There are many ways of serving these Japanese Pancakes, so many delicious variations, I felt like sharing two of my favs, one very basic, one with a few more bells and whistles. TWO RECIPES. We love you that much!!
This is like Japanese soul food, you can add grated cabbage or carrot or tofu chunks to the pancake and toppings, there are so many; cheese, Okonomiyaki/ Tonkatsu sauce (like BBQ sauce), mayonnaise, pickled ginger, seaweed flakes….. I was having it for breakfast, so I kept it relatively simple this morning.
I’ve made the classic wheat flour recipe gluten-free and kept it really basic so you can get creative and embellish with your favourite sauces and toppings. Then I’ve gone and done a twist and shake on the traditional recipe, BHK style.
FOOD IS PLAY
The thing I like about the basic recipe is there are only a few ingredients and kids love it! Like a pancake but better, cooler, a little exotic and a lot of tasty, kids love scattering, leaves, snow, crumbs, torn up paper and also toppings, playing with their food like champions!!
I love seeing kids enjoying food and not taking it too seriously. But then again, I don’t have kids. I get to give them back at the end of the day/ 5 minute spell. Maybe some parents will disagree when the food starts flying around the room. It just makes me giggle and join in.
HOW YOU LIKE IT!
Okonomiyaki is more than just an awesome name! Its a delicious snack served all over Japan, but is generally associated with the Kansai and Hiroshima regions.
It’s an easy going dish, loves trying on different flavours for size. The name itself means okonomi, “how you like” and yaki meaning “grill”. Basically, get creative and enjoy!
These recipes are a great base for this kind of tasty fun. It’s that kind of dish, there are many restaurants with teppans tables around a grill, where you can grill your own Okonomiyaki. I’ve never done it, but it sounds like a great dining experience.
Traditionally, spring onions are used in this recipe, but I love leeks. At this time of year, I’m getting some beautiful organic leeks. If you’re in Britain, and not a super traditionalist, I’d go for some nice leeks. The first recipe is probably something like the simple Okonomiyaki that was popular in World War II in Japan, when rice was in short supply and this, classically wheat pancake, was nutritious and filling.
Gram/ chickpea flour is of course a genius ingredient and a vegans best friend. It adds a lovely flavour here which some have described as ‘slightly eggy’ (it was me earlier on). We’ll be playing more with this recipe soon, expect more variations.
You can omit the cornflour, but it does help bind the pancake together.
Use any type of gluten-free flour mix. All the ones I’ve tried work well.
These pancakes are like every pancake in the world, best served ideally straight from the pan. Although they are still tasty when served cool, just not straight from the fridge if possible.
If you’re not gluten-free you can just replace the other flours with wheat flour. Unbleached white flour would be good.
No seaweed flakes? No problems. Just grab a couple of sheets of nori and pop in a blender and blitz until they are a broken down into small flakes.
Vegan Okonominyaki – Japanese Savoury Pancake (G/F)
The Bits – 1 pancake, 8 slices
100g spring onions/ leeks – roughly one medium leek (finely sliced)
10g g.f. cornflour
100g g.f. gram/ chickpea flour (or besan)
100g gluten-free flour mix
1 tbs sesame oil
3 tbs g.f. teriyaki sauce/ tamari/ g.f. soya sauce
Toppings (how you like it….)
Chopped spring onions, toasted sesame seeds, pickled ginger, vegan cheese, mayonnaise, Okonomiyaki sauce (g.f), sea weed flakes, kimchi (is awesome but a curve ball is the traditional thing) or try our Wasabi mayo recipe here.
In a mixing bowl, add the flours and then water, mix together until smooth, add the onions/ leeks, mix in.
In a medium sized frying pan, warm on medium high heat, add the oil, ensure the pan is well covered with oil, pour in the mixture, smooth out into a neat, chunky pancake.
Pop a lid on and cook for 5 minutes, flip over. You can use a plate to make this easier. Pop the pancake on a large plate, flip the pan over and place it on top. Using a kitchen cloth (the pan is hot;) hold the pan over the plate and flip them both over. Hope that makes sense! Or just flip it using your A+ pancake tossing skills.
Pop lid back on and cook for 3 minutes more.
Transfer onto a chopping board, cut into 8 pieces. Brush with the teriyaki sauce, top with chopped spring onions/ leeks and sesame seeds. Or go wild!!
Okonominyaki with Tofu, Toasted Sesame, Seaweed and Pickled Ginger – Japanese Savoury Pancake (G/F)
The Bits – For 1 pancake, 8 slices
10g g.f. cornflour
100g g.f. gram flour (chickpea flour)
100g gluten-free flour mix
125g / 2 small leeks (finely sliced – reserve 1/2 handful of sliced greens)
150g firm tofu (thinly sliced)
3 heaped tbs nooch (nutritional yeast flakes)
2 tbs sesame seeds
3 heaped tbs seaweed flakes
2 pinches salt
1 tbs sesame oil
2-3 tbs g.f. teriyaki/ tamari sauce
3-4 tbs vegan mayonnaise
3 tbs pickled Japanese ginger
1 tbs toasted sesame seeds
1 radish (finely sliced)
1/2 handful spring onion/ leek greens (finely sliced)
In a mixing bowl, add the flours and then water, mix together until smooth, add the onions/ leeks, seaweed, nooch and salt, mix in.
In a medium sized frying pan, warm on medium high heat, add the oil, ensure the pan is well covered with oil, scatter with sesame seeds, then place the tofu on top. Making a layer of tofu on the base of the pan. Pour over the mixture, smooth out into a neat, chunky pancake.
Pop a lid on and cook for 6 minutes, scatter the pancake with sesame seeds and then flip over. You can use a plate to make this easier. Pop the pancake on a large plate, flip the pan over and place it on top. Using a kitchen cloth (the pan is hot;) hold the pan over the plate and flip them both over. Hope that makes sense! Or just flip it using your A+ pancake tossing skills.
Pop the lid back on and cook for 3 minutes more.
Transfer onto a chopping board, cut into 8 pieces. Brush with the g.f. teriyaki sauce, then mayo and scatter on the other toppings until it looks beautiful. Serve now!
If you try one of these recipes out, please let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear how it went!
Gram flour is a genius!! It’s basically ground chickpeas. We cook with it all the time, vegan tortillas/ fritattas, omelettes, nofu (recipe coming soon), g/f chapattis, dosas, farinata and loads of cakes, check out our ‘Spiced Orange and Almond Upside Down Cake‘ from just before Christmas. So healthy, versatile and gluten-free too.
It’s got high levels of protein, iron, fibre, magnesium, potassium and vitamin B-6.