Saturday, March 28, 2015

Cabbage Okonomiyaki

It's a mouthful. Literally!!! And such a delightful mouthful it is. In essence, it really is a big cabbage fritter that is shallow fried very quickly into a palm sized crispy pancake. You shred the cabbage very fine, add carrot and kale slivers and mix in egg and flour. I find a simplified recipe on Smitten Kitchen and then I tweak it a tad bit. I add furikake sprinkles to the mix. It is a robust Japanese seasoning of bonito flakes, sesame seeds, seaweed and other things umami. Okonomiyaki usually calls for bonito flakes as a garnish. Why not add them to the cabbage?? Inside vs outside? Works for me.

The Smitten Kitchen recipe calls for a mandoline to shred cabbage. Having heard many real life ER stories, I give the mandoline a wide berth! It's my trusty knife and me. I can assure you it can be done. Or use a food processor!! Cabbage is shredded really fine. I shave thin pieces of carrot on to the pile of cruciferous veggies. I sliver some kale to add to the mix. Flour, seasoning and eggs bind the veggies together. And as I assemble the pancakes, G makes an excellent accompanying sauce. 

Makes 8 small pancakes

2 cups Cabbage, shredded very fine
1 Carrot
1/2 cup Kale
2 tablespoons Furikake (see pic below)
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
A few cracks of ground Black Pepper
1/2 cup Flour
3 Eggs
Canola oil for frying
Toasted Sesame Seeds

1/4 Tomato Ketchup
2 teaspoons Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon Honey
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Rice wine Vinegar
A large pinch of toasted Sesame Seeds 

Mix ketchup, soy, honey, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar and sesame seeds in a bowl. Set aside.

Put shredded cabbage in a large bowl.

Using a vegetable peeler, shave thin slices of carrot over cabbage.

Slice kale into thin slivers and add to veggies.

Sprinkle flour, furikake and seasonings over veggies

Break eggs into the veggies and mix gently till everything looks a little gooey.

Heat oil in a large nonstick pan till it shimmers.

Drop a heaping of veggies one at a time into hot oil. You should have four 3 inch mounds. Flatten mounds gently with a spatula. 

Let pancakes fry for 3-5 minutes till the undersides are golden brown. Flip the pancake using a spatula and spoon. Let pancakes brown for a few minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels for a minute. 

Arrange pancakes on a platter, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and serve them with  dipping sauce.

These hefty pancakes are drizzled liberally with sauce and eaten quite cheerfully. We do love the much maligned cabbage in infinite forms. Though I know this one has found a permanent place in my kitchen.