Okonomiyaki Yam Substitutes: Here Are Some Recommended Alternatives You Can Choose

Okonomiyaki is a great dish to cook and eat on holidays with family or at home parties with friends.

It is said that mixing yams into the batter makes it fluffy and fluffy, but there are times when yams are not available.

Oh no! I don’t have any yams. What should I do? 😱😱😱

In such a case, what can I mix instead of yams to make delicious okonomiyaki?

In this article, I’ll introduce you to “substitutes for yams in okonomiyaki” that will help you when you’re in trouble!

Sticky? Fluffy? The texture of yams

Speaking of yams, they are often used to make “grated yam” that is poured over rice or soup.

Grated raw yam is sticky and has a gooey texture.

However, when the grated yam is heated, the texture changes from gooey to fluffy!

The reason why okonomiyaki becomes fluffy when yam is used as a binder is probably because of this characteristic.

When using it in okonomiyaki, simply add the grated yam to the batter and mix well.

As for the amount, most people seem to use about half to the same amount of flour.

You’ll have to find the perfect amount for each family according to their preferences!

These 12 ingredients are recommended to be added to okonomiyaki instead of yams!

Substitute for yams in okonomiyaki 1: Tofu

Tofu Soboro

The first ingredient you should try as a substitute for yams is “tofu”.

It’s not a special ingredient, so you may even find it in your refrigerator without having to go shopping.

There are quite a few hamburger recipes that use tofu in the base.

Not only is it a great way to save money by using less ground meat, but adding tofu also makes the dish soft and fluffy.

Similar to tofu hamburgers, tofu can also be used to make okonomiyaki fluffy!

If you are using 1 cup of flour for two people, just mix about a third to a half of a pound of tofu in a bowl with the batter ingredients.

For a fluffier and fluffier texture, use a whisk to mix the tofu well.

There is no need to drain the water, which can be troublesome.

The use of tofu is also a great way to reduce calories.

Substitute for yams in okonomiyaki 2: Meringue


Next up is “meringue”.

Meringue is egg whites whisked together in a bowl. It’s a word you often see in recipes for sweets.

By using this meringue, you can make okonomiyaki with a fluffy texture without using yams!

First, separate the prepared eggs into egg whites and egg yolks. Whip the egg whites with a whisk or hand mixer until they form a stiff meringue.

Mix the remaining egg yolks with flour in a separate bowl as in the regular recipe, and add the meringue at the end.

After adding the meringue, it is recommended to turn the mixture over several times from the bottom rather than mixing hard.

Substitute for yams in okonomiyaki 3: Hanpen


Hanpen, a popular ingredient in oden, is another ingredient that can make okonomiyaki fluffy instead of yams.

You may not be familiar with it in the Kansai region, but hanpen is a fish paste made mainly from white fish, and its texture is very fluffy.

One of the ingredients is yam, which is one of the reasons for the fluffy texture.

Let’s use Hanpen as a substitute for yams to make okonomiyaki.

How to make

  • Crush the hanpen into small pieces. It is so soft that you can easily crush it by hand, and you don’t have to worry about getting your hands dirty if you apply pressure from the top of the bag.
  • Mix the mashed hanpen with the dough ingredients.
  • Mix the crushed hanpen with the batter ingredients and bake to make fluffy okonomiyaki!

The fish flavor and umami taste will make you feel like you are getting something special.

Substitute for yams in okonomiyaki 4: Nagaimo (Japanese yam)

nagaimo-japanese yam

Now, how about nagaimo, which seems to be very similar to yams?

Both the yam and some other types of potatoes are in the genus Yamanoimo.

However, their tastes and textures are not the same.

They are crispy to the touch and contain more water than yams.

As you can see, yam is a different food with different characteristics from yams, so mixing it into okonomiyaki batter may not have the same effect as yam.

However, many people have found that mixing grated nagaimo into the batter makes okonomiyaki fluffy, just like yams.

Since there are many recipes for baked dishes with grated nagaimo that are fluffy, it can be said that a certain effect can be expected.

The trick may be to grate the nagaimo so that it contains air.

Substitute for yams in okonomiyaki 5: Taro


Taro, which is often used in stewed dishes, can also be added to the batter to make it light and fluffy.

The key is to add grated taro. You can also use a food processor.

When it comes to taro, the wetness of the peeled skin is a concern.

If you peel them when they are wet, they will slip easily, so I recommend drying them as much as possible after washing them before using a knife.

Substitute for yams in okonomiyaki 6: Potatoes


Potatoes are probably the most popular of all potatoes, and many people are familiar with them.

Even if you mix grated potatoes into the batter instead of yams, you can make delicious okonomiyaki.

It will be fluffy to the touch, but you may find that it is more glutinous than yams.

Substitute for yams in okonomiyaki 7: Potato starch

Potato Starch

If you can’t find any potatoes or other ingredients that can replace the yam, and you don’t have time to go shopping, you can use potato starch, which is always available in the kitchen.

Like potatoes, potato starch gives a sticky texture when baked.

Just mix it with the flour and dashi broth.

The more potato starch you use, the soggier it will be, so try to find the right balance with the flour.

Substitute for yam in okonomiyaki 8: Baking powder

Baking Powder

Baking powder is used to make cakes and sweets fluffy and puffy.

If you don’t have yams or other ingredients to replace them, but you want to eat okonomiyaki with fluffy dough, you may want to resort to baking powder.

Just add a little to the flour to make it fluffy and baked.

I also recommend combining it with potato starch!

Substitute yams for okonomiyaki 9 to 12 and more

  • Natto
  • Lentil
  • Okra


  • When grated yam is heated, the texture changes to a fluffy one.
  • The following 12 ingredients are recommended to be used in okonomiyaki batter as a substitute for yams. [Tofu, meringue, hanpen, nagaimo, taro, potato, potato starch, baking powder, zucchini, natto, lotus root, okra].
  • Tofu, meringue, and hanpen will give the okonomiyaki a fluffy texture, while potatoes and potato starch will give it a sticky texture.