How many calories in a Japanese pancake?

Japanese pancakes, also known as okonomiyaki or Japanese pizza, are a popular street food and comfort dish in Japan. They are made with flour, eggs, shredded cabbage, and various proteins and toppings. But with all these ingredients, how many calories are actually in one of these flavorful pancakes?

Quick Answer

On average, a 6-inch Japanese pancake contains around 300-400 calories. The exact calorie count depends on the specific ingredients used, especially the proteins and toppings which can add more calories.

Detailed Answer

To understand how many calories are in a Japanese pancake, we first need to look at the base ingredients that go into the batter:

  • Flour – One cup of all-purpose flour contains around 400 calories
  • Eggs – One large egg contains around 70-80 calories
  • Dashi broth – One cup of dashi broth contains around 15 calories
  • Cabbage – One cup of shredded cabbage contains around 20 calories

These four base ingredients alone add up to around 500-600 calories for enough batter to make a 6-inch sized pancake. However, the protein ingredients can add a significant amount more:

Protein Calories (3 oz)
Pork belly 270
Shrimp 84
Chicken thigh 130
Beef 200
Tofu 90

As you can see, calories from the protein can range from 80 for shrimp to over 270 for fatty pork. A typical serving size of protein in an okonomiyaki is around 3-4 oz.

Finally, the toppings and condiments can add more calories:

  • Mayonnaise – One tablespoon contains around 100 calories
  • Okonomiyaki sauce – Two tablespoons contains around 60 calories
  • Bonito flakes – One tablespoon contains around 20 calories
  • Aonori (seaweed flakes) – One tablespoon contains around 5 calories
  • Katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) – One tablespoon contains around 10 calories

Taking all this into account, a typical 6-inch Japanese pancake or okonomiyaki will contain:

  • Around 500 calories from the batter
  • 200-300 calories from the protein
  • 100-200 calories from toppings and condiments

This brings a standard okonomiyaki to approximately 800-1000 calories total. However, calories can be slightly reduced by:

  • Using less oil when cooking
  • Choosing leaner proteins like chicken or shrimp
  • Going easy on high-calorie sauces and mayonnaise

On the other hand, calories will increase with additions like:

  • More protein
  • Extra toppings like cheese
  • Larger pancake size

In summary, a typical 6-inch Japanese pancake contains between 300-400 calories. But the number of calories can range from as low as 200 for a small veggie pancake to over 1000 calories for a large pancake loaded with fatty meats and extra toppings.

Nutrition Facts of Japanese Pancakes

Beyond just calories, let’s take a look at the nutrition facts of a typical okonomiyaki:


  • Carbohydrates – Around 60-70g per 6-inch pancake, coming mostly from the flour in the batter.
  • Protein – Around 15-25g, depending on the type and amount of protein used.
  • Fat – Around 15-30g, from oil used cooking, protein ingredients, and sauces/toppings. Can be higher with fatty meats.


  • Fiber – Around 3-5g, mostly from the cabbage.
  • Vitamin C – Around 40mg from the cabbage.
  • Calcium – Around 100mg from the eggs and flour.
  • Iron – Around 3mg from eggs and flour.
  • Sodium – Can range from 300-1000mg depending on sauces used.

As you can see, while okonomiyaki is high in calories, fat, and carbs, it does provide some nutritional value from ingredients like cabbage, eggs, and protein. The fiber, vitamins, and minerals help make it more of a balanced meal.

Calories in Okonomiyaki vs Other Pancakes

How does the calorie count of okonomiyaki compare to pancakes from other cultures?

Pancake Type Calories (6-inch)
Okonomiyaki 300-400
American buttermilk pancake 200-300
French crepe 150-250
South Indian dosa 200-300

Okonomiyaki is on the higher end of the calorie scale due to its substantial ingredients of flour, protein, and toppings. An American pancake has fewer ingredients, while a French crepe is lighter with just eggs and flour. However, flavors and nutrition vary greatly between these different types of global pancakes.

Health and Diet Factors

For those watching their calorie intake, okonomiyaki may not be the healthiest option. But here are some tips to enjoy this Japanese comfort food more moderately:

  • Share one okonomiyaki between multiple people to limit portion size.
  • Choose veggies like cabbage over fatty meats.
  • Request less oil when cooking and less sauce/mayo when served.
  • Balance the meal with lower calorie side dishes like edamame or miso soup.
  • Don’t drink high-calorie beverages like beer or soda with okonomiyaki.

Okonomiyaki can also fit into many dietary lifestyles. It can be made gluten-free by using a gluten-free flour blend. For vegetarians or vegans, you can use tofu, mushrooms, or tempeh instead of meats. Just be mindful of the sauces, as many contain animal products.

Okonomiyaki Chain Restaurant Nutrition Info

If you eat okonomiyaki from a restaurant chain like Gyu-Kaku or Otafuku Sauce House, the nutrition facts may differ slightly. Here are some of the calorie counts for popular okonomiyaki chains:


  • Regular Pork Okonomiyaki – 590 calories
  • Seafood Okonomiyaki – 500 calories
  • Vegetable Okonomiyaki – 460 calories

Otafuku Sauce House

  • Pork Okonomiyaki – 650 calories
  • Seafood Okonomiyaki – 550 calories
  • Cheese Okonomiyaki – 710 calories

As you can see, the recipes may vary in ingredients and portion sizes, leading to calorie differences between restaurants. Checking nutrition facts online or asking for them in-store can help you make an informed choice.

How Many Calories to Burn Off Okonomiyaki

Want to indulge in okonomiyaki but also want to burn off those calories? Here’s how long you’d need to exercise to work off a 600 calorie okonomiyaki:

  • Walking – 120 minutes
  • Jogging – 60 minutes
  • Swimming – 60 minutes
  • HIIT workout – 45 minutes
  • Biking – 45 minutes

As you can see, more intense cardiovascular exercise like jogging, swimming, or biking will burn okonomiyaki calories faster than lower intensity walking. But any extra movement helps counterbalance higher calorie meals.


Okonomiyaki is a delicious Japanese comfort food, but one that is on the higher side for calorie density due to its dough, protein, and topping ingredients. A typical 6-inch pancake will contain around 300-400 calories. This number can range from 200 for a vegetarian version to 1000 calories for a protein-packed pancake smothered in sauces and toppings.

While okonomiyaki is high in calories, fat, and carbs, the fiber, vitamins, and protein provide some nutritional balance. Those watching their weight can enjoy okonomiyaki in moderation by sharing portions, choosing lighter ingredients, minimizing high-calorie toppings and sauces, and balancing it with lower calorie sides. With some mindfulness, okonomiyaki can be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle.

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