Okonomiyaki – Japanese Pancake
A savory pancake made of cabbage… Initially I had difficulty wrapping my head around what exactly I was about to eat, but I’m always up for trying new stuff. So, I silenced all the questions and doubts in my head and gave it a try and the only thing I can say is, it’s nothing like I was expecting because I didn’t know what to expect. I encourage everyone to simply give it a try.
I was first introduced to this Japanese savory pancake by my Romanian-Manx neighbors. Talk about travelling the world simply by climbing a few stairs. Okonomi translates to ‘as you like it’ and Yaki ‘grilled’, so basically grilled as you like. That’s why if you look for other recipes you will find so many variations. Instead of bacon or pork belly you could also try with prawns, chicken or mushrooms.
The pancakes are quite filling so you can make one pancake per person. One of the main ingredients is the pointed cabbage, which could also be replaced with another type of cabbage. However, the pointed cabbage has a softer texture and sweeter taste. If you go for a different type of cabbage you might need to adjust the cooking time to get the best result. This recipe also calls for a portion of home-made mayo, so make sure you have that ready to go. The katsuobushi and aonori flakes you should be able to find at your local Asian store.
I want to thank my neighbor Maddison for helping me develop this recipe. This is the way we made it but feel free to play around with the fillings and toppings as mentioned above.
Okonomiyaki - Japanese Pancake
- ½ pointed cabbage sliced
- 1 cup tapioca flour
- ¾ cup almond flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¾ cup water
- 1 medium egg
- 100 gram bacon bits or thin slices of pork belly
- 2 spring onions
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- portion home-made mayo
- katsuobushi or bonito flakes
- aonori flakes
- Slice half of the cabbage into thin strips and place in a big bowl.
- Cut the spring onions on a diagonal angle and set aside.
- In another bowl, mix the tapioca, almond flour, salt and baking soda.
- Whisk the eggs before adding them to the flour mix.
- Add the water to the flour mix little by little, mixing everything together with a whisk till you have a smooth batter.
- Pour the batter over the cabbage and mix well.
- Heat up a non-stick pan or a cast iron pan with 1 tbsp coconut oil on medium heat. You could heat up 2 pans to make both pancakes at the same time, or you can finish one first, and then work on the second pancake.
- Gently place half of the mix into the pan in a circle shape (do not press down), and sprinkle half of the spring onions and bacon bits on top.
- Allow to cook on medium high for 5 minutes, or till the edges begin to look dry and the bottom turns golden brown.
- Flip and cook for another 3 minutes on the other side. Once you flip it over try to tuck the edges of the pancake under. That way you will seal the pancake and ensure it steams the bottom to finish off cooking the cabbage.
- Flip back over and place on a plate.
- Repeat steps 6-11 for the other half of the batter.
- Mix your home-made mayo with sriracha and place in a squeeze bottle. If you don’t have a squeeze bottle you can use a spoon to drizzle the sriracha-mayo on top of your pancake in step 2. How much mayo in relation to sriracha you use is completely up to you as this is a personal taste thing.
- Drizzle sriracha-mayo on your pancakes.
- Sprinkle the katsuobushi flakes over the pancakes, finish it off with the aonori flakes, and dig in.