I was going to do some braised cabbage thing for my BSI: Cabbage entry, but when I saw this recipe on 101 Cookbooks, I was so interested by “Japanese Pizza” that I had to give it a try, with my own twists, of course. I’d never even heard of okonomiyaki before, but reading the ingredients and looking at the images, the “pizza” reminded me of a Spanish tortilla, a potato/egg/onion omelet-type dish that I used to eat all the time when I studied abroad in Seville, Spain.
Now, some fancy versions of tortilla include chorizo, and I didn’t have any of that but I did have an Italian chicken sausage in my freezer so I decided to throw that in for added flavor and protein. So now the dish is a combination of Japanese, Spanish, and Italian?
When I tasted my creation, at first I didn’t think I was a fan, but as I ate more, I liked it more and more. It dawned on me what it tasted like: latkes (aka potato pancakes). So yet ANOTHER culture’s cuisine was thrown into the mix! Since latkes usually are made with onion, egg, and flour/matzo meal as well as potato, it made sense that the flavors would be similar. I’ll have to remember this recipe come Hanukkah.
Cross-Cultural Cabbage Latkes
- 3 cups cabbage, finely shredded
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1/3 red onion, sliced
- 2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 egg and 2 egg whites, beaten
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (plus olive oil spray)
- 1 spicy Italian chicken sausage, cooked at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, then thinly sliced (optional)
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)
- ketchup or hot sauce, to serve
- Combine the cabbage, shallots, flour, and salt in a bowl. Toss until everything is coated with flour. Add eggs and mix well.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add olive oil.
- Scoop the cabbage mixture into the pan and press it down as flat as you can get it.
- Cook for 5-7 minutes. While bottom is cooking, place sausage slices into pancake and press down. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes
- To flip, put a plate face-down over the mixture and carefully flip over the pan so the cooked side is on top. Spray the pan with olive oil and then slide the mixture back onto the pan.
- Again press down a bit with a spatula and cook until golden, another 5 minutes.
- Transfer to a plate and serve with hot sauce or other condiments. Serves 2.
With the sausage, it kind of looks like a pizza, right? I’d be interested in trying traditional okonomiyaki to see how it compares. I got some death-stares from Mitch when I was making this, but it was a fun experiment and I think I’m going to try more latke/veggie-pancake creations in the future.
It is really Sunday night again? Weekends go by way too fast! Time to get ready for the work week…sigh…