Teppanyaki vs Okonomiyaki : What is the difference?

Teppanyaki and Okonomiyaki are unique Japanese dishes relatively well-known to overseas people. There are many specialty restaurants handling these 2 dishes in Japan and we sometimes enjoy them at home as well, so Teppanyaki and Okonomiyaki are dishes very familiar to us Japanese.

The Difference between Teppanyaki and Okonomiyaki

Teppanyaki steak

Speaking of Teppanyaki, actually the name of the Japanese dish is composed of 2 words, “Teppan (鉄板)” literally meaning iron plate and “Yaki (焼き)”, a Japanese suffix meaning to grill, broil, bake or pan-fry food.

Thus, Teppanyaki is the generic term for the dishes cooked using a Teppan, or iron griddle. The quintessential Teppanyaki dish is steak, and at Japanese Teppanyaki-style steak restaurants, the dish is typically cooked by chefs in front of guests.

Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き)

Since all the dishes cooked on a Teppan, or iron griddle, can be called Teppanyaki, Okonomiyaki is a dish included in Teppanyaki. In Japanese households, Okonomiyaki is usually cooked on an iron griddle or pan.

As the word in the name, “Okonomi (お好み)” means how you like or what you like, Okonomiyaki is a savory Japanese pancake consisting of wheat flour dough mixed with a variety of ingredients you like.

The Ingredients

The combination of ingredients varies depending on the region, the restaurant, and each house, but typically including raw meat like pork belly, fresh or frozen seafood like bite-sized squid and shrimps, fresh vegetables such as shredded cabbage, chopped green onions, and corn kernels.

Other than these, processed cheese, Mentaiko, Mochi, and Yakisoba noodles are commonly used in Okonomiyaki. As you can see from the above, uncooked food materials are usually prepared for Okonomiyaki and added to its flour dough, then cooked.

The Cooking Process (Basic Recipe)

Source : Youtube お好み焼きの作り方(関西風)✿日本の家庭料理【日本通TV】

The cooking process is that firstly you mix up Okonomiyaki flour (Amazon.com), egg, water, and fresh vegetables you like in a bowl. Okonomiyaki flour is available at Japanese grocery stores and so on, and consists mainly of wheat flour.

Next, put the mixture on an iron griddle or pan and add meat, seafood or other ingredients, then cook it in the same way as pancakes.

After the flour dough with ingredients is cooked through, serve it on a plate and dress with mayonnaise and an Okonomiyaki sauce (Amazon.com), the Japanese sweet sauce with a rich flavor similar to Worcestershire sauce.

Lastly, sprinkle Katsuobushi (Amazon.com) dried shaved bonito flakes and Aonori (Amazon.com) seaweed flakes over the Okonomiyaki dough as you like and enjoy.


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. I want to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures and trivia.

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