August 11th, 2015

Okonamiyaki – Japanese Vegetable Fritters

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Okonamiyaki

I first encountered these meal size fritters at Asparaganza, and they’ve been on my list to try ever since then! Okonamiyaki (just pronounce it phonetically) is a Japanese street-food snack that’s a great way to use up a bunch of CSA veggies, then top it with a tasty sauce. The traditional sauce for okonamiyaki is a sweet/savory dark sauce that I’d compare to a salty plum sauce, plus a creamy mayo type sauce. In lieu of tracking down the sauce, or mixing a bunch of condiments together to make one, I went with a sriracha spiked mayo + more sriracha. It was perfect.

Okonamiyaki

Google okonamiyaki and lots of recipes will pop-up. It’s a pretty simple combo of shredded vegetables – mostly cabbage, egg, and flour. I mostly used a recipe from Smitten Kitchen, just adding a teaspoon of baking powder to make them a little lighter, plus the sauce from Food52. As with most recipes calling for grated vegetables, a food processor is your best friend for this dish. I used the slicing blade for the kale and cabbage, then switched to shredding disk for the carrots. I think this recipe has potential for lots of CSA veggies, like turnips, radishes, butternut squash, etc. Just keep cabbage as the main ingredient.

Okonamiyaki

I was a little skeptical that these had enough flour in them to hold together, but they cooked up beautifully. Just take your time, and let them cook completely before flipping. I used 2 spatulas to flip the giant fritters. If one breaks, just press it back down and flip it again to re-cook the broken side. For me, this made 6 large fritters.  If the big fritters intimidate you, these will make a ton of small fritters – perfect for appetizers or snacks!

Okonamiyaki

Okonamiyaki
1 small head of cabbage, 2 large carrots, and a few kale leaves
6 eggs
1/2 cup of all purpose flour*
oil for frying
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

Sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons sriracha
2 teaspoons tamari or shoyu soy sauce

Shred the vegetables. Slice the cabbage in half and remove the core, take the stems out of the kale. Use the slicing blade of the food processor to thinly slice the cabbage and kale, then switch to the shredding blade for the carrots. If you don’t have a food processor, use a mandoline, a box grater, and/or a sharp knife.

Make the pancakes. Place the flour, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl, then add the shredded vegetables. Toss everything together with your hands so the vegetables are coated in the dry mixture. Mix in the eggs. Place a small skillet over medium heat, add a layer of oil,  heat until shimmering. Place about 1 1/2 cups of the mixture into the skillet and press flat with the back of the spatula. Cook for 3 minutes, then carefully flip, and press again, cook for 3 more minutes, until golden brown. Don’t flip too early.

Make the sauce. Whisk together the ingredients, then taste and adjust if necessary.

*I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1:1 Flour to make the test batch. Use gluten free or all-purpose flour.

Tasty fritters made from shredded vegetables - a filling Japanese snack!

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