I know, I know, two cabbage recipes in a row? While I’m sure some of you are delighted, some might be totally “over” cabbage. But I’m all about reducing waste over here, so I needed to find a recipe to use up my leftover cabbage, carrot, and green onion from my Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry. I decided to try my hand at Okonomiyaki, or Japanese savory cabbage pancakes. What attracted me to this dish is the extreme flexibility of ingredients, which makes it a great “sweep the kitchen” recipe. And you know how I love recipes that accept whatever leftovers you might happen to have in the fridge at the time!
I didn’t buy anything special ingredients for my cabbage pancakes, instead I used all ingredients that I had on hand, and you can too. Other vegetables that would be great in these pancakes include kale, bean sprouts, radish, shredded broccoli or Brussels sprouts, or zucchini. In addition to vegetables, you can toss all sorts of meat into your pancakes. Try shrimp, canned salmon, shredded chicken or pork, or even bacon.
And that’s just what you can put IN your cabbage pancakes. Don’t even get me started with what you can put ON your pancakes. Okay, I’ll start. I kept it simple with a drizzle of sriracha mayo, sesame seeds, and sliced green onion, but you could do hoisin sauce, toasted seaweed snacks, a fried egg, bonito flakes, pickled ginger, kimchi, or anything else you like. Honestly, the toppings are where it’s at for this recipe. It’s like pizza (and sometimes called Japanese pizza). The toppings make it fun, unique, and just all around extra special.
So, what do you have in your fridge that you could put in or on a savory cabbage pancake?
Savory Cabbage Pancakes
Savory Cabbage Pancakes (Okonomiyaki)
- 2 extra large eggs ($0.53)
- 1/2 cup water ($0.00)
- 1.5 Tbsp soy sauce ($0.14)
- 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil ($0.33)
- 3/4 to 1 cup all-purpose flour ($0.07)
- 4-5 cups shredded green cabbage ($1.78)
- 1 carrot ( $0.11)
- 3 green onions ($0.17)
- 2 Tbsp oil for frying ($0.04)
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise ($0.28)
- 2 Tbsp sriracha ($0.10)
- 1/2 Tbsp sesame seeds ($0.04)
- 2 green onions ($0.11)
- Remove any wilted leaves from the outside of the cabbage. Cut the cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Thinly slice or shred half of the cabbage, or until you have 4-5 cups shredded cabbage. Peel the carrot and shred it using a large-holed cheese grater. Slice the green onions.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, water, soy sauce, and sesame oil until smooth. Begin whisking in the flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until it forms a thick, smooth batter (about 3/4 to1 cup total flour).
- Add the cabbage, carrots, and green onion to the batter and stir until the vegetables are mixed and everything is evenly coated in batter.
- Heat 1/2 Tbsp oil in a non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 3/4 cup of the vegetable and batter mixture. Press it down into the hot skillet to form a circle, about 6 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick. Place a cover on the skillet to hold in the steam, which will help the cabbage soften as it cooks. Cook the pancake until golden brown on the bottom (3-5 minutes), then flip and cook until golden brown on the second side. Pile the cooked pancakes on a plate and cover with foil to keep warm until ready to eat. Add more oil to the skillet as needed as you cook the pancakes.
- To prepare the sriracha mayo, mix together 1/4 cup mayonnaise and 2 Tbsp sriracha in a small bowl. Drizzle the sriracha mayo over the pancakes just before serving, followed with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and sliced green onion.
Step by Step Photos
Begin by shredding the vegetables. You can use a food processor, mandolin, or just a knife. Just remember, the thinner the better. Shred 1/2 of a small head of cabbage (4-5 cups once shredded), 1 carrot (about 1/2 cup), and slice three green onions.
In a large bowl, whisk together 2 extra large eggs, 1/2 cup water, 1.5 Tbsp soy sauce, and 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil until smooth.
Begin whisking in flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until it forms a thick, smooth batter. You’ll need between 3/4 to 1 cup flour.
Add the cabbage, carrots, and green onion to the batter, then stir until everything is well mixed and coated in batter.
Since eggs and flour both like to stick to surfaces when cooked, I highly suggest using some sort of non-stick surface in addition to the oil. I used a cast iron skillet. Heat about 1/2 Tbsp cooking oil in the skillet over medium heat. Once hot, place about 3/4 cup of the vegetable and batter mixture into the skillet. Press the mixture down to form a 6-inch circle that is about 1/2 inch thick. Place a lid on the skillet to hold in the steam (this helps soften the cabbage) and cook until it is golden brown on the bottom (3-5 minutes). Flip the pancake and cook on the second side until golden brown as well. I could actually fit two pancakes in this skillet, but doing one at a time made for prettier pictures. :P
To make the sriracha mayo, stir together 1/4 cup mayonnaise with 2 Tbsp sriracha.
Drizzle the sriracha mayo over the savory cabbage pancake and then top with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and more sliced onion. Dig in!