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The days of cooking with cabbage have changed. No longer is it just for shredding in coleslaw or boiling with potatoes; there are other great uses for this nutritious veggie.

First, what makes cabbage so nutritious?  Well, it is a good source of sinigrin which has been shown to aid in cancer prevention.  High in vitamins C and A, cabbage also has impressive amounts of polyphenols (phytonutrient antioxidants), which protect your body against inflammation.  Additionally, cabbage provides cardiovascular support by assisting with cholesterol reduction.

Last year, I came across this amazing recipe courtesy of one of my favorite food sites, Food52.  I’ve adapted the Okonomiyaki (pronunciation can be heard here) to make it just right for our family and will share with you the modified version.  This recipe has become a staple in our house due to its fantastic taste, easy preparation, and kid-friendly nature.

Okonomiyaki Derived

We make this as a main course served alongside salad, but you can also make these little pancakes as an appetizer.  They taste best when warm off of the stove, so if you do make them as an appetizer, you’ll want to save the cooking until right before your guests arrive.

Now on to creating the yum…

Rinse your cabbage head after you peel off and discard the 1st layer of leaves.  (These are typically beaten up and grimy from the grocery store.)  Look for organic cabbage so as to avoid chemicals and maximize health benefits from this meal. (Try to use organic ingredients throughout each of your recipes for the best results – for your health and for the taste.)

Now slice down one side of the cabbage.  You’ll get shreds that will look like this:

Cabbage Sliced

Depending on the size of the cabbage, I usually use ½-¾ of a cabbage head which typically yields 4 cups.  You don’t have to be exact here.  The more cabbage you use, the more crunchy the cake.  (Don’t worry, though, if you do use too much – you can always add an extra beaten egg to the mix when complete.)

Now in a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, soy sauce and sesame oil.  Gradually add in flour until incorporated.  (I haven’t tried it, but I imagine you could use whole wheat flour or another flour type if so desired.)

Mix

Begin to fold in cabbage.

Slice scallions.   HIP TIP:  Use your kitchen shears to trim the scallions directly into your bowl.  Quick and easy!

Mix scallions and cabbage until combined.

Completed Mixture

Warm up sunflower oil over medium-high heat in a pan.  Stir the mixture one more time to make sure the liquids have not separated at the bottom of the bowl – keep this in mind while sautéing.  Once hot, ladle the batter into the skillet.   I typically fit 2-3 pancakes into one medium-sized pan.

Saute

Cook for 3 minutes or so per side until golden brown.

Once they come out of the pan, put on a plate lined with paper towels and press them lightly to remove any excess oil.  Keep them warm by covering them as the other batches are prepared.

As the batches proceed to cook, you can make the sauce by mixing the mayo with the soy sauce.  I eyeball it instead of using the exact measurements, so feel free to play with the ratio to achieve your desired taste. Also, throw the sesame seeds into your toaster oven and lightly toast.  Once done, these can be sprinkled over the finished pancakes or put in a bowl so each person can control how much they want.

A quick picture before we devoured our latest batch.

Okonomiyaki 1

The cakes will be deliciously crunchy.  Leftovers?  I doubt it, but if so, wrap in the refrigerator so they can be warmed up in your toaster oven the next day.  Itadakimas (bon appetit)!

 

Makes ~20 pancakes – Feeds 3-4 people as main course

Ingredients:

Pancakes:

  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon organic soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups organic cabbage, sliced into shreds
  • 1 bunch of scallions
  • Organic Sunflower oil for frying
  • 2-3 tablespoons Sesame seeds

Sauce:

  • ½ cup of organic mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons organic soy sauce

Directions:

  1. Rinse and shred cabbage into a bowl.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, soy sauce and sesame oil.  Gradually add in flour until incorporated.
  3. Fold in cabbage and sliced scallion bunch.
  4. Warm up sunflower oil over medium-high heat in a pan.  Once hot, ladle the batter into the skillet.   Cook the pancakes for 3 minutes or so per side until golden brown.
  5. As pancakes cook, prepare the sauce by mixing the mayonnaise with the soy sauce in a separate bowl.  Also, lightly toast the sesame seeds.
  6. Keep pancakes covered to stay warm.  Serve with sesame seeds and sauce on the side.
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