Japanese-Italian Pizza: Shrimp and Pancetta Okonomiyaki

July 25, 2016

This okonomiyaki recipe is definitely not the first time Japanese and Italian cuisine found themselves together in a dish. With both cuisine’s similarities, it was only a matter of time before we saw a fusion of the two. Many Italian fusion restaurants have found their roots in Japan, and boast of Japanese-influenced Italian dishes. Here, we have Japanese soul food flavored with a popular salt-cured Italian meat—the pancetta.


Okonomiyaki is a popular savory pancake in several regions of Japan. In each of these regions, the dish is slightly altered, whether in its components or in cooking methods although its key characteristics are retained.  The name okonomiyaki can be divided into two Japanese words, okomi which means “what you like” and yaki meaning “grilled”. Usually called “Japanese Pizza”, the savory pancake is flavored with a mix of vegetables, seafood, and pork. Our recipe for the Japanese Pizza uses a traditional Italian flavor, the pancetta. But don’t limit yourself to just shrimp and pancettawe encourage you to mix in whatever you like into this Japanese pancake.

Shrimp and Pancetta Okonomiyaki

Yield: 6 servings
Time: 30 minutes (15 min prep / 15 min cooking)


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1½ cup water, cold
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 pack dashi
  • 500g cabbage, coarsely chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • 100g shrimp, peeled, deveined, and chopped
  • ¼ cup sesame oil
  • 250g pancetta

Ingredients: Toppings

  • okonomiyaki/tonkatsu sauce
  • kewpie mayonnaise
  • bonito flakes
  • aonori


  1. To prepare the batter, mix flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar in a large bowl. Add the cabbage and shrimp to the the flour mixture. Add the eggs and water and mix the batter lightly.
  2. Preheat a non-stick pan or iron skillet, add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and coat the surface. Spoon the batter into the middle of the pan and form a pancake about 6 inches in diameter and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Put the pancetta over the top of the batter. Cook for another 2 minutes and flip using a wide spatula. Cook for another 5 minutes. The okonomiyaki is ready once it’s lightly browned on both sides and the cabbage is tender.
  4. Place the pancake, pancetta-side up and add the toppings.
Bernice Escobar SEE AUTHOR Bernice Escobar

Bernice loves to get nerdy about food and making people hungry. In her free time, she attempts to play with her anti-social cat and fantasizes about all things sweet.

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