So, turns out you guys are pretty indecisive… Everyone voted for more than one recipe, and in the end I was left with a seven-way tie! Oh, well… it’s really not such a bad problem to have. Here’s the first of the “winners.”
Okonomiyaki is a Japanese dish. From what I understand it has regional variations, and traditional Japanese cooks have their own special methods and additions. I will share what works for us, but feel free to be creative with this; the name literally means “as you like it!” It is basically a big pancake with meat and a delicious sauce – lots of room for adjustments!
This is one of my absolute favorite dishes for dinner, and I LOVE having the leftovers for breakfast, lunch or snack. I will say that it had to grow on the rest of the family. (They all ate it but, at first, not with the same fervor that I did.) It is worth the investment in figuring out ways for your family to enjoy it, because it’s quick, easy, cheap and nutrient-dense. Without further ado, here’s the recipe…
*1 lb. pastured or forested nitrate-free bacon
Other good meat choices would be ground beef or sausage, leftover cut-up meat, or shrimp (which I imagine would be more traditional).
*2 cups organic white rice flour (If you choose to soak this recipe, you can opt for organic brown rice flour, which is more nutritious and mineral-rich. See Note #1 below.)
*1-1/2 Tbsp. aluminum-free baking powder
*1-1/4 tsp. sea salt
*1 cup filtered water
*8 free-range eggs
*1 medium-large head organic cabbage, chopped into small pieces or shredded
*5-7 green onions, sliced (optional)
*1/2 cup organic or homemade ketchup
*2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. (or 3 scant Tbsp.) gluten-free organic tamari (If not gluten free, you can sub naturally fermented soy sauce.)
*2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. (or 3 scant Tbsp.) gluten-free Worcestershire sauce (This can easily be omitted. Adjust to taste with the tamari. See Note #2 below.)
*1/2 cup homemade mayonnaise
Optional Garnishes: Strips of nori (sheets of sushi seaweed) or aonori, or bonito flakes. (We usually use seasoned bonito flake/ seaweed/ sesame seed blends, often called “rice seasoning” or gomasio in Asian markets. I love ones flavored with wasabi, but make sure to check the ingredient label for gluten and MSG.)
Cook the bacon and set it aside. When cooled and crisped, crumble into chunks.
Meanwhile, whisk together ketchup, tamari (or soy sauce) and Worcestershire sauce (if using). Set aside. This is your sauce.
In a large bowl, combine rice flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together water and eggs. Add the wet ingredients to the dry. If you don’t have a nice batter-like consistency, add filtered water a tablespoon at a time until you do.
Heat two skillets (just so this goes a little faster). Melt your fat of choice (you can use your leftover bacon grease, or ghee, coconut oil, lard, tallow…). Using a large measuring cup or ladle, pour out batter for one pancake per pan. These should be about 6-8 inches.
Allow to cook until the bottom is browned and the pancake is cooked through enough for you to flip. Flip the pancake over, and brush the topside with the sauce. When the other side is lightly browned, flip again, and cover the other side with sauce. Then briefly flip one more time. (You see? You’re trying to caramelize the sauce to the pancake. If this sounds like too much work, see Note #3 below.) Remove to serving plate and repeat with the rest of the batter.
Serve each pancake topped with mayonnaise. (To make it look fancy, you could use a squeeze bottle to pipe out the mayo, as they do in restaurants.) Sprinkle with garnishes of choice.
Note #1: To adapt this recipe for brown rice flour, you’ll want to soak it to reduce the anti-nutrients. Combine the water and flour in a large bowl, and let soak overnight (12-24 hours) in a warm location. (If your house is chilly, consider your oven with the light on, perhaps leaving the door ajar if it gets very hot.) After soaking, add the baking powder and salt, and continue as directed above. If not gluten-free, you could also prepare this recipe using whole grain flour. Simply soak as directed above, adding 1/4-1/2 cup more water. Sprouted flour could also be used.
Note #2: There are many ways to vary the sauce to your taste. You could make it sweeter by adding coconut sugar or a bit of honey. You can add rice wine or rice vinegar, dijon mustard, or even a bit of fish sauce. You could also thin it with broth (a fish broth would be most traditional, but any would do).
Note #3: You can also cook the pancake without the sauce, and drizzle the sauce on when serving (as I did in the picture above). Sometimes I prefer to do this to make it pretty, since I just slather the mayo on willy-nilly. However, don’t put on as much as I did in the top picture; it was a little much.
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