Smashed Potatoes with Okonomiyaki Toppings

Smashed potatoes, Okonomiyaki style! I love savory pancakes, and Japanese Okonomiyaki are one of the best out there. While the pancakes themselves are to die for, I get the most excited about all the fun toppings that take the dish to the next level. Here, we take shatteringly crisp smashed potatoes and top them with tonkatsu sauce, kewpie mayo, scallions, nori, and bonito flakes. It’s extremely savory, a bit sweet and tangy, and subtly smoky, thanks to the bonito. 

Traditional Okonomiyaki

Traditionally, Okonomiyaki combines a savory wheat or yam batter with sliced vegetables (typically cabbage) and meat or seafood. The name literally means “how you like it,” so there are a ton of variations out there. When I make Okonomiyaki at home, I follow Sokono Sakai’s recipe from Japanese Home Cooking, which you can also find online here.

Why this Recipe Works

In reality we are simply subbing out crispy on the outside creamy on the inside savory pancakes with crispy on the outside creamy on the inside smashed potatoes. However, tonkatsu sauce has ketchup it it, which we know pairs well with potatoes. Mayonnaise, as well, is a potato’s best friend (personally I am on team fries with mayo). It just all makes sense!

potatoes half way through cooking

How to Smash Potatoes

You can achieve the perfect smashed potato consistency by simply doing the following: boil your potatoes for 10 minutes, use a bottle or jar to flatten each one, top with oil and salt, and bake for 15 minutes per side.

Smashed Potatoes with Okonomiyaki Toppings

Course: SidesCuisine: JapaneseDifficulty: Easy


Cooking time



Here, we take shatteringly crisp smashed potatoes and top them with tonkatsu sauce, kewpie mayo, scallions, nori, and bonito flakes. It’s extremely savory, a bit sweet and tangy, and subtly smoky, thanks to the bonito


  • For the Smashed Potatoes
  • 2 pounds small yukon gold potatoes

  • Canola oil

  • Salt and pepper

  • For the Tonkatsu Sauce
  • 2.5 tbsp ketchup

  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce

  • ½ tbsp mirin

  • ½ tbsp sugar

  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard

  • Toppings
  • Sliced scallions

  • Furikake or crumbled nori

  • Kewpie mayo

  • Bonito flakes


  • Place the potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water (ensure the water reaches at least 2 inches above the potatoes). Add a very generous amount of salt (think small handful, not spoonful).
  • Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Boil for about 10 minutes after the water reaches a boil, or until fork tender.
  • While the potatoes boil, preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
  • Drain the potatoes and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Grease a large baking sheet with canola oil and place the potatoes on the sheet.
  • Using a large mason jar or the bottom of a bottle, gently press down on each potato until they flatten. You don’t need to go super thin. See video for reference.
  • Use a pastry brush (or your fingers) to drizzle the tops of the potatoes with more oil.
  • Season the tops of the potatoes with salt and pepper and place in the oven to roast for 15 minutes.
  • While the potatoes bake, whisk together all the ingredients for the tonkatsu sauce and set aside.
  • After 15 minutes, remove the potatoes from the oven and use a thin spatula to gently flip each potato. Season each potato with salt and pepper again. Place the potatoes back in the oven for another 15 minutes. potatoes half way through cooking
  • When the potatoes are ready, remove them from the baking sheet and place on a large serving plate.
  • Drizzle generously with tonkatsu sauce and kewpie mayo, making a long zig zag pattern. Top with scallions, furikake or nori, and bonito flakes. Serve immediately. smashed potatoes okonomiyaki style
  • Tip: bring any leftover tonkatsu sauce to the table for dipping.

Recipe Video


  • There should be enough broth for about 3 cod filets, but you can certainly keep the same recipe for just two filets.
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