Is Okonomiyaki Flour Just Regular Flour?

It's time to make okonomiyaki! You gather your favorite veggies, your cabbage, your sauce, your flour… wait, what kind of flour should you be using? Do you need that gooey yam that requires gloves? Is this going to be a lot of effort?

The beauty of okonomiyaki is that whatever works best for you, works best for the pancake. If you have time and courage to grate up a nagaimo (mountain yam), great! If you’re pressed for time or just don't want to get that complex, okonomiyaki flour is a great time-saving alternative.

But what is okonomiyaki flour?

Okonomiyaki flour is made of unbleached wheat and soy flours, leavening and spices such as kelp for flavor. It’s designed to rise naturally on its own, meaning you don’t need to add extra ingredients like nagaimo to get thick, fluffy pancakes. Okonomiyaki flour is designed to make the dish easier and more accessible to a wider range of people who might not have access to many traditional Japanese ingredients.

Is it cheating? I want authentic okonomiyaki!

Kansai-style okonomiyaki

Using okonomiyaki flour definitely isn’t cheating. There are a million different ways to make okonomiyaki today, from simple okonomiyaki kits to ornate okonomiyaki art. When okonomiyaki took on its modern form after WWII, people made it using whatever ingredients they happened to have on hand. Many people even began running okonomiyaki counters out of their homes as a way to supplement their income after the war. Okonomiyaki was a cheap and filling food that was also easy to make, and it played an important role in Japan’s post-war recovery. There’s no one “correct” way to make okonomiyaki – as long as it brings a smile to your face, you’re carrying on the tradition that generations of people have enjoyed.

Is there gluten-free okonomiyaki flour?

At the moment, Otafuku Sauce does not make gluten-free okonomiyaki flour. However, we are very aware of the need for gluten-free alternatives that everyone can enjoy. We recommend using rice flour mixed with nagaimo. If you can’t find mountain yam, use eggs as a thickening agent.

Stay tuned, because we love our gluten-free customers and are constantly working on more inclusive ingredient options in our products!