I went to Japan about 10 years ago and while I ate some seriously amazing things, I’d be hard-pressed to remember exactly what they were. That is, except for okonomiyaki, which I first tasted in a cramped corner shop in Kyoto that sold only these delicious savory pancakes. When I came home, my friend Becky—a fellow okonomiyaki nut—and I tried to replicate the recipe to satisfy our cravings. This is by no means authentic and there are a ton of variations, but it sure hits the spot. - Midge —Midge
Test Kitchen Notes
Eggy and crisp, Midge's Kyoto-style pancakes are studded with plump morsels of tender shrimp and threaded through with ribbons of cabbage and rings of scallion. The savory batter is enriched with a dash of sesame oil and soy sauce, and the accompanying soy and sriracha mayo is a zippy accent -- we tore off bite-sized pieces of pancake and dunked them in the sauce before gobbling them down. - A&M —The Editors
roughly a dozen 4 to 5-inch pancakes
sriracha, more or less to taste
cabbage, shredded with a mandoline or finely chopped
scallions, trimmed and chopped
(roughly) baby or chopped shrimp
canola oil for frying (roughly 1 tablespoon per pancake, using more or less as needed)
Whisk the first set of ingredients together and voila, your sauce. Set aside while you make the pancakes.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs with the soy sauce, sesame oil, and salt. Gradually add the flour until incorporated. Fold in cabbage, scallions, and shrimp.
Warm a couple glugs of canola oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until glistening. Ladle the batter into the skillet as you would for regular old pancakes. I usually make them about the size of saucer. Cook on each side for about 3 minutes or until golden brown. Keep pancakes covered in a warm oven as you make the rest. Scatter sesame seeds and/or bonito flakes on top of pancakes and serve with dipping sauce and a cold pilsner.
I’m a journalist who’s covered everything from illegal logging in Central America to merit pay for teachers, but these days I write mostly about travel. I’ve been lucky enough to find myself in some far-flung locales, where poking around markets and grocery stores is my favorite thing to do. Cooking, especially baking, is my way of winding down after a long day; there’s nothing like kneading bread dough to bring you back to earth.