Posted by: Catherine | April 5, 2009

Japanese Pancakes with Pork and Tonkatsu Sauce

The Japancake...dried green seaweed also looks pretty on top.

The dinner-size pancake...dried green seaweed also looks pretty on top.

Here are all the ingredients--I prefer using napa cabbage to the regular round variety because the pancake ends up lighter and fluffier.

Here are all the ingredients--I prefer using napa cabbage to the regular round variety because the pancake ends up lighter and fluffier.

First, you combine the batter with the eggs, scallions and cabbage. Very important: Combine gently and swiftly without over-mixing.

First, you combine the batter with some water, the eggs, scallions and cabbage. Very important: Combine gently and swiftly without over-mixing.

Right after you drop the japancakes into the pan, top with pork.

Right after you drop the pancakes into the pan, top with pork.

First flip.

First flip.

Re-flip. Then plate, drizzle with sauce, sprinkle with dried seaweed.

Re-flip. Then plate, drizzle with sauce, sprinkle with dried seaweed.

I love making these in smaller sizes, and serving them as appetizers.

I love making these in smaller sizes, and serving them as appetizers.

We love these Japanese pancakes, and they’re such a lovely change of pace for dinner (sometimes I wonder if it’s even possible to eat chicken more often than we do!). Plus, it’s a great way to get Mr. and Ms. I-Hate-Vegetables to eat a plateful of cabbage. I learned how to make these pancakes from the same friend who taught me me how to make the wonderful Japanese Ground Chicken and Egg over Rice. Though many people refer to this dish as Japanese pizza, I just don’t get that: These are definitely pancakes, very un-doughy, very pancake-like. They are filled to the brim with cabbage so they get a bit of heft while maintaining their fluffiness—a meat-and-potatoes person won’t complain…. The only difficulty may be in locating the pancake-flour product in your Asian market—I asked Bruce to photograph it so you’d have a picture in your mind; that way, if you’re like me and don’t read/speak Japanese, you can match the photo to the bag on the shelf. Oy!

TIP: Sometimes, you can find the English product name on the package right over the nutrition label.

3 to 4 dinner-size pancakes
1 cup Otafuku Okonomi Flour
3/4 cup water
3 eggs
2 scallions, minced
Half a medium-size Napa cabbage, shredded
Canola oil
Pork (I use thin-sliced, the kind for sukiyaki; but, if you prefer, you could mix shrimp into the batter instead of using the pork)
Tonkatsu Sauce (I use Bull-Dog; it’s a Vegetable and Fruit sauce…different from the very specific Otafuku Okonomi Sauce)
Seaweed, for garnish

Mix the flour and water in a bowl. Add eggs, scallions and cabbage (there will be a lot, more than you think you should have, and that’s what you want). Lightly mix until combined, being careful not to over-mix.

Heat a skillet with a bit of canola oil. Drop the batter into circles and top with sliced pork. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until the bottom turns golden brown. Flip, pork-side down, and cook about 4 minutes, or until pork is brown and slightly crisped. Flip again, pork-side up, and cook another 3 minutes or so. Plate, drizzle with sauce and sprinkle with seaweed.

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Responses

  1. Gosh I am loving this dear. What a perfect dish to see on the screen on lazy sunday morning.
    Cheers,
    elra

  2. How cool is this! I mean it’s so creative!

  3. I am loving this – so unique. Wondering where to get the flour… this is not served every day. I must do it.

  4. The pancakes look so yummy! I will try this at home :)

  5. this looks real good . yummy indeed. i have to try this real soon!

    thanks

  6. as soon as I saw the words “Japanese pancakes” I was screaming, “OKOOOONOOOMIYAAAKI!!!!”
    I LOVe okonomiyaki, so you can imagine how excited I was to read about it in your blog! I like it with squid in it, and with tons of bonito flakes on top with the okonomiyaki sauce and mayo.

    • Oooo–squid. Great idea. I sometimes use shrimp, but prefer the pork. Crispy squid, however, will be next!

  7. WOW. I’ve never been a fan of Japanese pancakes, but these look phenomenal! WIll definitely be trying them out at home!

  8. These look delicious! I’ll have to see where I can find Japanese flour – that may be a long distance purchase around here.

  9. Beautiful photo. It is said that the first bite it with our eyes. What a unique recipe. I love cabbage and have never thought of adding it to pancakes. I can’t wait to try it. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Love your dish…it is great, you have it all in one! Looks very yummy!

  11. Oh my, those look amazing.

    I bet my kids would even try that!

    I am printing out the recipe right now!

    Thanks for sharing!

  12. Thnx for stopping by C! You have a pancake too!! I must must try these, Nick is going to flip .. he absolutely loves stuff like this :-)

  13. These look so creative and so unique. I bet they taste just wonderful. What a great take on the pancake!!

  14. I’m not really into Japanese cuisine, but this is a fascinating take on the humble pancake. I can see lots of possibilities with ingredients that appeal to me. Thanks for sharing this great idea Catherine.

  15. the seaweed on top is all it takes to make this so elegant and beautifully-presented–nicely done!

  16. These sound awesome. Asian food is sooo tasty!

  17. That okonomiyaki looks good! Okonomiyaki is my favorite way to use up that leftover cabbage.

  18. Hey, I saw your comment when I came back from vacation and did see these! I love your version with pork!


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