Yes – where have this genius Japanese dish been all my life? I have always loved Japanese food and flavours. But I had never heard of Okonomiyaki until only a few months back, when I stumbled upon a recipe on the Internet while searching for other stuff. It instantly sparked my interest and it wasn’t long until I tried, and quickly adjusted the recipe to fit my own cooking style.
My take on this genious dish is gluten free, using buckwheat flour which is known to be a blood-building food that can help clean and strengthen intestines and lower blood pressure. Seems like a great idea instead of regular wheat flour right? My recipe has quite few ingredients involved (but you can always add more according to mood and current taste) and can be thrown together in less than 15 minutes.
To sum it up – this charming dish is almost too good to be true! At least if you love cabbage as much as I do. It is both fast, simple, healthy and delicious at the same time. Perfect everyday food when you crave something warm and comforting and you have very little time!
Please let me know in the comments if perhaps you have tried genuine Okonomiyaki in Japan, or if you have made other versions yourself!
Okonomiyaki with scallions and black sesame seeds
8 smaller pancakes (serves 2 hungry people as a main or 4 as a side)
400 g (about 4 cups) white cabbage, finely shredded (a mandolin is a great tool here)
a bunch of scallions (6-8 stalks), finely chopped
2 tbsp black sesame seeds
6 tbsp buckwheat flour
6 tbsp water
1/2 tsp sea salt
pinch of black pepper
pinch of chili flakes (optional)
sesame oil and coconut oil for frying
tamari or teriyaki sauce, coriander leaves + pickled red ginger to serve
1) In a medium to large bowl combine buckwheat flour and water and whisk until smooth. Add the eggs, salt, pepper and chili flakes (if using) and beat until you have a smooth batter.
2) Add the shredded cabbage, scallions and sesame seeds and mix throughly using a fork until everything is covered in the pancake batter.
3) Heat 1 tbsp each of sesame oil and coconut oil in a large frying pan. Using a spoon and a fork (I find this the easiest way) place four little heaps of the batter in the middle of the pan. I like mine a little “messy”. Fry 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden and crispy. Repeat until you have used up all of the batter.
4) Serve immediately with tamari or teriyaki sauce, coriander leaves + pickled red ginger.
Filling add-ons suggestions:
• Arame, soaked 10-20 minutes and drained (absolutely delicious and adds valuable minerals and proteins)
• Cooked noodles, rice, quinoa etc. (a great way to use up leftovers and make the pancakes more filling)
• Grated potatoes, sweet potatoes or other roots
• Grated cheese
Please note: I do not claim to have a genuine Japanese recipe for you here. It is inspired by several basic recipes that I found during my research, but it is totally my personal take on the dish and it is probably a lot “simpler” than the original. This applies to the toppings as well. But like I said – I have adjusted the recipe to fit my personal cooking style and tastes. I hope you like it too!