I’m starting a new series called Weekend Project where I challenge you to take a day to shop and cook something you would normally eat at a restaurant.
I’m going to kick it off with Okonomiyaki. It’s a savory pancake filled with umami goodness. It’s another favorite from my time spent in Japan. During the weekends my parents would take us to the local department store to browse with the 500 Yen they gave my brother and I (it’s about $5) and after we would meet at the door of the supermarket and walk to the okonomiyaki stall outside to get some to take home.
I’ve been trying different ways to cook this at home without using the premix we usually get at the Japanese grocery store and I finally got the bulk I was looking for. I also made the sauce a little bit healthier by replacing the traditional kewpie with some vegan mayo.
1 1/2 Cups of Simple Mills Pancake and Waffle Mix
3 Tablespoons of Unsweetened Almond Milk
2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
1 Medium Sized Hannah Sweet Potato (peeled and cut into wedges)
2 Cups Shaved Brussels Sprouts
1/2 Cup Green Onion (sliced finely)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
1/2 Cup Vegan Mayo
1 Tablespoon White Miso
Aonori (Dried Seaweed)
Bonito Flakes (Shaved Dried Fish)
Chopped Shibazuke (Pickled Cucumber) You can also use pickled ginger
In a large bowl mix all the batter ingredients together until fully incorporated. Leave to sit while you prep the filling.
Using a food processor with a grater attachment or a hand held grater, grate all the sweet potatoes and place grated sweet potatoes in a colander to wash out the starch. You will need to do this several times until the water becomes clear. Set aside to dry while you use the same attachment to shred all the brussels sprouts.
In a large pan heat the olive oil and cook the sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts and green onions until they soften. This will take about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and add in the salt and pepper to taste. Let it rest in the pan for about 5 minutes to cool down and then add into the batter. Mix well until the batter starts absorbing into the sweet potatoes.
To make the pan cakes grease your frying pan with some olive oil on medium. Measure out 3/4 cup of the batter and spread into a circle on the pan. The batter will be quite thick. (**see p.s. below) Cover and let cook for 3 minutes. Uncover and flip until it’s brown on both sides. You don’t need to cover the cakes after you flip it. The steam helps keep the fluffiness. Repeat until all the batter is used up. Keep note of the temperature of your pan, as you keep cooking the pan gets hotter so you may need to adjust to medium/low towards the end so you don’t end up burning the last of the pancakes.
To make the sauce mix the white mix so that it’s nice and soft and slowly add in the mayo to incorporate. It might be a bit thick so you can thin it down a little with hot water. Start with 1/4 teaspoon at a time to get the right consistency for drizzling.
To assemble! Place pancake on a plate and put some dashes of worcester sauce, drizzle with the miso sauce and top with bonito flakes, aonori, and some shibazuke.
Then sit back and enjoy your hard work.
**P.S. You can also add in strips of bacon at this stage to take it over the top.