Looking for a fun, new way to enjoy cabbage? Try these delicious grain-free okonomiyaki with cheddar and chives added in for extra yum!

easy, grain-free okonomiyaki with cheddar and chives from raiasrecipes.com

What is okonomiyaki?

Okonomiyaki is a Japanese savory pancake cooked on a flat griddle. There are many different kinds of okonomiyaki, as well as many different ways to make it, but the main idea is a batter (usually made with wheat flour) and other whatever other ingredients the cook has on hand or feels like adding in. The word can be literally translated as “whatever you like grilled,” meaning you’re supposed to add whatever you want to the batter. I don’t speak Japanese though, so I’m just trusting wikipedia for that tidbit of knowledge!

Some common additions for okonomiyaki are cabbage, meat, and seafood, and they’re usually topped with their own special sauce, dried seaweed, mayonnaise, and pickled ginger. Since I’m just a plain-Jane American, I like to add cheese to my okonomiyaki. ‘Cause everything is better with cheese. For the topping, my family loves to have sour cream on top! Not very Japanese, probably, but we’ll just chalk that up to the years lived in Russia.

grain-free okonomiyaki topped with sour cream

Grain-free okonomiyaki.

Flour. While okonomiyaki is usually made with wheat flour, of course I can’t do that here. My current favorite flour is cassava, and it works great for this recipe! I always use Azure Standard’s organic cassava flour. It’s very well priced. If you don’t have Azure in your area, Anothony’s or Otto’s Naturals brands are good, too.

I have made this recipe with rice flour in the past, so if you’re not interested in grain-free, just gluten-free, you can use that instead.

Eggs. Good news for you egg-free folks, you can make this recipe with a flax/chia egg sub. They’re still yummy. I do prefer eggs in this recipe, though. And since I can eat them, I use them.

Cabbage. My introduction to okonomiyaki was with cabbage, and I think that this recipe is a great way to use cabbage, so I’m stick with that for the main ingredient. It’s best to chop or shred the cabbage into very small or thin pieces. This will help the okonomiyaki cook more quickly and allow the cabbage to cook more thoroughly.

You don’t necessarily have to pre-cook the cabbage for this recipe, but I do, since raw cabbage is pretty hard to digest. If you don’t have any issues with your digestion you can just skip the pre-cooking.

Extras. Chives are a fun ingredient to add into grain-free okonomiyaki. They’re optional, of course, but I always have them on hand because they grow wild in our yard. So I add them in. I also love sharp cheddar cheese in just about every recipe I can fit it, so into the grain-free okonomiyaki it goes! You can totally leave it out if you can’t do dairy, though. The okonomiyaki will still be delicious. Lastly, I like to add a little paprika into the cabbage. It’s not necessary, it just gives the end product a fun little kick.

bite of grain-free okonomiyaki

More fun Asian-inspired foods.

I don’t have much to offer in the way of Asian foods, but these are some of my favorites that I do have on the blog! They’re all grain-free, easy, and delicious.

Grain-free okonomiyaki from Raia's Recipes

In the recipe card I’ve linked to some of the products from my affiliate partners that I like to use. Purchasing through these links won’t cost you anything extra. Thanks!

Grain Free Okonomiyaki with Cheddar & Chives

Free from grain, gluten, and sugar.


  • 5 cups of thinly chopped or shredded cabbage (about 1 small/medium cabbage head)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup cassava flour
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • coconut oil, for frying


Pre-cook the cabbage.

Preheat large skillet over medium heat with a tablespoon of coconut oil.

Wash cabbage and remove outer leaves.

Finely chop or shred the cabbage and place in large bowl.

Sprinkle with salt and paprika and mix a few times.

When the skillet is hot stir-fry the cabbage until it’s softened some, then remove it from the skillet back into the large bowl.

Make the batter.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs.

Sprinkle the cabbage with the cassava flour and cheddar cheese and mix to combine with the cabbage.

Stir in the eggs until everything is pretty well mixed.

The batter should not be thick or super runny. Just kinda like a thin-ish pancake batter, but with chunks of cabbage.

Fry the okonomiyaki.

Back on the skillet (still on medium), heat another bit of coconut oil.

Fry 1/4 cupfuls of cabbage batter at a time, about 3 minutes on each side.

Remove and repeat!

Serve as is, or with sour cream.


For egg-free, use a flax or chia egg sub, enough for 4 eggs.

For gluten-free not grain-free, use brown rice flour.

Raias Recipes - https://raiasrecipes.com

stack of grain-free okonomiyaki