I had some leftover cabbage that needed to be used and of course the first thing that came to mind was to make a okonomiyaki which is may favorite way to use up extra cabbage. Okonomiyaki is a savoury Japanese style pancake that is made with a batter, shredded cabbage and other grated vegetables. From there you can add meats or whatever else you want. In fact, okonomi translates to "as you like" or "what you want" so the pancakes can differ greatly between cooks. Once the pancake is done cooking it is topped with toppings such as mayonnaise, okonomiyaki sauce (like Worcestershire sauce only thicker and sweeter), katsuobushi (dried, fermented, and smoked skipjack tuna), etc. When you order okonomiyaki at a Japanese restaurant you are often brought the raw ingredients and you cook it yourself on a hot plate at your table. This way you get even more control to cook it "as you like".
When I make okonomiyaki at home I like to add grated seasonal vegetables to the batter such as carrots, pears, apples, sweet potatoes, squash, zucchini, etc. I like to place a couple strips of bacon on top which gets cooked when the pancake is flipped over. When making okonomiyaki I like to make one large pancake rather than making several smaller ones. I use my large non stick pan and when I flip the pancake I flip it onto a large plate, flip it onto another large plate and finally flip it back into the pan. (It sounds a bit complicated but it is much easier than trying flip that large pancake with a spatula.) After it is cooked I like to top it simply with the Japanese mayonnaise and the okonomiyaki sauce. You should be able to find both of these in a locale Asian grocery store. I quite enjoy these large savoury vegetable pancakes and they kind of remind me of large vegetable fritters.
Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pancake)
Japanese "as you like pancakes" are stuffed with vegetables, grilled until golden brown and topped with a tasty sauce along with mayonnaise.
- 1 cup flour (I like to use whole wheat)
- 3/4 cup dashi or water
- 1 egg
- 1/4 of a cabbage, about 2-3 cups packed, shredded
- 1 carrot,grated
- 1 small zucchini, grated
- 1 green onion, sliced
- 3 slices bacon
- okonomiyaki sauce (or Worcestershire sauce) to taste
- mayonnaise to taste
- green onions to taste, sliced
- Mix the flour, dashi, egg, cabbage, carrot, zucchini and green onion in a large bowl.
- Heat some oil in pan.
- Pour in mixture and top with the bacon slices.
- Cook on medium heat until golden brown on both sides, about 5-15 minutes per side.
- Top with okonomiyaki sauce, mayonnaise and green onion slices.