Lap Cheong Okonomiyaki

Cabbage pancake might not sound that appetizing, but this custardy, super flavorful lap cheong okonomiyaki is more than its description! #lapcheong #okonomiyaki #japanesefood #weeknightdinner

janky can be used to describe something of bad quality. ie, the state of my rented house. after living in the dorms for 1 year, then an apartment for 2 years, i moved into a house a few weeks ago. it was cheap! but then i accidentally knocked a canopy into a photo eye (the sensor that controls whether or not the garage door goes down), and it caused the garage door to not work. the garage technician that i eventually ended up calling blamed it on a bad spring, and recommended that we get a new one. i’m scared to use the toilet, because instead of a visible suction, the water goes around and around a few times before finally trickling into the pipes. there was a time i drove 10 minutes to a late night ralph’s because i was that wary of using my toilet. and did i mention that the washing machine has a strategic plastic container placed under it because it drips? there’s a reason the rent is so cheap.

(and maybe it’s a sign, maybe it isn’t, but the house was just outside the mandatory evacuation zone for a quick-spreading fire last week. not the house’s fault, but still).

luckily, this lap cheong okonomiyaki (japanese cabbage pancake with chinese sausage) is anything but janky. it’s custardy, which sounds weird, especially because normal pancakes + custardy = gummy. ick. but i promise that this is custardy in a non-gross/non-underdone/non-runny way. the cabbage is tender with some bite, and the lap cheong is great (of course!).

topping wise, you could take this a few ways. adding mayo sounds weird, but it adds a bit of a creamy element that works really well. i like the slightly salty, briny element that bonito furikake (seaweed topping usually used as a rice seasoning) adds, though katsuobushi (dried fish flakes) and/or furikake both work well too. i’m not a huge fan of okonomiyaki sauce, which is thick and gloppy and too sweet in my mind, but go for it if you want to! i highly recommend the pickled ginger. (i’m a pickled ginger fiend though so if you’re not, then maybe it’s not the best option for you).

and in a reoccurring theme where things don’t look like what they really are (ie see these jasmine cream puffs that look like takoyaki, the japanese octopus pancake balls), doesn’t the lap cheong look like something else? i see dried cranberries (highlight that space to the left of this, i don’t want to give you any ideas).

1 year ago: Trek to Tartine Manufactory, Plum and Green Bean Salad with Miso Dressing
2 years ago: Yee Family Fresh Apple Cake, Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes
3 years ago: Bon Appetit‘s Best Banana Bread, Raspberry Custard Cups
4 years ago: Bon Appetit‘s Cocoa Brownies, Samoa Bars

This lap cheong okonomiyaki is a one pan meal with minimal prep time! #lapcheong #okonomiyaki #japanesefood #weeknightdinner

Lap Cheong Okonomiyaki
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins
This version of the Japanese cabbage pancake okonomiyaki becomes more of an Asian fusion with the use of lap cheong, a Chinese sausage.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese, Japanese
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 683 kcal
  • 1/2 small head cabbage, finely shredded about 14 oz
  • 3 scallions thinly sliced, dark green parts reserved separately
  • 1/2 " nub fresh ginger minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 links lap cheong sliced into coins (optional)*
  • Okonomiyaki sauce, Kewpie/normal mayo, ao-nori or furikake or seaweed, pickled ginger, katsuobushi for serving
  1. Combine the cabbage, scallion whites and half of greens, the fresh ginger, eggs, and water in a large bowl. Sprinkle with flour. Stir with a fork and beat heavily until a thick batter with plenty of bubbles forms. It might seem like too much cabbage, but don't worry!
  2. If using lap cheong, scatter the lap cheong evenly in a 10" nonstick skillet and set over medium-low heat. Pan-fry on one side until crispy and dark golden. At this point, you can drain off some of the fat, but it's optional. Flip the lap cheong (no need to cook on this side before adding the okonomiyaki mixture).
  3. If not using lap cheong, heat some oil in the skillet instead, then proceed.
  4. Add the okonomiyaki mixture and spread into an even layer.
  5. Cover and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until bottom layer is crisp and well browned, about 10 minutes, lowering heat as necessary if cabbage threatens to burn.
  6. To flip: working over a sink and holding the lid tightly against pan with a pot holder, flip the entire pan and lid over so that the okonomiyaki transfers to pan lid. Remove pan, then slide okonomiyaki off the lid and back into the pan, browned side up. I find that using a big plate is easier to do this with than a lid if the inside of your lid has ridges. Also: this might be scary, but don’t panic!! If it falls apart, smush it back together once it’s back in the pan and you’re all good.
  7. Return to heat, cover, and cook, shaking gently, until both sides are browned and okonomiyaki is not runny but still custardy and tender in the center, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, pork side up.
  8. Drizzle with okonomiyaki sauce and mayonnaise. Sprinkle with ao-nori, pickled ginger and remaining scallion greens; and serve immediately off of a communal plate.
Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted slightly from Kenji Lopez-Alt via Serious Eats. 

Feel free to sub in bacon or pork belly for the lap cheong. Or, you can leave it out altogether if you want to keep it vegetarian. You may notice you need to add additional salt/soy sauce/seasoning if you don't use the meat. 

