Okonomiyaki – Vegetable Pancakes

Okonomiyaki (A Seat at the Table)

Okonomiyaki is a delicious Japanese-style vegetable pancake. There are various styles of making these, and this is by no means a traditional recipe, but it’s a delicious and unique way to serve vegetables. You can really use a wide range of vegetables for this, but usually includes quite a bit of cabbage. More traditional versions typically have seafood or pork in them, but I went with a straight vegetable option.

Okonomiyaki are really adaptable to whatever you have on hand, I used cabbage, bok choy, and scallions, but kale, carrots, or other hearty vegetables would also work well. Using a mandoline is an easy way to get uniformly thin slices, but you can also just work on your knife skills and cut everything into very thin slices. Traditional okonomiyaki are topped with Kewpie mayonnaise (not like American mayo) and an okonomiyaki BBQ sauce, but I used Bulldog sauce which I don’t get to eat often enough and is delicious. You should be able to find both of those at an Asian grocery store. I also think it’s delicious topped with pickled ginger to give a little bright note.

Okonomiyaki – Vegetable Pancakes

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes about 5 large pancakes

  • 5-6 cups shredded cabbage
  • 3 cups other finely chopped vegetables (bok choy, carrots, kale)
  • 4-6 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp soy sauce (or salt)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil (optional)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 6 eggs, whisked
  • canola oil for frying

Wash hands with soap and water before starting.

In a large bowl, combine vegetables, scallions, soy sauce and sesame oil (if using), use tongs to give a toss. Sprinkle in flour, using tongs to ensure flour is evenly coating the vegetables. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs.

Preheat oven to 250°F to keep pancakes warm. Heat a skillet over medium high heat, then add in canola oil (enough to coat the bottom of the pan) and allow that to heat. Mix the eggs in with the vegetable mixture. When the oil is hot, scoop in some of the mixture and flatten to a thin layer. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until a nice golden brown. Move to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while cooking the remaining batter.

You can also make these in smaller (easier to flip) versions, which is less traditional but easier to handle.

Serve with a little pile of pickled ginger, Japanese mayonnaise, and/or Bulldog sauce.

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