Okonomiyaki is a Japanese savoury pancake with seafood and vegetables filling served with a thick Worcestershire sauce, seaweed sprinkle, bonito flakes, and mayonnaise. At World War II, a simpler version of Okonomiyaki made of flour, eggs, and whatever available at hand became popular when the supply of rice was short. The pancake was a nutritious alternative to rice as it was filling, and inexpensive.
Okonomiyaki literally translates as “as-you-like-it pancake”. With only kale and carrots left in the fridge, we made an attempt to make okonomiyaki with limited ingredients. First of all we prepared the vegetables: peel the carrots and shave them with a vegetable peeler into thin ribbons. Remove the ribs from the kale and thinly cut the leaves into ribbons as well. For roughly 6 cups of vegetables, toss with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/3 cup of flour till all the ribbons of vegetable is coated with the flour. Then crack 4 eggs into the same bowl and mix well. To make the sauce: in a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup of ketchup, 1 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon of Sake, 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon of honey. With constant stirring, cook the sauce for 2 minutes. Meanwhile heat a small frying pan over medium heat and coat bottom of pan with some butter or oil. Add 1/4 of the mixture to the pan, fry the mixture for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side. The pancake is ready to be flipped when the edges have browned. When the pancakes are ready, remove from pan to dish, brush the pancakes with the sauce and sprinkle with some seaweed, bonito flakes, and mayonnaise if you have any. This whole batch makes about 4 pancakes of 6 inches in diameter. Serve this as a side dish for 4 people or as main for 2.