Eating in Japan: Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki is a Japanese style pancake, traditionally made with flour, cabbage and egg. I made myself sick eating these babies in Osaka because they truly are delicious (but not so good for the wheat-free tummy) so was inspired to find a good vegetarian and gluten-free recipe. And here it is!

1/2 a green cabbage, finely chopped (I recommend Chinese cabbage)
1/4 of a cup finely chopped green spring onions
2 1/2 cups of gluten free flour (general purpose)
4-6 tablespoons of kombu dashi (stock made from boiling kombu seaweed)
2 cups of water (may need to add more as needed)
4 eggs
1 teaspoon of xanthan gum
4 teaspoons of beni-shoga (red pickled ginger, already sliced into sticks)
oil for frying
Onions, mushrooms, tofu, spinach… the list is endless! Cut these vegetables into thin bite-sized pieces.

Okonomiyaki sauce (you can buy it at Japanese supermarkets)
Japanese mayonnaise (the kewpie brand is yummy) or soy mayonnaise
Aonori (dried green seaweed flakes), optional

1. Pre-cook the vegetables (soften) you wish to add to your okonomiyaki.
2. Mix the cabbage, flour, dashi, water, eggs, ginger and onions in large bowl. The batter should match that of a normal pancake.
3. Pour 1 cup of the batter into a separate bowl and add the vegetables you’d like in one okonomiyaki. Add one teaspoon of beni shoga and mix the ingredients to gether.
4. Heat a large frypan over low to medium flame and lightly oil.
5. Pour the batter and vegetables in a circular shape in the frypan.
6. Cook until bottom of okonomiyaki starts to color and edges become firm. Using multiple spatulas, loosen the okonomiyaki and flip it over. Cook until bottom has turned light golden and center is firm, this will take about 6 to 8 minutes.
7. To garnish, squeeze okonomiyaki sauce and mayonnaise over the okonomiyaki (you may want to make it in strips or cover the whole surface of the pancake). Sprinkle the okonomiyaki with aonori if you wish. Eat!

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