Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cookbook challenge, week 14: Okonomiyaki (Japanese pancakes)

The theme for week 14 was Japanese, and I decided to make okonomiyaki, which is something I've wanted to try cooking for ages. I was reminded of this when flicking through my magazines (I couldn't find any Japanese recipes that I wanted to cook in the cookbooks I have!), and although the recipe is inspired by one of the magazines, what I ended up cooking was a mish-mash of that recipe, others found on and cooking with dog! (seriously, watch the video - it's great!).

It's a bit hard to make authentic okonomiyaki without going on a serious treasure hunt for ingredients, so I have best adapted this to what we have available here. The recipe I created is below, and I was pretty happy with it for a first attempt - the pancakes were mighty tasty! I will however modify the recipe in the future - it was just a tad too floury. I'll use a bit less flour and a bit more water for the same amount of filling ingredients.

This quantity serves 3-4.

1 3/4 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1 small potato
2 eggs
1/4 small cabbage, shredded
2/3 cup rehydrated shiitake mushrooms
150g cooked prawns, diced
2 spring onions, finely diced
2 rashers bacon, rind and most of the fat removed, cut into strips
Okonomiyaki sauce (bbq sauce is an ok substitute, which I used)
Japanese mayonnaise (Kewpie brand is pretty much the tastiest mayo ever!)

Put the flour, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl.
Very finely grate the potato into a paste and add to the bowl.
Into a separate bowl, crack the eggs and whisk with 1 3/4 cups of water.
Pour the eggs into the larger bowl and fold until only just combined.
Add the cabbage, mushrooms, prawns and spring onions (reserving a small amount of onions for garnish), and again gently fold until only just combined.
Preheat a non-stick griddle or frypan to a medium-high heat.
Dollop 1/3 of the mixture (or as much as is sensible for the size of griddle/frypan you have) and flatten to about 2cm thick, shaping into a circle.
Cook until golden brown (this took a bit under 10 minutes on my George Foreman).
Place slices of bacon on the top of the pancake, and then smear a small amount of batter (without chunky filler pieces) on the bacon.
Flip the pancake and cook until golden again.
Serve on a plate, bacon side up. Top with sauce, mayonnaise and garnish with spring onions.

The batter, pre-cooking:


On the griddle, with bacon added:




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