Japanese cabbage pancakes, or okonomiyaki, are an easy and delicious appetizer or side dish. Fresh cabbage and scallions are mixed with a light batter and fried until golden.
As I was putting these cabbage pancakes into the pan, my tiny little Nutmeg came into the kitchen and asked “Mommy, why are you putting cold salad in that pan?” Cold salad is what she calls cole slaw – one of her favorite things. I chuckled and explained to her what I was making. She later tried and liked them, thought she found my sauce too spicy “on her tongue”.
This is one of those easy, random dishes that I spotted online and decided I had to make. I had a huge cabbage from my CSA share and wanted to make something other than cole slaw or braised cabbage. I had some leftover Chinese-spiced chicken wings from earlier in the week and needed something to serve with them for lunch. These little cabbage pancakes were perfect. They come together easily – shredded cabbage and scallions are tossed in a light batter and then pan-fried. The sauce can be made while the pancakes cook. Because of the moisture in the cabbage, I wouldn’t recommend making them ahead. And don’t worry, they are so tasty they disappear quickly 🙂
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup flour
- 4 cups finely shredded cabbage
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. mirin
- 1 Tbsp. water
- 1 teaspoon sambal oelek or other hot chili sauce
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- ½ tsp. toasted sesame seeds
- Canola oil for frying
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, soy sauce, sesame oil and salt. Gradually whisk in the flour until the batter is smooth. Fold in the cabbage and scallions.
- To make the sauce, whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Heat a couple tablespoons of oil in a large non-stick frying pan. When the oil is hot, add handfuls of the cabbage mixture (about ½ cup). Be sure to toss the cabbage again before adding it to the pan so you get some of the batter that has collected in the bottom of the bowl.
- As the pancakes cook, flatten them with the back of a spatula. When the bottom is golden, after about 3 minutes, flip them and brown the other side. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining cabbage mixture.
- Serve immediately with the dipping sauce.