Calorie information does not include toppings.

This lap cheong okonomiyaki is topped with mayo, green onions, pickled ginger and furikake for maximum deliciousness. #lapcheong #okonomiyaki #japanesefood #weeknightdinner

more japanese (ish) delicacies

This flaky Japanese pastry known as yaki manju can be filled with sweet red bean, lima bean, sweet potato, etc.

Yaki Manju

You may have queasy memories revolving the squishy meat product known as spam. But pan-fried, coated in teriyaki, and tucked into a rice and seaweed hug, it transforms into lunchtime hero spam musubi. #spammusubi #japanese #hawaiian #spam #rice #seaweed

Spam Musubi

58 Replies to “Lap Cheong Okonomiyaki”

  1. This is a great idea for using cabbage! I need to give this a try.

    1. it really is! especially because recently i’ve gotten stuck in the rut of sauteeing cabbage with only salt and it’s kind of boring.

  2. Oh no! Good thing you’re only renting. . .Loving this recipe, Heather! I’m curious what a custardy pancake is like 🙂

    1. it’s closer to a korean kimchi or seafood pancake in texture than a typical american pancake! which i think of as very fluffy and cake-ish. both are good, just very different lol.

  3. I have half of a cabbage in my fridge, and I never know what to do with it besides making boring old coleslaw. I love the things you cook! I always get some new ideas – this looks and sounds yummy!

    1. i usually just saute it! this okonomiyaki is for when i get bored of cooked cabbage with salt (;

  4. Looks so delicious Heather! I love cabbage inspired food plates!! YUM!

  5. This is a great recipe for using up that half of cabbage that always lives in the fridge!

    1. good thing cabbage lasts for a while so you can figure out what you want to do with it (:

  6. Cheap rent is great until you have to live in the place! I’ve rented places before where things would fall apart and I would tell myself “Well, this sucks, but at least I don’t have to live here for the rest of my life”. Hahahaha!
    Whenever I see okonomiyaki on the menu, I order it and I’ve always wanted to make it at home but never had a good recipe. Going to try your recipe this weekend 🙂

    1. yeah sigh. i’m in the process of trying to get out of it, so hopefully that goes through! and this recipe (tbh i trust anything from kenji lopez-alt) is such a winner.

  7. This looks so delicious Heather, such a lovely use of cabbage. I’d totally love to try this:)

  8. Looks delish! Love cabbage…though, I don’t think of using it as often as I should and every time I have it I wish had it more often! Funny thing! This looks like a yummy way to use it 🙂 Have a great week, Heather!

    1. i eat a ton of veggies (i need to counteract the decadent things i have when i go out somehow!), so cabbage makes its way into my meals a lot (:

  9. Interesting addition to the traditional okonomiyaki! And the pickled ginger as a topping idea is fantastic – will definitely have to try!
    And also, I totally agree with you on what the lap cheong looks like 😉

    1. i’d be inclined to say that pickled ginger makes everything taste better (; lol and i made some cream puffs earlier this year, and they definitely looked like takoyaki to me. whoooops.

  10. yummmmm okonominyaki is the bomb! Love how you have put the sausage with it! Your rented place is dredging up images of some of my “janky” (love that word) old places where you couldn’t step on certain floor boards because you’d fall through. Haha cheap rent is good rent though!

    1. i swear that lap cheong makes everything better (; OH MY. my place’s floors aren’t dangerous (thankfully), but there are definitely other parts that are… “special.”

  11. Note to self – try okonomiyaki! I never have. Sounds interesting. Your description of the house is bringing back memories of the place I was renting when I started my first job!! Lol… let me just say, this is temporary!

    1. it’s kind of unusual, but if you like cabbage, then i’m sure you’d like okonomiyaki (: and there’s other versions too with noodles and pork belly and there’s even some restaurants in northern california where you can make your own!

  12. This is a great way to use up cabbage and the flavors sounds wonderful! Good luck with the house Heather! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that nothing else goes wrong.

    1. well, the house hasn’t broken down more, but i think that’s more because i don’t spend much time there and when i am, i treat the house like a frail grandma (;

  13. I love lap cheong sausages they are so great! I’m also an okonomyaki enthusiast, so I bet it tastes pretty awesome 🙂

    1. ahh yes lap cheong is the best! give me a pot of rice and some lap cheong, and i’d be set (:

  14. Yum!! A savory pancake. I have never tried Lap Cheong, but have always wanted to. Glad you are okay with all those crazy fires over there!! Xoxo

    1. this fire definitely wasn’t as bad as the napa ones and they got it under control within a few days, so i was very lucky!

  15. Your rented house needs quiet a bit of repair :D. It’s difficult to find a good place to stay for decent rent….I hope you find a better home sooner! I am hearing about this cabbage pancake for the first looks yummy!

    1. thanks, deepika! sometimes cheap rent is too good to be true haha.

  16. Well that’s a shit storm of a rental! Love the pancake though! I’m a big cabbage fan

    1. LOL yes it is. but i’m going to focus on okonomiyaki and delicious things while i try to extract myself from this housing situation (hopefully in a month!).

