Monday, April 11, 2011

Japanese Pizza Recipe -- Okonomiyaki

I have been meaning to try Okonomiyaki for some time now.  I’m not sure where I first stumbled upon it, but the concept of cabbage pizza was too good to pass up. 

The stars aligned recently and I had cabbage and leeks on hand at the same time and my husband seemed to be in an open mood.  I reviewed some of the recipes on line and came up with the version below, a giant vegetable and chicken latke with an Asian topping.    The pizzas were terrific.  I would have preferred the meat free version, but the hungry men in my life approved its inclusion and would have preferred even more.
Work in a hot pan and try to get the outside very crispy without burning.  Side carefully onto a plate, top with another plate, flip and then back in pan.  Don’t try to save on clean up by using a spatula.  The mess is not worth the risk. 
The sauce really makes this dish special.  The only variation I would recommend would be to put the sauce on right before serving.  I topped both and kept one for lunch the following day.  Lunch was great, but the pizza had lost its delicious crispy exterior.  Next time, reheat in pan and top with sauce. 


Japanese Pizza -- Okonomiyaki Recipe
Serves : 3                                                 Prep Time:  10 min                                Cook Time: 20 min
3 cups finely shredded cabbage ( half of small head of cabbage)
1 cup Carrots chopped into matchsticks
1 cup leeks, well washed and chopped ( ½ large leek)
½ cup cooked shredded chicken
2/3 cup all purpose flour
Up to 2/3 cup water
a couple pinches of fine grain sea salt
Black Pepper
2 eggs, beaten
Couple tablespoons olive oil
To brush on the top: 3 Tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, 3 tablespoons ketchup, 1inch fresh ginger grated mixed into sauce

Combine the cabbage, leeks, carrots, chicken, flour, and salt in a bowl. Toss until everything is coated with flour. Stir in the eggs and mix until everything is evenly coated.  Add water until everything is just wet. 
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add a generous splash of olive oil. Scoop ½ the cabbage mixture into the pan, and press it into a round pancake shape, flat as you can get it. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the bottom is golden. To flip the okonomiyaki, slide it out of the skillet onto a plate. Place another plate on top and flip both (together) over. If you need a bit more oil in your skillet, add it now, before sliding the okonomiyaki back into the skillet.  Again press down a bit with a spatula and cook until golden on this side - another 3 -5 minutes.
When you are finished cooking, spread with topping  and slide it onto a cutting board to cut into wedges. Enjoy immediately while you are cooking the second Okonomiyaki.

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