Sweet Potato Okonomiyaki

October 26, 2018
featured in
FEAST Magazine

Every year, I like to bring one dish to Thanksgiving dinner that breaks a little with tradition and uses a conventional ingredient in a new way. This holiday season, I’m experimenting with okonomiyakiokonomi means “how you like” or “what you like” in Japanese, while yaki translates to “grill” – a savory Japanese pancake that can be made with a variety of flavor combinations. I love sweet potatoes, so I’ve used them here as my base, and then added hints of ginger and furikake, a Japanese seasoning. The dish is finished with a drizzle of Kewpie mayo – a creamier mayonnaise made with rice vinegar rather than distilled vinegar – Sriracha and bonito flakes. If you’ve never had bonito flakes, okonomiyaki is an ideal way to play with them at home: The dried, smoked, fermented and thinly shaved tuna flakes add intense umami flavor.


Serves 6 to 8
  • 1 large sweet potato, julienned (about 5 cups)
  • 2 Tbsp pickled ginger, slivered
  • 1 Tbsp furikake
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¹⁄₃ cup vegetable oil, divided
  • Sriracha (to serve)
  • Kewpie mayonnaise (to serve)
  • bonito flakes (to serve)
  • scallions, thinly sliced (to serve)
  • microgreens (to serve)

You can find furikake, pickled ginger, Kewpie mayonnaise and bonito flakes at most international markets and Asian grocery stores.


In a large mixing bowl, combine sweet potato, pickled ginger, furikake, scallions and eggs; stir to combine and season with salt and pepper. Add flour and toss to combine.

In a large nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Add ¼ sweet potato mixture to pan and press into a thin layer using the back of a spatula. Cook until set and golden brown, about 2 minutes; flip pancake over and continue to cook until set, approximately 2 minutes. Repeat with remaining sweet potato mixture to make 6 to 8 pancakes total. Divide pancakes between 6 to 8 serving plates, drizzle each with Kewpie mayonnaise and Sriracha and top with bonito flakes, scallions and microgreens to taste; serve.


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