Healthy Japanese Cabbage Pancakes by Dr Joanna McMillan |

Healthy Japanese Cabbage Pancakes by Dr Joanna McMillan

If Dr Joanna McMillan's article left you wondering how you can incorporate more brain-beneficial meals into your diet, here's a sneak peak of one of our favourite recipes from Brain Food...

These quick Japanese Cabbage Pancakes – also known as okonomiyaki – area great recipe to use up left-over cabbage. You can also easily add extra veggies to the mix if you’d like. The best part? Kids love them too. Recipe – welcome to our weekly rotation. Prep + cook time is 50 minutes (+ standing). Serves 4. BRAIN FOOD by Dr Joanna McMillan, Bauer Books, $35 Available at and where all good books are sold. 


  • 1¾ cups (260g) buckwheat flour
  • 1⁄3 cup (50g) cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 cups (480g) finely shredded cabbage
  • 1⁄3 cup (90g) pink pickled ginger
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 large avocado (320g)
  • 2 green onions (scallions), sliced thinly
  • pink pickled ginger, extra, and lime wedges, to serve
  • 1 tablespoon black and white sesame seeds, toasted

Dipping sauce

  • ¼ cup (60ml) light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil


  • Whisk flour, cornflour, eggs and 11/2 cups (375ml) water in a large bowl until smooth and combined; stand for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 120°C/250°F. Line an oven tray with baking paper.
  • Make dipping sauce.
  • Add cabbage and ginger to the batter; stir to combine.
  • Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Spoon one quarter of the batter mixture into pan, flatten to form a 2.5cm (1in) thick pancake. Cook pancake for 4 minutes each side or until golden and cooked through. Transfer to tray; keep warm in oven. Repeat process with remaining batter to make four pancakes.
  • Mash avocado flesh in a small bowl until smooth.
  • Top pancakes with avocado, onion, extra pickled ginger and sesame seeds; serve with lime wedges and dipping sauce.

Dipping sauce

  • Combine ingredients in a small bowl.