Friday, 30 January 2015

Savory pancake (okonomi-yaki)


Have you seen this week´s `Master Chef´?
Wow, I was so impressed with the participants who had to make Japanese dishes that they had never tasted, and probably never seen, before.  Namely they were `dango (mitarashi dango, correctly)
and `okonomi-yaki´.
I make both dishes at home and particularly okonomi-yaki is a regional dish where I come from.
So here is my version of okonomi-yaki recipe.  One needs special ingredients to make the taste right but it´s possible to obtain them in Oslo.

Serves 4

500 g cabbage  
4-5 spring onions
4dl flour (fint malt)
4ss potato starch (potatmel)
2ts dashi powder 
1ts baking powder
2 pinches salt
4 eggs
3-4dl water
Vegetable oil
300g non-smoked thinly sliced bacon (or pork belly)

okonomi-yaki sauce
bonito flakes / powder (katsuobushi)
green-seaweed flakes (aonori)

1 Chop the cabbage and spring onion and put in a same bowl.

2 Conbine flour, potato starch, dashi powder, baking powder,  salt, and water well in a separate bowl.
Then mix in the chopped cabbage and spring onion (the flour mixture is just covering the vegetables).
And add the eggs well.

3 Heat generous amount of the vegetable oil in a frying pan.
Reduce heat to medium then pour the okonomi-yaki mixture on the pan and shape into a round pancake.
Top with the thinly sliced bacon or pork belly.

4 Cook until the bottom begins to brown then turn.  Put a lid on and cook further for 4-5 mins.
Keep medium - law heat!  I want to have a steam-cook affect here so the vegetables shall be cooked through.

5 Open the lid then turn the okonomi-yaki for last time.
Keep brown for 1 mins or the bacon looks crispy.

6 When cook through brush on a generous coating of the sauce and mayonnaise.
Then sprinkle with the bonito flakes and green-seaweed flakes.  Serve immediately!

As shown in the TV show, we don´t normally use carrot in the okonomi-yaki.  And instead of sprinkling chopped spring onion on the pancake, we mix it in the dough.  Point is that we enjoy the sweetness of cooked cabbage and spring onion!
One can also use raw prawns, squid… etc, in addition to the pork belly.
If you can obtain red vinegared ginger, chop finely and add in the dough.
I can´t emphasise the importance of dashi /  dashi powder here.

All in all, it was a very interesting program for me… I can try some carrots in the pancake and use milk instead of water.  Probably more nutritious and tastier?  Why not!
Dear Kjartan and Gregory, please invite me to the program as a special judge when you make okonomi-yaki again ;-)