Japanese Rice Pancake with Sauerkraut (Okonomiyaki)

This savoury Japanese pancake is a delicious example why ethnic flavours and fermented foods are trending in Canada. This effortless meal can be easily customized with your favourite ingredients. This one features rice, sauerkraut and shrimp. Swap the sauerkraut for kimchi for more punch.

Japanese Rice Pancake with Sauerkraut (Okonomiyaki)

Makes 4-6 servings.


  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 3 tbsp + 1 tsp (50 mL) oil, divided
  • 1½ cups (375 mL) drained sauerkraut
  • 2 cups (500 mL) bean sprouts
  • 3 tbsp rice wine
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 lb (454 g) 21-25 black tiger shrimp, shelled
  • 2 cups (500 mL) cooked U.S. sushi rice
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup (78 mL) sliced green onion

Okonomi style sauce:

  • ¼ cup (60 mL) ketchup
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) maple syrup
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) grated ginger


  1. In a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, sauté onion with 1 tsp oil for 1 minute; add sauerkraut, bean sprouts, rice wine and cook 2 minutes. Remove to a large bowl and let cool slightly; whisk in eggs.
  2. In same skillet, sauté shrimp with 1 tbsp oil over medium-high heat; remove to a plate. Add 1 tbsp oil and 1 cup rice, spreading rice evenly over skillet; spoon ½ of egg mixture evenly over rice. Reduce heat to medium low, arrange ½ the shrimp on top and cover to let steam for about 4 minutes or until egg has cooked through and rice is golden crisp on the bottom. Repeat steps to make one more pancake.
  3. While the pancake is cooking, make the garlic chips. Heat a small non-stick skillet on medium low; add 1 tbsp oil and garlic slices. Fry until golden brown and crisp. Drain on paper towel.
  4. For the sauce, whisk together ketchup, Worcestershire, oyster sauce, maple syrup and ginger.
  5. To serve, slide pancake onto plate, drizzle with sauce and top with divided garlic chips and green onion.