Okonomiyaki – Japanese Cabbage Pancake

By Fongolicious - July 18, 2012

I often have heaps of vegetables in the fridge and struggle to use it up before it goes off. This time around we had a lovely head of Chinese cabbage but with only two of us, we were struggling to eat this watermelon sized cabbage. Until I came across the idea to make Japanese cabbage pancake. For those who aren’t cabbage lovers, this might turn you off. However, this is YUMMY! You wouldn’t even notice it's made of cabbage and it's also great for those fussy kids too.

Okonomiyaki means whatever you like, grilled (apparently). So feel free to put whatever you fancy in this dish with the base obviously being cabbage. I see many recipes putting seafood (prawns, mussels, scallops), other have pickled ginger, shallots, onions etc. I’ve outlined the basic “base” below and what I used from what I had in the fridge. This is a great quick meal and suitable for vegetarians (with simple substitutes).

The recipe below I’ve adapted from Cook, Snap, Repeat! And I followed the method from this youtube video called Cooking With Dog.

(Serves 2)
3/4 cup plain flour
1/2 tspn baking powder
1/2 cup of dashi stock (vegetarians can substitute for vegetable stock or water)
pinch of salt and pepper (to taste)
1 tblspn potato starch with a bit of water to form a paste (normal, the Japanese use grated yam but I didn’t have any handy, but the idea is to make it sticky)
~ 2+/- cup finely chopped cabbage (be sure to remove the thick bit of the cabbage)
1/4 large onion, finely chopped
200g mushrooms, chopped in small cubes
2 eggs, lightly beaten
herbs to suit (I added a bit of dill and parsley – not the most Japanese but I couldn’t pass up the option)
Oil (olive or vegetable) for coating fry pan
250g streaky bacon, cut in about 5cm lengths
~ You can add other ‘toppings’ to suit

To serve
Okonomiyaki sauce (optional)
Japanese mayonnaise (Kewpie)
Sesame seeds
Bonito flakes

1. In a large bowl combine flour and baking powder. Add salt and pepper. Stir in stock to form a thick yet runny paste. You may need more liquid (stock or water) depending on the batter consistency. Watch the youtube video to get a better gauge of the consistency required. Add potato starch mixture and mix through.
2. Add chopped cabbage, onions, mushrooms (other filling ingredients you have chosen) to the batter. Add eggs. Stir to just combine. Be sure not to over mix.
3. On medium to high heat a small to medium fry pan, add oil to coat. Add about a cup of mixture to pan and using the back of a spoon, spread out to form a thick’ish pancake. Again the video will provide you with a good guide. Place bacon strips on the flattened batter. Add a little bit more batter just on top of the bacon so it secures the bacon onto the pancake.
4. After a few minutes (3 to 5 minutes), flip pancake. Cook for a further 3 to 5 minutes. Cover to cook through, uncover to crisp edges. Once cooked through, place on serving plate. Repeat step #3 and #4 with remaining batter.
5. To serve, top with sauce (I didn’t have any and am not a fan of sweet sauces so I left this out), mayonnaise, sesame seeds and bonito flakes. I also added nori sprinkles.

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