Sweet Potato Okinomiyaki

Try this fun fall take on the Japanese pancake.

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.

Sweet Potato Okonomiyaki

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

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)

| Preparation | 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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Amanda Elliott is the chef at Peachtree Catering in Columbia, Missouri, and authors the website rusticsupper.com, where she shares recipes centered on the idea of the communal table and embracing the heritage of food through travel.

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