Is Okonomiyaki Sauce Halal? No, But Here’s The Perfect Recipe

by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  August 18, 2022

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Okonomiyaki sauce is not halal. It’s made with traditional soy sauce, for example, which is haram because of the wine-like brewing process that produces alcohol. Otafuku has gone to great lengths to produce a halal version of its sauce in Malaysia that’s available only in Southeast Asian countries.

There are ways to make okonomiyaki halal, though.

One is to buy the Otafuku halal-certified sauce, which would be the easiest option. The other is to make halal sauce yourself.

Favorite Asian Recipes
Favorite Asian Recipes

This recipe will take you through creating an entirely halal version of okonomiyaki from scratch.

Halal okonomiyaki recipe

Halal Okonomiyaki Recipe

Joost Nusselder
Some ingredients have their halal versions, so be sure to get the right ones. The sauce, we're going to make from scratch.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • cups cabbage shredded
  • ½ cup dashi
  • 3 scallions
  • 1 cup chicken
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

Toppings

  • 2 tbsp kewpie Japanese mayo
  • 3 tbsp bonito flakes

Halal okonomiyaki sauce

  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • tbsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp ketchup
  • ½ tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp barbecue sauce

Instructions
 

  • Grab a large bowl and whisk together the flour, salt, and sugar.
  • Beat the eggs thoroughly in a separate bowl, then add them together with the dashi to the mix and mix all the ingredients.
  • Add the scallions and shredded cabbage to the bowl and toss it around until all the pieces are covered in batter.
  • Set a frying pan over medium heat and add some vegetable oil. When sufficiently hot, use just under half of the batter for the first pancake and spread it out across the pan. The pancake should be about an inch thick.
  • Cut the chicken into small strips and place them on top. Pour some of the batter on top so the chicken sticks to the pancake.
  • It's best to cover the pan so the okonomiyaki gets more cooked than fried, this is especially important for the middle of the pancake., and let that cook for 5 minutes.
  • In the meantime, make your halal okonomiyaki sauce by combining all of the ingredients into a bowl, and mix thoroughly with a whisk for about a minute until all of the sauces are mixed into eachother completely.
  • Now, the bottom should be nice and browned, this is when you flip the pancake over to cook the other side.
  • Cook for another 5 minutes in a covered pan until the other side is browned as well.
  • Now it's ready to serve with the bonito flakes on top first, then the kewpie mayo on top in straight vertical lines, and the okonomiyaki sauce in horizontal straight lines. And you're ready to make the second pancake with the rest of the batter.
Keyword Halal, Okonomiyaki
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Cooking tips

It can be hard to flip the okonomiyaki over, so two large spatulas is best where you can cover the entire pancake and flip it over in one swoop.

Another way of doing it is to hold a plate on top of the pan and turn it upside down. Now the pancake is on the plate with the top facing down, and you can slide it right back into the pan.

If you want to know if your okonomiyaki is done, you can use your chopsticks to check the middle. If it’s cooked properly, the sticks should come out clean when you poke them through the middle.

If it needs a little more time, flip it over again, so the bottom (previously the top) doesn’t burn.

Which ingredients could be haram?

When making this dish, it’s still important to look out for ingredients that could potentially be haram. A lot of sauces use alcohol somewhere in the process for example, so here are my favorite ones to use:

Halal all-purpose flour

A lot of flours have additives like L-cysteine to soften the gluten and make for a better dough or batter. These ingredients might not be halal, as L-cysteine comes from the body in most cases.

You can also get it from a fermentation process where no animals are used, or the animal could have been slaughtered in a halal way before extraction of the L-cysteine.

I find this EarthNutri gluten-free all-purpose flour works great, and it’s completely halal:

Earth nutri halal all-purpose flour

(view more images)

Halal ketchup

Ketchup is sometimes made with alcohol or animal fat, and some have found spirit vinegar as one of the ingredients, so those are brands you should avoid (although not all agree on the spirit vinegar being haram).

Heinz tomato ketchup has a delicious taste, and it’s made with distilled vinegar, not spirit vinegar, so that’s your best option, in my opinion.

Halal balsamic vinegar

There is cheaper balsamic vinegar made with wine vinegar, which is not halal, most agree. Authentic balsamic vinegar brands are made with grape must so look for those or a brand with halal certification.

Conclusion

It’s very much possible to make a halal okonomiyaki. I hope this recipe ha helped you enjoy this delicious pancake!

Also read: is Worcestershire sauce halal? Read this before you eat

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Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.