Okonomiyaki (Japanese Cabbage ‘Pancake’)

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Okonomiyaki
(Japanese Cabbage ‘Pancake’)

The first time I went to Japan, I remember going to this Okonomiyaki restaurant that my guide book said was like the Japanese version of pizza. Talk about not meeting expectations.

To be honest it’s not really a pancake either.

BUT it is delicious!

And it does involve cabbage, one of my favourite vegetables. And it’s one of those brilliant, pop everything in the oven and let dinner cook itself meals.

Please don’t feel like you need to get all ‘cheffy’ and pipe the mayonnaise on top. I just wanted it to look really pretty for my photo shoot. Couldn’t help myself!

oh and… If you’re wondering about the blue colour, it’s because I made it with red cabbage in advance which turns blue when exposed to alkaline conditions. It still tastes the same – just a bit more ‘smurf-like’ on the appearance.

enough for: 2
takes: 30 minutes

500g (1lb) cabbage (1/2 small or 1/4 large)
4 eggs
2 tablespoons soy sauce
100g (3.5oz) almond meal
1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional)
4 tablespoons mayonnaise

1. Grease and line a 24cm (9in) spring form pan. Preheat your oven to 200C (400F).

2. Finely slice cabbage using a sharp knife. Place cabbage in a bowl with the eggs, soy sauce and almond meal. Stir to combine then pack the cabbage mixture into your prepared tin, flattening down to make the top smooth.

3. Sprinkle with sesame seeds (if using) and bake for 15-20 minutes or until well browned on top and the egg looks set when you cut into the middle. And the cabbage is no longer hard and crunchy.

4. Stand for a few minutes to cool slightly before cutting and serving with mayo on top. Either dollop the mayo on or place it in a small ziplock bag and snip off one corner to use as a piping bag to drizzle over the mayo.

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WINE MATCH: Try it with a glass of cold Sake or a Japanese beer.

Variations & Substitutions

Short on time – use pre-shredded cabbage.

5-ingredients / über simple – skip the sesame seeds.

more substantial (carb lovers) – serve with steamed rice.

more substantial (low carb) – serve with roasted nuts like cashews, extra mayo or smashed avocado drizzled with a little more soy sauce.

Low FODMAP – replace almond meal with ground sunflower seeds or low FODMAP flour.

nut free – ground sunflower seeds or use flour or soft bread crumbs instead.

more Japanese – serve with 1-2 finely sliced nori sheets (seaweed used for sushi rolls). Or sprinkle over some schichimi togarashi.

more veg – add in or replace some of the cabbage with grated veg like carrots, beets, cauliflower or broccoli. A few sliced green onions (scallions) can also be nice. OR serve with steamed Asian greens on the side. Or just sprinkle over some baby spinach after its cooked.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

cabbage (white) – will keep in a plastic bag in the fridge for weeks, even months. Can be frozen but will have a wilted texture once defrosted.

eggs – will keep in the fridge for weeks or use for another meal.

soy sauce / almond meal / sesame seeds – keep them in the pantry.

mayonnaise – unopened in pantry or once opened will keep for months in the fridge.

Prepare Ahead

Yes! Just cook as per the recipe but keep the mayo separately. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks or can be frozen. To serve, warm in the oven for 10 minutes or less and finish with the mayo.

Okonomiyaki_

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