Learn how to make Okonomiyaki Sauce at home with just 4 ingredients! This simple condiment is a must for drizzling over the iconic Japanese savory pancake, okonomiyaki.
One of the key characteristics of Okonomiyaki is the thick, sweet brown sauce that is drizzled over the savory pancake. Without it, the savory pancake would be bland and missing the right flavor. Simply known as Okonomiyaki Sauce (お好み焼きソース), the condiment is packed with umami flavor that is similar to Worcestershire sauce or Tonkatsu Sauce.
You can find ready-made okonomiyaki sauce at Japanese or Asian grocery stores, but it is really easy to make with just a few ingredients at home.
When I make okonomiyaki at home, I often reach my pantry to whisk up the sauce quickly to serve with the pancake. The homemade version is convenient when you don’t have or run out of the store-bought okonomi sauce.
To Make Okonomiyaki Sauce
4 Ingredients You’ll Need
- Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perris Worcestershire Sauce)
- Ketchup (Heinz Simply Tomato Ketchup)
- Sugar (organic cane sugar)
- Oyster sauce (Lee Kum Kee Premium Oyster Sauce)
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk well together. Have a taste and adjust any seasonings if needed. It’s that simple!
The Best Store-Bought Okonomiyaki Sauce
I usually have a bottle of Otafuku brand’s Okonomi Sauce (お好みソース) in my refrigerator. This sauce is by far the most popular and well-known okonomiyaki sauce in Japan.
I was introduced to this sauce by a Japanese friend from Osaka when I was in college. She also told me that people in Osaka season a fried egg (目玉焼き) with okonomi sauce while people in Tokyo/Yokohama area normally drizzle soy sauce to enjoy the egg.
You can get Otafuku Oknomi Sauce at Japanese grocery stores (maybe at well-stocked Asian grocery stores, too) and Amazon.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long can I store the homemade okonomiyaki sauce?
You can keep the sauce in an airtight container or jar and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. It can probably last longer, but might as well make a fresh batch since you are likely to have all these condiments in the fridge.
Can I substitute with other ingredients?
I haven’t tried making the okonomiyaki sauce besides these 4 ingredients I listed. My intention to create okonomiyaki sauce is to replicate the exact flavor as the Otafuku’s okonomi sauce, and I think it’s pretty close (I’d say you will need a tiny bit more sugar to achieve the exact taste). Therefore, I don’t recommend substitutions for this recipe.
If you need to modify certain things due to dietary restriction, I really hope you can find a good substitution that helps yield the right flavor.
Can I skip sugar?
The Worcestershire sauce is quite tangy and the oyster sauce is salty, so you will need to counterbalance that with sugar. If you think your ketchup is already sweet, you can skip the sugar or gradually add it to your liking.
Okonomiyaki Recipes on Just One Cookbook
With the homemade okonomiyaki sauce, you can make the pancake anytime you like! On my blog, I offer two classic versions:
- Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki – This one is layered with shredded cabbage, fried egg, and yakisoba noodles!
- Osaka-style Okonomiyaki – A simpler recipe anyone can attempt at home. The key ingredients include You’ll find plenty of ingredient ideas in my recipe post.
Other Homemade Japanese Sauces & Condiments
Homemade Okonomiyaki Sauce
- ¼ cup oyster sauce (76 g; I used Lee Kum Kee Premium Oyster Sauce; if you‘re allergic to shellfish, use Lee Kum Kee Vegetarian Stir-Fry Sauce)
- 3 Tbsp sugar (39 g; or more, to taste)
- ½ cup ketchup (136 g; to taste)
- 7 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce (105 g; I used Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce)
- Gather all the ingredients.
- Combine ¼ cup oyster sauce and 3 Tbsp sugar in a small bowl. Mix with a spatula or whisk until the sugar is completely dissolved. Tip: I used organic cane sugar.
- Add ½ cup ketchup and 7 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce. Tip: I used Heinz Simply Tomato Ketchup. Some ketchup is sweeter than others, so please adjust the amount of sugar to taste.
- Mix it well, taste the sauce, and adjust it according to your liking.
- You can keep the sauce in an airtight container or jar and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.