Japanese Pancake

Okonomiyaki; the classic Japanese savoury pancake. As per my earlier writings on this gorgeous far eastern treat, Okonomiyaki literally means ‘grilled how you like it’. As such, there’s no strict recipe, but then again, is there ever? It’s simply a pancake batter which you pack full of all the goodness that works for you.

This feature is my twist on Jamie Oliver’s Mexican-style omelette wrap. Easy, easy breakfast fayre with a touch of zingy flair to tantalise your taste buds.

As unusual a breakfast as this may seem for some cultures, do give it a whirl. This is how I do it:

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • 1 large egg
  • 50ml cool stock
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 little gem lettuce, shredded
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds or Furikake*
  • 1 tsp rapeseed oil
  • Sriracha chilli sauce
  • Mayonnaise
  • Oyster or Hoisin sauce

Method

Traditionally, this dish is made with cabbage, but I often have little gem lettuce to hand. You can add cooked chicken, pork, whatever floats your boat.

  1. Mix together the egg, salt, flour and stock in a large bowl to make the pancake batter.
  2. Add the lettuce and onion to the mix with any other ingredients you choose.
  3. Heat the oil in a small pan and cook over a low heat for about 5 minutes on each side until golden and slightly crispy.
  4. Dress your pancake with zigzags of mayonnaise and your choice of sauces.
  5. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds or Japanese Furikake (*a seasoning made from mixed sesame seeds, Shiso leaves and nori seaweed.

Simple, delicious and nutritious.

Japanese Savoury Pancake

 

Okonomiyaki

Today is a good day. I’m rarely happier than when I’m off on a foodie expedition, ice-axe in hand. There’s things I’ve eaten, read about, seen on TV and the like, but the mountain is never really conquered until you’ve truly ‘been there’. Tick.

Okonomiyaki [o-konomi-yaki] is a Japanese savoury pancake. I’ve eaten plenty, but discovering how easy and satisfying it is to make them in your own kitchen is positively joyous.

Here’s the low-down:

Make a pancake batter, fill it with delicious savoury ingredients, cook it slowly and top it with equally delicious and visually attractive garnishes. 

The name derives from ‘okonomi’ which means ‘whatever you like’ and ‘yaki’ meaning ‘grill’. As you may be aware, I’m a big fan of using up leftovers and reducing food waste so this is right up there in the list of go-to/back-pocket dishes.

Although it has regional variations across Japan, generally speaking it’s filled with shredded cabbage, but I’ve used gem lettuce in my version as it’s what I had to hand. It’s your dish – mix it up to your liking, but you’ll have to trust me with the mayonnaise zigzag.. I think it really is essential and brings an additional dimension.

Felix eating Okonomiyaki

Ingredients: (serves 1)

  • 1 large egg
  • 50ml stock, cooled
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 handful lettuce (or cabbage), shredded
  • 1 spring onion, finely sliced
  • 2 tsp black sesame seeds or Furikake*
  • 1 tsp rapeseed of vegetable oil
  • mayonnaise (from a squeezy bottle)
  • oyster sauce
  • Sriracha chilli sauce

Method:

  1. Beat the egg, stock and flour together with a pinch of salt.
  2. Mix in the lettuce and some of the spring onion (or ‘whatever you like’).
  3. Fry in the oil over a low heat for about 5 minutes on each side until until golden and a little crispy.
  4. Top with the obligatory crisscross of sauces and top with the remaining spring onion and your choice of condiments.

*Furikake is a Japanese seasoning made from mixed sesame seeds, Shiso leaves and nori seaweed.

japanese savoury pancake dish

KIBOU Sushi

Refreshingly friendly and attentive service, stunningly delicious Japanese cuisine and a cosy, boutique atmosphere – KIBOU leaves me thinking one thing: How have I not been here before!

Nestled in the heart of Cheltenham, down a few steps on Regent Street, you’ll find the most lovely little hideaway. My new happy place.

Expensive? Not really. Where else can you go for freshly prepared, beautiful sushi and sashimi? YoSushi? Pah; not in the same league – barely the same game!

I’d rather have just one perfect Nigiri than a hundred subpar imitations. Add into the mix a specials board, authentic Gunkan, Futomaki, Ramen and Temaki, and you’ll start to appreciate how it took us so long to decide what to order. Thankfully we had Sapporo and Kirin beer to grease the wheels. One thing I’ll order at every possible opportunity: Soft Shelled Crab. Heaven.

Japanese style tempura crab

 

Itadakimasu indeed!

With just 22 covers, make sure you book in advance.

KIBOUsushi, 18 Regent Street, Cheltenham, GL50 1HE – 01242300161

KIBOUsushi art