  17. This dish cannot be tastier.I’ve prepared it and my family loves it. Keep sharing such unique and delightful recipes, Heather.

    1. thanks, agness! glad you like okonomiyaki (:

  18. DUDE! I always have leftover cabbage from recipes. I say to myself, “Don’t worry Christina, you’ll find a way to use it up.” Then I derp it, and the cabbage goes to waste. Well, not anymore! The next time I buy cabbage I’m making your recipe! I’ve never tried lap cheong before so I’m excited to try something new!

    1. using up leftovers in general is kind of a struggle. i don’t have that issue with vegetables usually, but i recently found a nub of bendy (yes, bendy) cream cheese that surprisingly wasn’t moldy in my fridge.

  19. Yikes! That rental definitely sounds janky. At least the rent was cheap. For the recipe, you had me at lap cheong! I love that stuff.

    1. sameeee. have you ever had a dai bao? it’s a big steamed bun with pork and shiitake mushrooms and harboiled eggs and plenty of lap cheong, and it’s one of the many many things i love lap cheong in (:

  20. Oooo cool I have never heard of Lap Cheong Okonomiyaki before!! Sounds interesting!! I always have cabbage on hand so I should def try this! 🙂

    1. cabbage is such an easy vegetable to have on hand! even if i’m not in the mood/don’t have time to make this, shredding it and sauteeing it is so easy (and pretty tasty, unless you’ve been eating a lot of it like i have been recently lol).

  21. I love that your blog exposes me to so many different things I’ve never tried!! Like some of the other bloggers have said I often have cabbage around but never know what to do with it! Love this idea! Cheers!

    1. i get bored with my food, so if i have the time, i experiment a lot in the kitchen! (hence why i have plans for a ton of dessert testing over this thanksgiving weekend).

  22. Oh gosh, your rental house story reminds me of when we first moved up here to NY and rented a cheap apartment. You are right on when you say there’s a reason why the rent is so cheap…and we figured that out the hard way! We were out of that place after about 4 months of a 6 month lease. I just couldn’t take it anymore! But what I can take is this delicious-looking recipe. I’m not familiar with lap cheong okonomiyaki, but it sounds like something I need to try for sure!

    1. there’s a high chance i’m moving out in a month or so, so i think you might beat me in the “hanging on in an bad rental house” situation lol.

  23. OMG this looks amazing! I used to make this all the time back in the day… no one has ever heard of it tho, it seems! –

    1. okonomiyaki isn’t that prevalent (at least in california!) in japanese restaurants, especially compared to sushi or even oyako don, so i think that’s why. it’s so tasty though that i hope more people try it!!

  24. NEVER have I ever put cabbage and eggs together and I have NO IDEA WHY NOT! I love both, so what the heck am I waiting for?!

    1. tbh i’m pretty sure i wouldn’t have thought to pair them together either! at least not in this way.

  25. UGH!! Cheap college housing is the worst! I feel like you are describing a house I lived in once haha!! I hope the cheapness outweighs the ickiness:/ This recipe tho… glad to see you are still cooking up DELICIOUS things despite the janky-house conditions! I’m making this this weekend because we move next week and I have 100% of the ingredients for this in my fridge. I’m thinking coconut bacon in-lieu of the meat. Think that would work/taste ok? Yay for recipes that don’t require a trip to the grocery store:)

    1. i lived in an expensive apartment right next to campus previously, and it was so nice. but i tried to strike it out on my own and found a room in a house 20 minutes from campus, and voila, here i am lol. oooh coconut bacon sounds like it’d be good! would probably need more oil/fat/something, but i’d say go for it (a month late but better late than never?).

  26. Dang! Don’t ask me to pronounce the name of this dish but please serve me up a heaping serving! I love the way you described this unique “custardy” dish!

    1. haha it’s fine for the longest time i thought “martinizing” was pronounced “martini-zing,” and whenever i try to order at a korean restaurant, they look so confused that i have to resort to point and nod.

  27. LOLOL I love using the word janky and I even more love that you used it at the start of this post! That aside the cabbage pancake looks ooooh so good. I mean, that’s mainly because your shots look dope and delicious, but I’m sure the taste matches. Whenever you make your way here please gimmie a bite!!!!

    1. do you ever pick up slang (no matter unintentionally) from people you’re around a lot? i think that’s how i started using janky (though i kind of like janky, versus how i picked up “lel.” which makes me cringe every time it comes out of my mouth).

  28. being close to a fire is not fun! in any sense. Hope you were safe. and this is a dish I have never seen before and would like to try.

    1. yeah, the air was so smoky and bad quality :/ this one luckily wasn’t too bad, and i was lucky enough to have another place to stay while i was away from my house.

  29. Yay for our lap cheong craze! 😀 I love that shiz! and I seriously ate a whole pack last month! …and you won me at creamy not gummy haha!

    1. it’s soooo good. my dad was making no mai fan, and thought the rest of the pack of lap cheong would get forgotten and tossed, so he just used a whole pack in one pot of no mai fan. still salivating.

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