from one generation to the next
We’ve had a few phases of vegetarian eating in our lives, the first driven by economy, the second by a daughter with ethical concerns and then the third by a major health scare.
All that’s behind us now and although we’ve returned to an omnivorous lifestyle, I still hanker after regular meatless meals.
Japanese in origin, okonomiyaki is a cross between a pancake and an omelette. It’s closely related to frittata too, but what makes it unique is the inclusion of cabbage and the drizzle of special sauce that is traditionally served in tandem with mayonnaise on the top. Like it’s European cousin, okonomiyaki is very flexible and while cabbage and the sauce are what defines okonomiyaki, the other vegetables can be varied or omitted according to what you have on hand. Including a layer of meat or cheese would also be an authentic touch too, but for me it veggies all the way.
3 1/3 cups shredded cabbage (used wombok)
1 medium carrot shredded, (100g)
1 small zucchini shredded, (100g)
1 small potato shredded (100g)
1/2 cup sliced spring onion (green only)
2/3 cup brown rice flour
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons peanut oil for cooking
toasted sesame seeds to garnish
In a large bowl thoroughly combine all the ingredients excluding the peanut oil.
Heat a 30cm pan then add just enough peanut oil to form a thin slick over the base.
Tip the vegetable mixture into the pan then use the back of a spoon to spread the mix and push it down.
Cook over a low heat for about 20 minutes or until the centre is firm.
Flip the okonomiyaki onto a flat tray then slip it back into the pan, uncooked side down.
Continue to cook for a further 10 minutes.
Flip the okonomiyaki out of the pan onto a serving plate.
Top with the pickled salad* scatter over toasted sesame seeds.
Serve drizzled with mayonnaise and the okonomiyaki sauce**
*Quick pickle salad:
3 radishes, very thinly sliced
1 tablespoon of sushi seasoning*** (recipe below)
3 finger sized cucumbers, halved and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon of sushi seasoning
1 tablespoon of pickled ginger cut into fine julienne
2 tablespoons finely sliced spring onion greens
Combine the radish slices with one tablespoon of sushi seasoning and set aside for 30 minutes.
Combine the cucumber slices with one tablespoon of sushi seasoning and set aside for 30 minutes.
Drain the radishes and cucumber and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
Pat dry with paper towels.
Combine the radish slices, cucumber slices, pickled ginger and spring onion greens.
Scatter over the okonomiyaki
** Okonomiyaki sauce:
2 tablespoons tomato sauce (ketchup)
2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon hot mustard
2 teaspoons sake
1 teaspoon tamari
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
Whisk the ingredients together until smooth.
Drizzle over okonomiyaki.
1 tablespoon castor sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
Gently warm the vinegar, then add the sugar and salt and stir until they are dissolved.