To be honest, Japanese food has never particularly appealed to me. I’ve never been to Japan (though it’s definitely on my list!), so I’m pretty ignorant about Japanese cuisine – the only thing I’m familiar with is (vegetarian!) sushi, which I don’t really enjoy. Cold rice and raw veggies really isn’t my thing.
So when I first learned about okonomiyaki, I was pretty surprised by how amazing it looked. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s a savoury Japanese pancake full of shredded veggies (I used cabbage, carrot and spring onions), and it’s really, really tasty. It’s also super easy to make – you may have noticed that it looks a bit of a mess, which means that if you muck up the pancake at all, you can just drizzle a load of sauce over the top, and nobody will be any the wiser.
I’ve been meaning to try making vegetarian okonomiyaki for months, but have been putting it off due to my wariness of Japanese food. But I finally decided to give it a try after being sent the new Ultimum frying pan from Circulon.
This frying pan makes me disproportionately excited.
The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed that I usually use the same frying pan in every fried recipe on this site. It’s the pan that appears in this post, this post, this post, and about a million more. It’s a pan from the Circulon Symmetry range, and although I’ve been sent pans from many different companies over the years, the Circulon is always the pan I revert back to. It’s suuuuper non-stick (which means it’s super easy to clean), and has stayed in perfect condition since I first started using it about a year and a half ago.
Sooo, I had high expectations for the new Circulon Ultimum pan.
Luckily, it met my expectations (and maybe even exceeded them!). Just like my old favourite, this pan is incredibly non-stick, thanks to the circular grooves you can see around the base of the pan. I added a dash of oil to the pan before I cooked the first of my vegetarian okonomiyaki pancakes, but I’m not actually sure I even needed to do that – they slid around in the pan in the same way I slide around an ice rink after falling on my backside. Washing up afterwards was merely a formality.
Oh, and the Ultimum range is also oven-safe and dishwasher-safe. Just in case you needed more convincing.
The end result was perfectly formed vegetarian okonomiyaki, which I will definitely be making again and again. Although the recipe is simple, these little pancakes have so much flavour! A brilliant introduction to Japanese food.
The only issue I faced was that I kept forgetting what they were called. Ono-? Omi-? Oki-?
Okonomiyaki. Learn it, make it, and let me know what you think!
Vegetarian okonomiyaki (Japanese cabbage pancakes)
To make the vegetarian okonomiyaki:
- 4 eggs
- 80 g plain flour (~ 1/2 cup)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp pureed ginger
- Black pepper
- 120 g finely shredded green cabbage (~ 2 cups)
- 1 small carrot, grated
- 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp oil
- Mayonnaise or salad cream
- Chopped spring onions
- Sesame seeds
- Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl, and add the plain flour. Whisk together to form the pancake batter. Add the soy sauce, pureed ginger, and plenty of black pepper, then add the finely shredded cabbage, carrot and spring onions. Mix well to combine.
- Heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan, and spoon in 1/4 of the pancake mixture. Cook over a medium-low heat for a few minutes, until the underside is golden brown, then carefully flip the pancake with a spatula, and cook for another couple of minutes, until fully cooked.
- Repeat with the remaining pancake mixture, to create four pancakes in total.
- Serve the vegetarian okonomiyaki with with salad cream (or mayonnaise), sriracha, sliced spring onions and sesame seeds.
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for one pancake with toppings.