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Jim Dixon’s DIY Dish: Cabbage, Pork & Ramen Modanyaki

Modanyaki are “modern” okonomiyaki, the Japanese savory pancakes with the addition of noodles.

Jim Dixon wrote about food for Willamette Week for more than 20 years, but these days most of his time is spent at his olive oil-focused specialty food business, Wellspent Market. Jim’s always loved to eat, and he encourages his customers to cook by sending them recipes every week through his newsletter. We’re happy to have him back creating some special dishes just for WW readers.

Cabbage, Pork, & Ramen Modanyaki

Modanyaki are “modern” okonomiyaki, the Japanese savory pancakes with the addition of noodles. Most recipes call for cooking one big pancake, but flipping a hot, pan-sized fritter can be fraught. I make mine about the size of a fast-food burger. They’re easier to handle, and the leftovers will fit inside a bun for an okonomiyaki cheeseburger. These are traditionally topped with a smear of brown katsu sauce as well as a squiggle of mayo, some dried bonito flakes, and a sprinkle of furikake. But okonomiyaki roughly translates to “how you like it,” so anything goes.


1/4 head cabbage, sliced very thin

1 cup cooked Umi Organic ramen noodles*, chopped

1/2 pound ground pork*

4 green onions, sliced

1 cup Kuze Fuku & Sons instant dashi

2 cups Edison hard white wheat flour*

2 eggs

1 tablespoon RGF kosher salt

RGF extra virgin olive oil for frying

*Cook a whole package and save the leftovers for another night (or just eat them with the modanyaki). You can make these without meat and they’re still very tasty, and substitute any flour, but results may vary slightly.

For a tasty of fake katsu sauce, mix this stuff together:

2 tablespoons Colonel Pabst Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons ketchup

1 tablespoon Shoyu light soy sauce

1 tablespoon Woon stir fry sauce

1 tablespoon Demerara sugar

Mix together the flour, salt, eggs, and water in a large bowl. Stir in the cabbage, noodles, ground pork, and green onions. Use enough oil to cover the bottom of a heavy skillet, heat on medium for a few minutes, then carefully spoon in the batter to make 3-inch pancakes. Cook for about 10 minutes, then flip and cook the other side. Cook in batches, keeping the cooked pancakes warm in the oven. Top with the sauce and, if desired, Kewpie mayo, bonito flakes, and togarashi. Makes 10-12 pancakes.