Wednesday, January 7

Summer Okonomiyaki

We dont eat much meat around here and if we do its wild meat or biodynamic, happy playful chicken. Its partly for environmental reasons and partly health reasons; commercial meat production contributes a high percentage to greenhouse gasses and vegetarians and low meat consumers live longer and live better. B2 has been a vegetarian since she was 3 and that began my journey into vegetarian cooking.

My mum is a vegetarian, so i grew up not eating much meat, but my step dad loved meat so it did make the dinnertable. My husband hasn't eaten red meat by choice ( if you make him roast beef for dinner he will eat it) for environmental reasons for over 10 years and so when we got together i just pretty much stopped buying and eating meat ( initially i did go to town on the meat when we went out - the wait staff would assume the 'beef n reef' was for the bloke and the ricotta stuffed zucchini flowers were for me) but over the years the lack of consumption has reduced the cravings B1 and i had for meat and now if i go out i pretty much stick to wild fish and B1 is a complete vegetarian by choice. But i do know the feeling of satisfaction and comfort that eating meat can bring and here is a recipe to trump all others to solve that need! Its comfort food extroardinaire! Summer Garden Okonomiyaki.

Okonomiyaki is Japanese fast food, pizza with a twist. I never liked cooked cabbage until i ate this. I use whatever is in the garden in addition to the staple ingredient - cabbage, in this case a late pick Savoy. You can mix the ingredients up to suit your preference for vegetable proportions or to suit whatever you have available. Here's a rough guide recipe based on last nights mix. Feeds 4.

1 cabbage - finely sliced
1-2 carrots - grated
A good handful of beans - chopped into inch pieces
Leftover coriander - roughly chopped
Chopped shallots
4-5 eggs
1/2 cup flour (ish)
2 tab strong salty stock
oil for frying

You can also use prawn, chicken... whatever.

Mix in large bowl to combine well. Shallow fry in pan until one side is set. ( at this stage if you want to add prawn or chicken pieces or mince, put on top of the pancake now and lightly cover with more mixture, flip and continue frying until cooked.

With okonomiyaki you can feed vegetarians and meat eaters without doing a different meal. You can make small pikelet size ones but we just do one motherload each which fills a dinner plate (oink). Serve with ketchap manis or tamari and japanese mayonaise (regular works too but the japanese one tastes better but im not sure why as i cant read the label!) It makes great leftovers and we fight over who gets it!


Kerrie said...

Oh yum Kel...I love Japanese mayo. Years ago we had a Japanese exchange student stay with us and she brought her own supply of mayo...we loved it so much she had her family send over cases of the stuff.

Will keep this recipe in mind, it would make a great brunch too.

Veggie Gnome said...

Yes! I love fritters/roesti/name-it-whatever-you-like! Thanks for that recipe. Will have a go at it soon.

Never heard of Japanese mayo before. Must try it now. What is so different about it? Can you recreate it at home? Even if you can't read the label? Where did you get yours from? Central Market?

Em said...

Yum! Thanks Kel, will try.

Barbara said...

All the Asian stores at Cantral
Market have Japanese mayo - I get
it at Kim Wang near Goodies and
Grains. We often make the vegie version of that dish (with a
meat one for my husband) and it's
also great with squid or octopus
(same recipe). Different parts
of Japan have different versions
and they're very parochial about

Kel said...

hi everyone. yup, fried stuff=GOOD! i can buy the mayo also at my local woolies supermarket in the asian section, that may be possible for you too...i forgot to say that corn included in the mix is bloody good too.

Barbara said...

Foodland in Frewville has it too
(for all you Frewvillians!).

naturewitch said...

Hi Kel


Haven't made these for a while, but I agree they are great. My recipe comes from the (70s relic)Tassajara Bread Book by Ed Brown and it is:

1/2 cabbage
1 large carrot
1/2 onion
3 celery stalks
2 cups flour
1 egg
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tall can evaporated milk
water to form batter

Shred, grate, chop all veges and mix with other ingredients to form batter. Grill or cook like pancakes. Eat with butter and tamari.

Yours seem more eggy than mine. Will have to give them a go and compare. xx