This year I’m going to try to cook at least one new Japanese dish a month, and I will be sharing the recipes with you. This month I cooked an old favourite which I have been trying to improve every time I cook it. The recipe came from the Internet originally, but I’ve changed it a fair bit and made it my own now.
Okonomiyaki is usually described as a “Japanese savoury pancake”, and the word “okonomiyaki” basically means “what you like – grilled”. So, in the spirit of “what you like”, I have created a vegetarian okonomiyaki. I’ve tried this recipe with various meat substitutes, but have discovered that the braised tofu featured below is the yummiest.
- 100g okonomiyaki flour (I bought mine from Arigato, a Japanese supermarket on Brewer Street, London)
- 160ml water or veggie stock
- 2 eggs
- 300g Chinese cabbage (shredded)
- 2 green onions (optional)
- Tofu (or other meat substitute) – as much as you like, but make sure it’s chopped up finely
- Okonomiyaki sauce (Available from most Japanese supermarkets, including the Japan Centre)
Whisk the flour and water/stock until smooth. Add the eggs.
Add the shredded cabbage (and onion) and gently mix.
Add the tofu or meat substitute.
Pour the mixture into a frying pan and cook it like a pancake.
When the mixture starts to solidify, try to flip it over (this is where I always go wrong and it breaks up).
When both sides are cooked, simply slip the okonomiyaki onto a plate.
Drizzle with okonomiyaki sauce and mayonnaise, as you like.
- Cut everything as finely as possible (I’m bad at this!).
- Don’t use too much flour – the taste will come through.
- Squash everything down in the frying pan and be patient before trying to flip it.
- Remember: okonomiyaki is all about what you like, so play with the recipe!
I’ll be back next month with another Japanese recipe. If anyone reading this has their own recipe book and would like me to try something from it, please get in touch! I’d be happy to try anything that falls within my pescetarian diet.