Today is Pancake Day. It’s a day which always makes me wonder why we don’t eat pancakes more often. They are so simple and versatile. Here’s an idea for something a little different to have any day of the week. I have chosen this Japanese street food dish to share with you as traditional food from this part of the world is generally fresh and healthy; and something I always give focus to in my Longevity Nutrition workshops.
Okonomiyaki is a Japanese savoury pancake containing a variety of ingredients. The name is derived from the word okonomi, meaning "how you like" or "what you like", and yaki meaning "grill". So this is my kind of pancake as it contains simple ingredients of your choice so can be adapted to personal taste.
Ingredients to make a pancake for 2:
2 eggs, 60g all-purpose flour, 100 ml vegetable stock cooled, 250g shredded cabbage (as finely as you can), 3 spring onions sliced finely, 2 tsp of freshly grated ginger, 2 tsp of vegetable oil. Serve with Okonomiyaki sauce and, if desired, a little mayo. Can be garnished with sushi ginger and spring onion.
Beat together the eggs, flour and stock. Add a little salt. Stir in the shredded cabbage and half the onions plus 2 tsp of ginger.
Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan. Pour in the mixture and tilt the pan enabling the pancake mix to spread evenly as you would with your usual pancake making.
Cover and cook on a low heat for around 5 minutes or until the base is crispy and golden. Then carefully invert onto a plate, now pop it back into the pan so the other side can cook. The pancake is done when the mixture is set and both sides are golden.
Garnish with the rest of the onion plus sushi ginger if desired but remember this pancake is about “what you like”. So I would go for the addition of fresh coriander. But more traditional variations include bacon, beansprouts or even noodles. Above is the basic recipe but additional options are endless.
These pancakes are traditionally served with Okonomiyaki sauce which can be purchased from Asian supermarkets or try making your own. Whisk up the following with a fork in a small bowl:
4 Tbsp. ketchup, 3 ½ Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce (or Japanese Usutah So-su), 2 Tbsp. oyster sauce, 1 Tbsp. honey
TIP – some people just use HP sauce!
Happy pancake day!