I had been wondering what to do with the cabbage in my veggie basket. I was thinking of stuffed cabbage leaves… because prior to that I’d been considering the grape vine that is now leaping into life over my garden shed and thinking that it would be nice to try stuffed vine leaves from scratch when the leaves get bigger….and that was but a short jump to cabbage leaves 😉 ….idle lateral thinking really…
Then I found a few recipes for stuffed cabbage leaves and they all looked a bit mid-winterish… and not what I fancied…so I carried on searching. Until I came across Okonomiyaki. I gather that Okonomi means ‘as you like it’ and Yaki means cooked.
You can put all sorts of things into it but one of the favoured ingredients is cabbage.
Now I think cabbage is a pretty under-rated vegetable. For many of us, that probably dates back to the days when a pile of wet, limp, soggy, yellowy-green leaves appeared on our plate accompanied by the instruction to ‘eat your greens’. Over-cooked boiled cabbage is rarely attractive…..
But there are lots of great recipes that put cabbages in a very different light. From curries to ribbons of lightly-steamed spring greens drizzled with vegan-butter and a pinch of salt, and from crunchy coleslaw to crispy kale, there’s a myriad of ways to make cabbage shine. And here’s another one. Because cabbage is a beautiful thing.
Okonomiyaki, also known as Japanese Pizza or Japanese Pancake is really more of a frittata. Traditionally, it includes eggs, so I’ve taken a bit of liberty to veganise it: using chickpea flour, chia seeds and black salt.
There is also a special Okonomiyaki Flour that includes milled yam. I’ve used chickpea flour and mashed sweet potato……
But I’m pleased with the results. I shall be returning to Okonomiyaki again and again….
- 2-3 tbs. olive oil
- 250gms. cabbage
- 1 medium sweet potato ( approx. 200gms.)
- 80 gms. spring onions
- 1 small green finger chilli
- 140gms. besan/chickpea/gram flour
- a big pinch of black salt, aka. Kala Namak (optional – but it adds a very slight eggy flavour due to sulphur content)
- 0.5 tsp. salt
- a big pinch of baking powder
- 1.5 tbs. chia seeds
- 160 ml. water
I had a beautifully tightly furled cabbage… easy to shred….
- Peel, dice and boil sweet potato until tender.
- Remove from heat, strain, and mash. Set aside.
- Wash and finely shred the cabbage. Shred it very very finely. The finer the better.
- Remove any excess water by patting dry with kitchen towel.
- Wash, trim and finely slice spring onions.
- Deseed and finely slice green chilli.
- Grind chia seeds and soak in 170 ml. water for 10 mins.
- Combine flour, baking powder, black salt and salt.
- In a large bowl, place the shredded cabbage, sliced spring onions and sliced green chilli. Mix together.
- Add flour/salt to cabbage and combine thoroughly.
- Add soaked chia seeds with soaking water to mashed sweet potato, and mix thoroughly.
- Add chia/sweet potato mix to the bowl containing the cabbage and flour and mix everything together very thoroughly.
- Take a wide pan, 30cm-34cm. wide. (If using a smaller pan, cook in two batches) .
- Place on a medium-high heat, and add 2 tbs. olive oil.
- When hot, add the Okonomiyaki batter, and flatten to the edges of the pan with a spatula.
- Fry the Okonomiyaki for 4-5 mins. on a medium-high heat.
- Shake the pan occasionally, and after 3 mins. begin to dislodge the Okonomiyaki around the edges with a spatula.
- Afte 4-5 mins, slide the Okonomiyaki out of the pan and on to a plate.
- Then place another plate over the Okonomiyaki and flip the two plates over.
- Add 1 tbs. olive oil to the pan.
- Slide the Okonomiyaki back into the pan and fry the other side for 4-5 mins. Press down with a spatula from time to time.
- When done, slide onto a serving plate and eat immediately.
Serve with Tamari, Mayo, or Teriyaki Sesame Sauce and a Green Salad.