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Okonomiyaki

The name okonomiyaki, loosely translates as ‘as you like it.’ It is similar to a pancake as it is made on a griddle. In Japan, the chef often comes to your table and makes it in front of you.

The main ingredient is cabbage with a comforting, bland flavour that gains its umami taste by being served drizzled with Bull Dog Sauce and mayonnaise. 

This is our vegan and gluten free version made with flaxseeds to thicken the batter instead of eggs, and with gluten-free flours instead of wheat flour.

Okonomiyaki

Dietary: Vegan and Gluten free

Makes 2 portions

Prep Time: 30 minutes | Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds
  • 3 tbsp water
  • Sunflower oil for frying
  • 4 medium shiitake or chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 50g buckwheat flour
  • 50g rice flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 200ml Dashi stock or water
  • 150g white cabbage, thinly shredded
  • 3 spring onions, finely sliced and 1 tbsp reserved for garnish
  • 1 sheet sushi nori, snipped into small thin strips with scissors, 1 tbsp reserved for garnish 

Topping

  • 2-3 tbsp vegan mayonnaise
  • Japanese ‘Bull Dog Sauce’
  • 2 tsp seaweed flakes
  • 1 tbsp pickled ginger, shredded thinly
  • 1 tbsp sliced pickled lotus root
  • Togarashi chilli seasoning

Method

  1. Mix the ground flaxseeds with the 3 tablespoons water and allow to stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil in a frying pan on a medium to high heat, and quickly stir fry the mushrooms till golden and just becoming slightly crisp. Set aside to cool.
  3. Mix the flours, salt, soaked ground flaxseed mixture and water or Dashi stock together to make a batter. Add the fried mushrooms, shredded cabbage, spring onions, nori strips and mix well to combine. You may to need to add a tablespoon or two more water if the mixture feels too thick but it needs to be just thick enough to hold the vegetables together. 
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, then spoon half the mixture into the centre of the pan. Use a spoon to spread the mixture into a round pancake about 15cm diameter and 3cm thick. Place a lid on the pan to cover and cook the pancake for 3 minutes, checking occasionally for the base to get a good golden brown colour. 
  5. Remove the lid and carefully flip the pancake over, then cover again and cook for another 3 minutes, till it feels firm in the centre when pressed. Slide carefully onto a serving plate.
  6. Repeat with the remaining mixture to make a second pancake.
  7. Serve hot with Bull Dog Sauce spread over the top and mayonnaise drizzled over in a zigzag pattern. Scatter the reserved spring onions over, a pinch of nori strips, a teaspoon of seaweed flakes, some thinly shredded pickled ginger, pickled lotus root and a sprinkle of Togarashi chilli seasoning.


Dashi Stock

Ingredients

  • 10g konbu seaweed
  • 20g dried shitake mushrooms
  • 1 litre water

Method

  1. Soak the konbu and the dried shitake mushrooms in the water and leave overnight. Next day use the stock and retain the rehydrated konbu and shitake mushrooms to slice up and add to dishes. Any extra stock can be made into miso soup or frozen.

Pink Pickled Lotus Root with Beetroot and Ginger

Ingredients

  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 100ml white rice vinegar
  • 1 lotus root
  • ½ beetroot
  • 1 x thumb sized pieces of fresh ginger
  • 1 x 1 litre sterilised kilner jar

Method

  1. Bring a saucepan half filled with water to the boil.
  2. Peel the lotus root and slice thinly. Place the slices into the boiling water and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. Peel the beetroot and slice thinly.
  4. Peel the ginger and slice as thinly as possible.
  5. Alternately layer the slices of lotus root, beetroot and ginger into the kilner jar.
  6. Place the sugar, salt, and vinegar in a small pan and heat until the sugar has dissolved completely.
  7. Once it has dissolved, pour over the vegetables and press them down so they are completely submerged in the pickling solution. They are ready to eat once cool but are better if allowed to mature for a few days.
  8. Allow to cool properly, then secure the lid and sit somewhere cool for 3 days, before storing in the fridge for up to 1 month. 

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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