I fall into food ruts easily. Especially when life gets full-on, which it has been lately. One of the reasons I started One Small Kitchen was to push myself to keep trying new dishes. So. I’d been eyeing off a recipe for okonomiyaki in my Tassajara Bread Book for ages. This week I finally took the plunge and made them. These little Japanese pancakes make an eminently tasty and filling meal in a flash – perfect for a ‘can’t be bothered’ after-work dinner. Throw in whatever vegies you have on hand – kind of like a Japanese version of bubble-and-squeak. Maybe it’s brash to muck with recipes you haven’t tried yet, but I couldn’t help myself. I tweaked the recipe, using more eggs, and some organic corn I’d picked up at the farmers market. I also left off the lashings of sauces which usually adorn street hawker-style versions. Serve with a leafy green side salad, or wilted greens in sesame oil/lemon juice.
Most okonomiyaki recipes use cabbage, which I’m keen to try. The recipe below uses corn, because that’s what I had on hand. I tried this with buckwheat flour – and another version with half wholemeal and half maize flour (given I was going down the corn path!). Both were great, but the buckwheat version had a more wholesome taste, which I prefer. You could try using other flours – millet, rice, barley, etc – or a combination. The recipe below makes a meal for three – or two and a yummy lunch the next day!
5 organic eggs
1 small cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup milk
1 large or 2 small corn cobs
3 spring onions, sliced
splash of olive or sesame oil for frying
sea salt and pepper
Remove corn from cobs and slice spring onions. Lightly whisk eggs and mix in milk. Add egg-and-milk mix gradually to flour mix and stir with a fork until it resembles a batter – keep stirring til the lumps are gone. If using buckwheat flour, the batter should be smooth and glossy. Place oil in a skillet over medium heat, add a third of the corn and heat for a minute, then add a third of the onions and saute until they start to turn a vibrant green. Add a third of the batter and cook for a couple of minutes, tilting the pan partway through to slide any uncooked batter to the bottom of the pan. Muster your best inner chef and flip the pancake. Should only take a couple of minutes on each side to cook through. Keep the first pancake warm under foil, and repeat process with the remaining ingredients for the second and third pancakes. Serve with a fiery sambal and sea salt and pepper. Serves 2-3.