I love Japanese food. I love the sashimi, the salty pickles, the grilled meats, the sushi and rice balls, the simple, almost understated tastes and textures. When I was 21 I had the supreme fortune to be able to travel to Japan and live in Tokyo for 2 years, teaching English at a high school. It was a fabulous experience. The work was not very demanding and once or twice a week after work I went into town to a language school. After the hour class my friends and I would venture into an “Izakaya”, a local drinking/eating establishment frequented by workers finishing their shifts and looking for a bite and a drink and it was here that I was really able and to get to know the more common Japanese foods that are not as well known internationally (but should be!) – Okonomiyaki being one of them.
Okonomiyaki is often referred to as ‘Japanese Pizza’ and is a savoury cabbage-based pancake usually grilled on a communal open griddle pan and served with a variety of condiments, such as mustard, BBQ sauce, bonito flakes (dried fish flakes), kewpi mayonnaise and nori. The name literally translates to ‘As you like it’ with endless variations. This is my paleo version and it came really close to the pancakes I used to make on wheat flour. It was fantastic!
INGREDIENTS (enough to make two large pancakes)
. 4 eggs
. 3 tbspn coconut flour
. 5 tbspn water
. 1 carrot, grated
. 2 cups shredded cabbage
. 1/2 onion, very finely diced
. 3 bacon rashes, rind removed and sliced in three
. Olive oil to coat pan
. Condiments of choice – I used mustard, BBQ sauce, a little mayo and some Japanese pickled ginger.
1. Create a smooth, runny batter by whisking first 4 ingredients together in a large bowl
2. Add vegies to batter and mix well to ensure an even coat (it will not resemble a normal batter at this stage, rather the cabbage will only just be coated with the eggy mixture)
3. Heat oil in large frying pan over medium heat and add half the bacon
4. When underside of bacon is crisp turn over and then top with half of the batter mix
5. Cook for approximately 8 minutes, until you can notice the batter on the top is starting to set
6. Using a large dinner plate flip over the pancake and cook the other side until done
7. Top with your choice of condiments and tuck in!
We have two frypans going at once so we can enjoy this delicious, simple meal together. This was my first attempt at ‘paleofying’ Okonomiyaki and I was very happy with the result. Next time I may reduce the coconut flour down to 2 tablespoons and make sure I have in the pantry some bonito flakes which make the Okonomiyaki taste really authentic! Overall a delicious meal and I can’t wait to make it again 🙂