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The 5 Best Substitutes for Okonomiyaki Sauce

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Okonomiyaki is a Japanese dish that means “grilled as you like it”.

The dish is made by grilling a batter of egg, flour, and water on a hotplate and then topping it with a variety of ingredients, such as cabbage, pork, shrimp, and cheese.

One of the key ingredients in Okonomiyaki is okonomiyaki sauce, which is a sweet and savory sauce used for both dippings and as a topping.

But what if you don’t have any okonomiyaki sauce on hand? Here are five substitutes that will work just as well.

What is Okonomiyaki Sauce?

Okonomiyaki is a savory Japanese pancake, and okonomiyaki sauce is the key ingredient that gives it its delicious flavor.

The sauce is similar to Worcestershire sauce or tonkatsu sauce and is made with a base of fruit, vinegar, and soy.

It also typically contains sugar, garlic, ginger, and other seasonings.

The result is a thick, sweet-and-sour sauce with a slightly salty kick. The sauce originated in Osaka, Japan.

Its name comes from the Japanese word “okonomi,” which means “what you like”.

This reflects the fact that Okonomiyaki can be customized with a variety of toppings to suit your personal taste.

In addition to the classic savory option, there are also sweeter versions of Okonomiyaki that use fruit instead of vegetables.

Okonomiyaki sauce is most commonly used as a dipping sauce or condiment.

It can also be used as a marinade or glaze for grilled meats or vegetables.

And, of course, it’s the perfect finishing touch for okonomiyaki pancakes.

If you’re looking for a delicious way to add flavor to your next meal, give okonomiyaki sauce a try.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Okonomiyaki Sauce

If you don’t have okonomiyaki sauce on hand, never fear.

There are several substitutes that will work just as well in a pinch.

Here are the five best substitutes for okonomiyaki sauce:

1 – Hoisin Sauce

Hoisin sauce is a thick, sweet-and-sour condiment that is often used in Chinese cuisine.

It has a dark brown color and a sticky texture, and it is made from a variety of ingredients, including soybeans, wheat flour, sugar, and spices.

The taste of hoisin sauce is similar to that of Okonomiyaki sauce, making it a good substitute in recipes.

When substituting hoisin sauce for Okonomiyaki sauce, it is important to keep the following tips in mind.

First, because hoisin sauce is sweeter than Okonomiyaki sauce, you may need to add additional savory ingredients to balance out the flavor.

Second, the hoisin sauce is thicker than Okonomiyaki sauce, so you may need to adjust the amount of liquid in your recipe accordingly.

With these tips in mind, you can successfully use hoisin sauce as a substitute for Okonomiyaki sauce in your favorite recipes.

2 – Oyster Sauce

Oyster sauce is a thick, dark brown condiment made from oyster extracts, sugar, and salt.

It is commonly used in Chinese and Thai cuisine to add a savory depth of flavor to dishes.

The taste is salty, sweet, and umami-rich, with a slightly fishy undertone.

The texture is sticky and viscous.

To substitute oyster sauce for Okonomiyaki sauce, simply mix together equal parts oyster sauce and water.

This will give you a similar consistency and flavor profile to the traditional Japanese sauce.

You can also add a pinch of MSG or dried seaweed to further enhance the umami flavor.

Use this mixture in place of Okonomiyaki sauce in any recipe.

3 – Tonkatsu Sauce

Tonkatsu sauce is a thick, Sweet brown sauce that is often used as a dipping sauce for Tonkatsu, a Japanese dish made with fried pork cutlets.

The sauce is also popular as an ingredient in Okonomiyaki, a Japanese savory pancake.

Tonkatsu sauce has a sweet and tangy flavor, with hints of Worcestershire sauce, onion, and garlic.

It is thick and creamy in texture, making it perfect for coating fried foods.

If you can’t find Tonkatsu sauce at your local Asian market, you can substitute it with Okonomiyaki sauce.

Okonomiyaki sauce is similar in taste and texture, but it is not as thick.

It also has a slightly smoky flavor due to the addition of bonito flakes.

Either way, you’re sure to enjoy the delicious taste of Tonkatsu sauce.

4 – Chuno Sauce

Chuno sauce is a thick, dark brown sauce often used in Korean cuisine.

It has a sweet and savory taste with a hint of spiciness.

The sauce is made from a variety of ingredients, including soybean paste, gochujang (red pepper paste), honey, and garlic.

Chuno sauce is commonly used as a dipping sauce for fried foods or as a topping for vegetables or rice.

It can also be used as a substitute for Okonomiyaki sauce.

When substituting Chuno sauce for Okonomiyaki sauce, it is important to remember that the flavors will be slightly different.

The sweetness of the honey will be more pronounced, and the spiciness of the gochujang will be muted.

Nevertheless, Chuno sauce makes an excellent alternative to Okonomiyaki sauce and can be used in any recipe that calls for the latter.

5 – Takoyaki Sauce

Takoyaki sauce is a thick, sweet-savory sauce often used in Japanese cuisine.

It has a rich umami flavor and a slightly thick consistency, making it perfect for coating grilled or fried foods.

Takoyaki sauce is often used as a dipping sauce for takoyaki, a popular grilled snack made with octopus and vegetables.

However, it can also be used on other dishes such as Okonomiyaki, yakisoba, and karaage.

If you’re looking for a takoyaki sauce substitute, Okonomiyaki sauce is a good option.

It has a similar taste and texture but is slightly thinner in consistency.

Whether you use takoyaki or Okonomiyaki sauce, you’re sure to enjoy the delicious flavors of Japanese cuisine.


In conclusion, Okonomiyaki sauce is a delicious, umami-rich sauce that can be used in a variety of dishes.

If you’re looking for a substitute for Okonomiyaki sauce, there are several options available.

Hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, tonkatsu sauce, Chuno sauce, and takoyaki sauce are all good substitutes for Okonomiyaki sauce.

Each of these sauces has a unique flavor profile, so be sure to choose one that will complement the dish you’re making.

Whichever sauce you choose, you’re sure to enjoy the delicious taste of Japanese cuisine.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Okonomiyaki Sauce

Recipe by Andrew Gray Course: Substitutes


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  • Hoisin Sauce

  • Oyster Sauce

  • Tonkatsu Sauce

  • Chuno Sauce

  • Takoyaki Sauce


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.

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