calling it “kimchi pajun with worchestershire sauce” but the worchestershire sauce is not the only topping. It also includes mayo and bonito flakes, the combo of which carry the dish in a non-pajun direction. To call this particular dish “kimchi pajun” would be false advertising because all the toppings on it are clearly in the okonomyaki meme, not in a pajun or buchim meme.
      The point of the recipe is to show that fusion is not limited to Korean/western combos but many Korean ingredients can be combined with Japanese dishes and taken in new directions.

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