Eat Well: Japanese Cabbage Pancakes

The following post was written by my mom, WWW. Thanks, mom!
I bought the biggest cabbage I’ve ever seen at the farmer’s market this week. It is HUGE, so huge that I had to cut it in half to even fit it in my refrigerator.
Needless to say, we have been eating a lot of cabbage and will continue to for quite awhile. I have talked many times about cabbage (when I put “cabbage” into Rebecca’s search engine, 4 pages come up) and can’t say enough about its health benefits.

Besides cooking with it, you can juice it with other veggies for a vitamin rich tonic. (Juicing is my newest obsession…more on this topic next week.) Here is one more recipe to add to your cabbage collection:

Okonomiyaki, or Japanese cabbage pancake, is a traditional Japanese dish. I originally learned about it from my mother-in-law via my sister-in-law. There are many variations, but here’s, mine.

Cabbage Pancakes (Okonomiyaki)

½ cabbage shredded (about 4 cups) (in my case, 1/8th of a cabbage!)
½ cup shredded carrot or yam 
1 T ponzu or soy sauce 
4 green onions, chopped 
4 eggs (for vegan alternative, replace with ½ cup pureed silken tofu) 
¼ cup flour (can use gluten free) 
oil for frying 
Hoisin sauce 

Mix together first four ingredients. Beat eggs and add flour, (or tofu and flour) mixing until smooth.
Add to cabbage mixture.
Heat pan with a little oil. When hot, spoon mixture into pan and form into pancake shape, pressing down with a spatula.
Cook until brown, turn, and cook on the other side. Serve with Hoisin sauce. (Don’t forget the hoisin sauce…it makes all the difference!)



calgal03 | 9:43 PM

My husband and I lived in Japan for a year, and ever since, this is exactly what we do when we have a lot of cabbage!

A tip for the meat eaters among us: put a strip or two of bacon on one side and it will cook as the pancake fries up. Or add some pancetta to the batter. Delicious.

Lindsay - ShopEllaLou | 9:58 PM

Looks absolutely delish! I wonder if I can sneak these past my slightly picky toddler.. The hoisin sauce may just do the trick!

Mel | 11:00 PM

You're missing the mayo! Traditionally you have okonomiyaki with kewpie mayo and japanese bbq sauce. It's amazing the difference they make - so odd, but so delicious.

Beth | 6:18 AM

This looks yum! Looking forward to learning more about juicing. My kids love the "lemonade" from our local coffee shop. It is actually apple and lemon juice from a juicer. I've been vaguely considering getting one.

Steph(anie) | 8:18 AM

Oh, I need to try this.

Amy E. | 8:27 AM

I love these! I've tried making them with chickpea flour and they're delicious.

Dustin | 11:32 AM

This style of pancake is a staple in our house. We typically use carrot, and green onion and top it with soy and gochujang

Kathleen | 1:51 PM

These look delicious! I like cabbage. I have never tried Hoisin sauce and I am not sure I would like it, but you never know.

RG | 2:39 PM

After reading this I realized I have all the ingredients in my fridge/cupboard so I am going to go make these right now! Looks delicious.

Jen | 2:43 PM

Ah, you're killing me! I'm so hungry!

KateFitz | 6:34 PM

Saw this today and made it for dinner...delicious!!! I added some sesame seeds in the batter and a drop of spicy Chinese mustard in the hoisin sauce for the adults. Sooooo good. After the kiddos are down I'm gonna make another batch for lunches tomorrow. To quote the 2 year who was tricked into thinking whole thing was a potato pancake "more mama! Thank you much!"

Kara | 7:49 PM

It's kind of embarrassing to admit, but in the last two weeks alone I have bookmarked three different cabbage recipes, and I thought I'd post the links here in case your mom needs more inspiration in using up that giant cabbage. Oh, why have I bookmarked so many cabbage recipes? I seriously have no idea. I do really like the vegetable, but not any more than others. . .apparently there's a cabbage vibe online right now because I just keep coming across them.

This cabbage soup from Smitten Kitchen looks amazing (it uses pork and some chicken stock, but you could use veggie stock and I'm sure your mom has some good substitute for the smoky richness of pork. . .just some butter and paprika, even?)
Then, Luisa Weiss at The Wednesday Chef linked to this New York Times article with a recipe for a cabbage strudel from a Hungarian restaurant in NYC that sounds absolutely, sinfully delicious:

And finally, I happened upon this Asian twist on slaw on Better Homes and Gardens. . .it's pretty basic and your mom most likely has similar recipes. But the ingredients and proportions in the dressing look just about perfect. It calls for Napa cabbage but you could certainly use regular.

Amber | 10:55 AM

These look awesome! And THANK YOU for posting what the vegan alternative to eggs in this recipe is. Yay! I happen to have a lot of cabbage right now -- perhaps even the same type -- so I might be making these this weekend. ;)

Hillary | 3:04 PM

I am a notoriously AWFUL cook. Cannot follow a recipe to save my life. And I saw these and made them last night for dinner and they were absolutely delicious and so so easy. I have no idea what Hoisin sauce is so, like with everything else I eat, I slathered them with Sriracha instead. I will be making the vegan alternative for my boyfriend sometime this weekend.

Anonymous | 12:35 AM

Im going to attempt these, as they look and sound deliciosly easy.

Quick question however, can they be frozen and reheated?


Anonymous | 10:37 AM

We made this for lunch today and it was great. I don't like Hoisin, so we had a little soy sauce for dipping. My two year old thought they were great!

Caryn | 8:25 PM

LOVE the idea of a cabbage "pancake"! I'm gluten free and my daughter has a very severe peanut allergy and is also allergic to peanut and soy (needless to say, we'll skip the soy sauce...but, I'm thinking it might also be yummy with a balsamic reduction -- isn't everything?) Thanks for a great looking recipe!