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
2 scallions, minced
Half a medium-size Napa cabbage, shredded
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.