Using just 5 simple ingredients that you likely already have in your kitchen, you can whip up this delicious, thick and fruity homemade okonomiyaki sauce in just a few minutes!
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What is okonomiyaki sauce?
Okonomiyaki sauce (also known as okonomi sauce) is thick and fruity sauce that you apply to the famous Japanese savoury pancake called "okonomiyaki" (お好み焼き). In Japan, most people use pre-made packaged okonomiyaki sauce, but you can easily make it from scratch too!
It's actually heavily based on Woucestershire sauce but a lot thicker and sweeter. That being said, it's a very fruity yet a little bit sour sauce.
Okonomiyaki sauce vs yakisoba sauce: what are the differences?
You might wonder if there are any differences between okonomiyaki sauce and yakisoba sauce. Simply put, they are actually quite similar but there are still a few differences.
Ingredients vary somewhat from manufacturer to manufacturer, but tomatoes, onions, apples, vinegar, spices, salt, and oyster sauce are commonly used. However, if you compare these side by side, you will definitely notice okonomiyaki sauce is sweeter, thicker and yakisoba sauce is more savoury and thinner.
Other than yakisoba sauce, takoyaki sauce is also quite similar to okonomiyaki sauce, but unlike okonomiyaki sauce vs yakisoba sauce, they are actually very similar and interchangeable. If I have to name some differences, I would say takoyaki sauce is often slightly sweeter but not as thick as okonomiyaki sauce.
The best okonomiyaki sauce to buy online
I know this is kind of breaking the essence of this post, but seeing as we often just buy okonomiyaki sauce in supermarket, I thought it would be helpful what kind of brand has the most authentic flavour.
I would have to say, more than 99% or even higher of people in Japan buy Otafuku's okonomiyaki sauce. It's the kind of okonomiyaki sauce in Japan without a doubt. You can actually forget about other pre-made okonomiyaki sauce because Otafuku is the one.
Substitutes for okonomiyaki sauce
Even though I'm going to explain easy way to homemade okonomiyaki sauce soon, you might be looking for substitutes. Maybe you wanna look for easier alternative or change the flavour a bit. Here are some popular examples of alternative okonomitaki sauce in Japan:
- Takoyaki sauce: as I mentioned earlier, this can be interchangeable without any issues.
- Tonkatsu sauce: it is slightly different, but you can use it for okonomiyaki.
- Soy sauce and mayo: be careful with the amount as it can be very salty.
- Ponzu: for refreshing kick.
- Ketchup and mayo, half and half: although it will be completely different dish but they go well with okonomiyaki pancake.
Of course it's best to use okonomiyaki sauce for okonomiyaki, but sometimes it's good to change things up!
What is okonomiyaki sauce made of?
In my recipe, I use following ingredients to make okonomiyaki sauce:
However, if you want to know the ingredients in general sense, these ingredients are used according to Otafuku:
- Soy Sauce
- Modified Food Starch
- Alcoholic Brewed seasoning
- Eeast Exract
- Shiitake Powder
Basically to avoid this long list of ingredients, I use Worcestershire sauce, which already contains a lot of fruit and vegetables instead.
Storing Okonomiyaki Sauce
I recommend keeping homemade okonomiyaki sauce in an airtight container in the fridge and using it within 2-3 weeks. Because it's made of condiments that contain preservatives, it would probably last longer in theory, but you might as well make a fresh batch as it uses typical condiments that most people already have at home.
Use Okonomi Sauce with these recipes
Homemade okonomiyaki sauce works great with a number of my recipes!
- Osaka Style Okonomiyaki
- Hiroshima Style Okonomiyaki
- Tonpeiyaki (easy okonomiyaki style omelette)
- Takoyaki (fried octopus balls)
It's very veggy and fruity like Worcestershire sauce but a lot thicker and sweeter.
They are almost the same. However, one of the few differences would be the consistency. Takoyaki sauce tends to be thinner than okonomiyaki sauce.
Okonomiyaki sauce can be spicy but not more than Worcestershire sauce unless you choose to buy "spicy version" of okonomiyaki sauce. You could add a little chilli powder to spice it up if you like.
Yes, you can but be careful about how much to apply as yakisoba sauce tends to be saltier than okonomiyaki sauce.
Fully packaged and sealed premade okonomiyaki sauce does not need to be in the fridge, until opened. Once opened, you need to keep it in fridge and use within 3 months. Homemade okonomi sauce should be stored in an airtight container, refrigerated and used in about 2 weeks.