I’ve been craving Japanese food for weeks! When I posted my craving on facebook and asked for your favourite Japanese family-style foods, okonomiyaki was the overwhelming favourite! So I got cooking.
I adore food like this, that seems so plain but is full of flavour and, in the style of all the best Asian foods, it’s the accompaniments that you can go crazy with and create an explosion of taste!
As the first, huge pancake set in a perfect circle I gave myself a little pat on the back, only to be bought firmly back to my feet by the realisation that I had to flip the bloomin’ thing! I explain my somewhat unorthodox methods in the recipe.
We spread this batter (a half batch of what I’ve written here) to cover two dinners, and still had mix left. This is a big mix. For single family serves, please halve the ingredients listed here.
When my nearly 4 year old asked for seconds, I knew I was onto a winner!
(Makes approx 12 medium sized pancakes)
1 large cabbage
1 x bunch spring onions – white and green parts finely chopped (some reserved for sprinkling on the cooked pancake)
4 cups flour (I used White Wings gluten free self raising)
4.5 cups water
4 tsp chicken stock powder
2 tsp ginger powder
Meat of your choice: thinly sliced poached chicken, ham slices, bacon slices (optional)
3 T tomato sauce
3 T Worchestershire Sacue
Coriander or mung bean sprouts
Finely shred the cabbage. I used a food processor, so my cabbage was more finely chopped than ‘proper’ okonomiyaki which uses shredded strips of cabbage.
In a large bowl combine the cabbage and most of the spring onions. Reserve some spring onions to top the cooked pancake.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour with the chicken stock and ginger powder.
In a third bowl, beat the eggs and the water.
Combine the egg/water mix with the flour and beat for a few minutes until the mix is smooth. (I used electric hand beaters)
Pour the batter over the cabbage (you’ll need a BIG bowl!) and mix well.
Heat a well oiled, large frypan over medium/low heat.
Spoon one or two ladles of the batter into the pan.
Using two wooden spatulas, press around the edges to stop the mixture from spreading and into a circular shape about 1.5cm thick.
If adding meat, lay it in strips across the top of the pancake.
Cook for 7 minutes or until the mixture is set enough to flip and the edges begin to brown.
Flipping is tricky. I went for a few options! With my first, and biggest pancake, I put it under the griller to set the top, then used the ‘plate on top of the frypan’ method to flip the pancake and then slide it back into the frypan for a further 7 minutes cooking time. When I started making the pancakes smaller, I was able, for the most part, to flip them just using two egg flips.
Mix together the tomato and Worchestershire sauces (alternatively you can use a store bought Okonomiyaki style sauce)
I like to mix some wasabi into the mayo for some extra zing!
Spread or drizzle the sauce and mayo onto the hot, cooked pancake.
Top with extra chopped spring onions, fried onion, coriander and any other toppings you like!
The batter will last for 2 days in the fridge.
*recipe adapted from and inspired by here.