Serves: 2 and a baby
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Okonomiyaki is a wonderful Japanese cabbage pancake. The okonomi means “how you like it” and yaki means “cooked”. While the words cabbage pancake are unlikely to get anyone excited this dish really has it all. It’s fresh and rich savoury flavours are complimented and enhanced with the garnishes of japanese mayo, katsu sauce and Benito flakes.
This dish works great as a pure veggie meal however as the above picture shows I finished it with Benito flakes (smoked and dried flakes of tuna) and soy and honey glazed chicken and mushrooms.
I have read of people breaking an egg on top of the pancakes after flipping them and then covering the pan with an upside down wok to hold the heat in. The trick is to have the pancake just cooked with a soft egg cooked onto it. Really though how you finish these off is up to you. Mayo and katsu sauce work brilliantly so I’ll include my quick Katsu sauce recipe.
You will need :
For the Okonomiyaki:
300g (approx 1\4) sweetheart cabbage (any other cabbage should work just fine) very finely sliced
100g carrot finely grated
100g courgette finely grated
2 spring onions finely chopped
1″/2.5cm piece of ginger peeled and finely chopped
Handful of fresh chives finely sliced
Handful of fresh coriander chopped
125g plain flour
2 large eggs
30g (approx 2 tbsp) dark soy sauce
1/2 vegetable stock cube and 70g water or 70g dashi or vegetable stock
For the Katsu sauce :
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp garam masala
2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 veggie or chicken stock cube
1 tbsp tomato paste
For the Okonomiyaki :
Set a large heavy based frying pan over a medium heat.
In a large mixing bowl, toss all of the prepared veggies together with the ginger, spring onions and herbs.
In a separate bowl combine the flour, eggs, soy sauce and stock/stock cube and water. Beat until smooth (I used my stick blender).
Pour the batter over the vegetables and mix in.
Add a little oil to the frying pan and then stir the veggie/batter mix with your hand before taking a good handful and adding it to the pan.
Cook it for 3-5 minutes before flipping it and cooking for 3 more minutes.
They are of course best eaten straight away. You can always put more pans on or use a handy tepanyaki grill to cook all the batter at once. Failing that just set them aside and then flash them through a hot oven for a couple of minutes.
For the katsu sauce:
Set a small saucepan over a medium heat and add the oil. Fry the onions and carrot until they start to colour then add the garam masala and fry for 1 minute.
Add the soy sauce, tomato paste and stock/ stock cube and water.
Simmer for about 10 minutes until the veggies are soft and then blitz until smooth.
When you are ready to serve, dress the Okonomiyaki generously with drizzles of mayonnaise and katsu sauce. Next a pinch of chopped chives and coriander then chuck on some Benito and or seaweed flakes and you’re good to go.
You can mix up the veggies though in my opinion a base of cabbage works well. I’ve seen the veggies swapped out for noodles but am yet to give it ago. If anyone has, let me know if it’s worth it.