It’s funny how food can bring back memories. That a bit of cabbage in batter will remind you of your sixteen year old self. Back then, okonomiyaki was a big deal; it was the highlight of an otherwise boring week filled with school and what seemed like endless homework. My best friend and I would plan to hang out together and then we’d have to try our hardest to make it happen. Parents can be tricky beings. I’d have to beg my mother for five dollars and permission to get the bus. Not an easy task back then. If I was lucky, I’d be on my way without too much hassle; trying my best to avoid the dreaded chores. Then off we’d go on the bus to Chadstone shopping centre, our sights firmly on the okonomiyaki and a bit of window shopping. By the time we’d arrive we’d head straight to food court to get our hands on the light, delicately flavoured pancake. It was filled with shredded cabbage and peas, topped with Japanese barbecue sauce and mayonnaise. This version is also topped with bonito flakes and seaweed flakes, but it is optional. Makes 4 large pancakes, or 8 smaller pancakes.
- 260g plain flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 eggs, lightly whisked
- 500ml water
- 300g Chinese leaf/ Wombok/ Napa cabbage*, shredded
- Bunch of spring onions, thinly sliced
- 130g peas
- Tonkatsu/ okonomiyaki sauce
- Kewpie mayonnaise
- Bonito flakes, optional
- Seaweed flakes, optional
- Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs and water. Whisk until smooth.
- Add the shredded cabbage, spring onions and peas. Stir to thoroughly combine.
- Place a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. If making large pancakes, pour roughly a quarter of the mixture into the pan. The pancakes should be approximately 15cm in diameter. Cook for 5 minutes on each side or until golden. If making smaller pancakes, pour roughly an eighth of the mixture. The pancakes should be approximately 7cm in diameter. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden.
- Serve with tonkatsu/ okonomiyaki sauce, Japanese mayonnaise, bonito flakes and seaweed flakes. Enjoy!
*If Chinese leaf, otherwise called wombok or napa cabbage is not available, substitute with any cabbage of your choosing. Brussel sprouts would work too. Just be sure that it is finely shredded.