Vegan Carrot and Ginger Okonomiyaki (MasterChef Series)

Vegan Carrot and Ginger Okonomiyaki (MasterChef Series)

Each week I will take a MasterChef Australia recipe and create a vegan version to share. This week we have Callum’s Carrot and Ginger Okonomiyaki. I’ve swapped the chicken for mushrooms and made some other tweaks which I hope you’ll enjoy.

I was an Okonomiyaki Virgin!

I absolutely LOVE Okonomiyaki, but I will be honest, I only had it for the first time last year at Big Vegan Market in Melbourne. Vegelicious had a stall there and served the most amazing vegan Okonomiyaki, and since then, I’ve been hooked. Those who know me know I love to take photos of myself eating. And surprise surprise, I have a few snaps from that day!

Photos of me eating! Who’s surprised?

Vegan Okonomiyaki

I can’t remember the lady’s name from Vegelicious, but she was such a joy to talk to. She always wears this hat and has the biggest smile. You can tell she loves serving people her amazing vegan food.

Vegan Okonomiyaki

I got mine with a side of grilled vegetables and some tofu by the looks. It was just a plate of nutritious deliciousness and I still remember eating it a year later.

Vegan Okonomiyaki

As you can see, her Okonomiyaki was the traditional cabbage variety and a very thick pancake. Straight off the barbecue and straight into my mouth! I remember it being so soft and light to eat, and I want it again right now!

But anyway, that’s enough reminiscing. Let’s get back to this week’s MasterChef Episode where Callum cooked a carrot and ginger Okonomiyaki using his limited mystery box ingredients.

Vegan MasterChef Recipes

I love MasterChef. While most vegans probably wouldn’t want to watch it for obvious reasons, I get so many ideas and I just love watching people cook.. I had the idea to veganise a recipe each week. My goal is to create a collection of recipes that us MasterChef recipes can draw on to impress our friends at dinner parties.

Vegan Carrot and Ginger Okonomiyaki

Vegan Carrot and Ginger Okonomiyaki

I decided to replace the chicken in Callum’s Carrot and Ginger Okonomiyaki with mushrooms. I just love mushrooms and they are the perfect replacement for the poached chicken on top of this Japanese pancake. The mushrooms give a great flavour to the Okonomiyaki sauce and as they are already poached in the broth it removes a couple of steps from Callum’s recipe.

The emulsion doesn’t quite turn out as thick as his, and you can experiment with different emulsion variations if you like, but even though it was more saucy I thought it worked really well here.

Vegan Carrot and Ginger Okonomiyaki

I won’t lie, this vegan Carrot and Ginger Okonomiyaki is very rich in flavour. The ginger is everywhere, and I absolutely love that. But when I cook it again I’ll definitely do some rice or a soft croquette to help give some relief from all of that flavour.

I really look forward to veganising my next MasterChef recipe next week. If you have any requests for which recipes you’d like me to have a go at, please leave a comment below.

Vegan Carrot and Ginger Okonomiyaki
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5 from 2 votes

Vegan Carrot and Ginger Okonomiyaki

A vegan version of Callum from MasterChef Australia's dish, which was loved by judges and makes a great Japense starter. The original recipe called for poached chicken and crispy chicken skin which I've replaced with a variety of mixed mushrooms. If you love ginger, you will love this Japanese pancake recipe.
Course Appetizer, Lunch, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Japanese
Keyword Ginger, Japanese, mushrooms, Okonomiyaki, Pancake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 4 Pancakes
Calories 432kcal
Author Andrew Baietta
Cost $15


  • Pancake Rings (If you have them. Can be done without)
  • Stick Blender


Vegan Okonomiyaki Sauce

  • 1 Carrot Large, cut into chunks.
  • 250 g Mixed Mushrooms Cut into quarters or thick slices. I used button, swiss brown, shitake and Enoki
  • 6 cm Piece of Ginger Peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Caster Sugar
  • 1/4 cup White Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Whole Pepper Corns
  • 1 L Water
  • 2 tsp Corn Flour

Pickled Carrot and Ginger

  • 1 cup White Vinegar
  • 1/3 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1 tsp Whole Pepper Corns
  • 1 small Carrot Small. Peeled and sliced as finely as possible
  • 4 cm Ginger Peeled and sliced as finely as possible

Ginger Emulsion

  • 50 g Silken Tofu
  • 1 tsp Finely Grated Ginger
  • 1 tbsp White Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Grapeseed Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard I used Australian but any milder mustard would do.

Vegan Carrot and Ginger Okonomiyaki

  • 2 Carrots Large. Peeled and grated.
  • 1 tbsp Flaxseed Meal
  • 4 tbsp Water
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 4 tbsp Plain Flour
  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Finely Grated Ginger
  • 1/2 tbsp Grapeseed Oil
  • 1/2 tbsp Nuttalex Or equivalent vegan butter


  • Place all of the sauce ingredients except the corn flour into a medium size pot and bring to the boil on high heat. Once boiling, uncover and simmer on low heat for around 40 minutes or until the broth has a deep flavour. You want the mushrooms to be cooked through but stay nice and firm to touch.
  • Whilst your sauce is cooking, combine all of the pickle ingredients except the carrot and ginger in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Put your carrot and ginger in two small containers and once the pickling liquid has boiled, remove from the heat and divide between the carrot and ginger. Set aside and allow to pickle.
  • To create the emulsion, combine the silken tofu, vinegar, mustard and ginger in a cannister that will fit the stick blender. Season with salt and pepper. Start belding and add a teaspoon of the Grapeseed Oil at a time as the sauce thickens. It may not get as thick as a traditional mayonnaise or emulsion, but that's OK, it still works great on this dish. Set aside.
  • To create the batter for your vegan Okonomiyaki pancakes, in a medium to large mixing bowl, whisk together the flax seed meal and water to create a paste. This is your egg replacer and will bind everything together. Whisk in all of the other ingredients except the carrot to form a batter, then stir in your carrot. Set aside.
  • By now your broth should be tasting pretty good. If you're happy with the depth of flaour in the liquid, strain it into a small saucepan and boil on high so that it reduces. Keep the vegetables aside so that we can use the mushrooms on the finished dish.
  • Once the sauce has reduced by about half, which may take around 15 minutes, create a paste with the cornflour and a dash of tap water. Mix this into your sauce and allow it to thicken, whisking continuously as you would with a gravy. After a couple of minutes, if it's thick, remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly, it will continue to thicken as it cools. If it's not thickening, add a touch more cornflour (make sure you turn it into a paste first to avoid lumps).
  • Heat a large non stick pan on medium heat and add a little oil and nuttalex or vegan butter. Once hot, scoop 1/4 of the batter into the pan and shape into a disk. If you have pancake rings use 10cm ones. Repeat so that you're cooking 2 pancakes at a time, if your pan is big enough.
  • Cook for around 3 minutes each side, checking to ensure they aren't burning and only flipping once if you can.
  • Remove from the pan and sit on paper towel for 30 seconds to absorb excess oil.
  • To serve, start with a pancake, pour some emulsion over it, place some mushrooms, then your pickled ginger and carrot, creating a little flavour garden on top of the pancake. Finish with a good drizzle of the Okonomiyaki sauce.
  • Enjoy with some rice or a potato croquette.

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