What makes Japanese?

Are You a Okonomi-yaki person or a Monja-yaki person?/お好み焼き派?もんじゃ焼き派?

This article can be read in about 10 minutes.

Left: Okonomiyaki-yaki, Right: Monja-maki.

You may hear of Okonomi-yaki which is known as Japanese style of pancake, but it doesn’t taste sweet. 
Okonomi in Japanese means “whatever you like”, while yaki means “cook”.
That’s why whatever floats your boat  as the ingredients for Okonomi-yaki.
Typical ingredients are cabbage, chicken egg, meats, seafoods, noodles and so on. 

In addition, cooking styles are various depending on the area and household.
Osaka and Hiroshima are two big famous cities for Okonomi-yaki.
A big difference between them is cooking procedure. 
In Osaka style, mix the ingredients first in a bowl, then cook it on the iron plate. 
On the other hand, layer the ingredients on the iron plate and then cook it for Hiroshima style.

Furthermore, have you heard of Monja-yaki, a bit liquid counterpart of Okonomi-yaki?
Tsukishima inn Tokyo is famous because it has a Monja street.
There are around 100 restaurants of Monja-yaki along the street.

Let’s see how to cook Okonomi-yaki at home.

The ingredients of batter for two people

  • 1 chicken egg
  • 1 cup soft wheat flour (100-120 g)
  • half cup water (100 ml)

The standard ingredients 

  • sliced cabbage

Suggested toppings

  • Sliced pork
  • Shrimp
  • Squid
  • Yakisoba noodle


  • Worcestershire sauce (Otafuku sauce is superb if available)
  • Mayonnaise
  • Bonito flakes (opitional)
  • Aonori or dried green seaweed (opitional)

We’ll share the Osaka cooking style of Okonomi-yaki because it’s easier to follow. 

  1.  Pour a little oil over the iron plate, then spread with spatula.
  2.  Cook Yakisoba noodle on the iron plate until it becomes crunchy.
    This crispy yakisoba okonomi-yaki really hits the spot for me(it’s called “modern-yaki”).
    If you prefer soft noodle, you could cook it together with other ingredients.
    Of course, you can skip adding noodle.
  3.  Mix the ingredients with a spoon.
  4.  Put the mixture on the plate, then spread it with the thickness of two centimeters.
  5.  Wait for roughly 8 minutes so that it will be cooked.
  6.  Flip over the one with crispy yakisoba-noodle(optional), then wait for another 7 minutes.
  7.  Flip it over again.
  8.  Put sauce on it.
  9.  Sprinkle Aonori or dried green seaweed on it.
  10.  Sprinkle Bonito flakes on it.
  11.  Cut it into smaller pieces.

Let’s dig in!

Next, let’s see how to cook Monja-yaki at home.

The ingredients of batter for two people

  • half cup soft wheat flour (50-60 g)
  • one tablespoon soy sauce
  • three tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • two and a half cup water (500 ml)

The standard ingredients 

  • sliced cabbage

Suggested toppings

  • Spicy cod roe
  • Sticky rice cakes
  • Seafood
  • Shredded cheese

Monja-yaki  (spicy cod roe, cubed sticky rice cakes and cheese)

  1.  Pour a little oil over the iron plate, then spread with spatula.
  2.  Put aside spicy cod roe and cubed sticky rice cakes.
  3.  Scoop the cabbage from the bowl and put them on the plate, then heat them.
  4.  Make a circle with the cabbage.
  5.  Pour batter in the circle, then heat it.
  6.  Mix other ingredients together with the batter.
  7.  Heat it completely while mixing them.
  8.  Put cheese on it.

Enjoy it! 
Let’s eat it with a smaller spatula!
If you prefer crunchy type of Monja-yaki, let the liquid part dry and eat it.

Which do you prefer, Okonomi-yaki or Monja-yaki?
Given a chance, how about cooking both at home with your favorite ingredients?
If you did, would you leave your experiences in the comments section below?
If you found any great toppings, why don’t you share them to us?
We’d love to hear it.

【Translation for language learners of either English or Japanese】/英語・日本語学習者向け翻訳 えいご ・  にほんごがくしゅうしゃむ  ほんやく






  • 鶏卵1個
  • 薄力粉1カップ(100-120 g)
  • 水0.5 カップ (100 ml)


  • 細切りキャベツ


  • 薄切り豚肉
  • 海老
  • 烏賊
  • 焼きそば


  • ウスターソース(もしあれば、おたふくソースが最高です)
  • マヨネーズ
  • 鰹節(任意)
  • 青海苔(任意)


  1.  鉄板に油を敷いて、ヘラ/コテで伸ばします。
  2.  焼きそばを鉄板の上で、カリカリになるまで焼きます。
  3.  材料をスプーンで混ぜます。
  4.  混ぜたものを鉄板にのせ、2センチの厚さになる様に広げます。
  5.  火が通るまで、約8分待ちます。
  6.  焼きそばをのせたお好み焼きをひっくり返し、更に7分焼ます。
  7.  またひっくり返します。
  8.  ソースを塗ります。
  9.  青のりをふります。
  10.  鰹節をふります。
  11.  小さくカットします。




  • 薄力粉0.5カップ (50-60 g)
  • 醤油 小さじ1
  • ウスターソース 大さじ1
  • 水 500cc


  • 細切りキャベツ


  • 明太子
  • 海産物
  • チーズ


  1.  鉄板に油を敷いて、ヘラ/コテで伸ばします。
  2.  明太子と餅は、鉄板の端に置いておきます。
  3.  器からキャベツを掬って鉄板に載せ、加熱します。
  4.  キャベツで円を作ります。
  5.  生地を円の中に流し込んで加熱します。
  6.  生地と避けておいた他の材料を混ぜます。
  7.  混ぜながら材料に完全に火を通します。
  8.  チーズをのせます。





Good day, I am the founder of Aurora Trip Nippon. Also, I am a Certified National Guide, Certified Tour Conductor, Certified General Travel Service Supervisor, as well as a Kimono Consultant.
I love Japan. So, you could ask us anything about Japan.

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  1. AvatarTeacherStella says:

    We can find okonomiyaki in some Japanese stores but not monjayaki. We also have the Dohtonbori Restaurant where we had our first okonomiyaki, but no restaurant that serves monjayaki as far as I know…

    • MikiMiki says:

      Thank you for sharing your situation, Teacher Stella san (*^^*)
      I’m happy for you that you could enjoy eating Okonomiyaki.
      Do you like it?
      Here in Japan, Monjayaki is not available everywhere.
      I hope you may enjoy it someday near future!