OK, I did it! I finally gave the Okonomiyaki recipe a shot, and it turned out great!
Here, this is what it looks like when finished…
Pretty cool, no?
My recipe is based on this one, here:
However, one thing you must know about Okonomiyaki is that it really is one of those dishes that even the Japanese love to improvise with. One of the reasons the dish evolved was quite similar to the burrito and chilaquiles in Mexican food, pizza in Italian food, and a host of other dishes around the world: you can take the last bits of something you cooked last night and add it to the batter before grilling it on the griddle. As it turned out I wasn’t able to find bay shrimp or bean sprouts at my local Food 4 Less, so I used a can of clams and kanikamaboko (fake crab) instead of the bay shrimp, and more broccoli slaw and green onions instead of the bean sprouts. Okonomi quite literally translates as “whatever you like,” and yaki means “cooked on a grill” so yeah, you can put whatever you like in Okonomiyaki. I really did like what the chopped clams and the clam broth did with the recipe so that’s now a permanent part of the recipe as far as I’m concerned.
Genki (Healthy) Okonomiyaki
1 cup chopped cooked meat, whatever you want. I’ve had chicken in Okonomiyaki before at a really nice Japanese restaurant, so don’t just think seafood.
1 can chopped cooked clams, drained carefully, with the liquid going into a container. Measure out the liquid, reserve 1/2 cup.
1 bunch green onions, chopped.
2 cups bagged coleslaw mix
1 cup bagged broccoli slaw, or 2 if you can’t find fresh bagged bean sprouts in your store
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
1 1/4 cup “egg beaters” or equivalent. Good for cooking and baking, not so good for breakfast.
1 1/4 cup Whole grain baking and pancake mix. Trader Joe’s, as usual, is your friend here.
1/4 cup Oat Bran Meal. Also findable at Trader Joe’s.
1/2 cup reserved clam juice (from the canned chopped cooked clams)
1 tsp ponzu or 1/2 tsp low sodium soy sauce and 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Turkey bacon cut in small strips
Nonstick spray (I like Trader Joe’s Coconut Oil spray but their Olive Oil spray is good too!)
Low-sodium steak sauce, in lieu of more traditional Okonomiyaki sauce which is a salt BOMB and hard to get outside of Japanese grocery stores
Lite mayonnaise. Get Nisshin MayoDoree if you have a Japanese grocery store that carries it, but Best Foods/Hellman’s or Kraft or Trader Joe’s will do.
1.) Wash and chop the green onions. Add them into a big bowl along with the chopped meat, chopped drained clams, coleslaw mix, broccoli slaw and bean sprouts.
2.) Whisk the egg substitute, clam juice, ponzu, and Worcestershire sauce together.
3.) Mix together the baking mix and oat bran meal in a third bowl. Then make a well in the middle of it, and pour the liquid ingredients in. You want everything to combine at the consistency of crepe batter.
4.) Take the batter and mix it in with the meat and veggies.
5.) Preheat and spray nonstick spray on the griddle. Spoon out the Okonomiyaki onto the griddle, about 1/3 cup at a time, making pancakes. Cook on one side for 4 minutes, and while the first side is cooking arrange pieces of turkey bacon on the top. Flip after 4 minutes, and cook on the other side for 4 minutes or until the turkey bacon is as crispy as you like it.
6.) Drizzle on low-sodium steak sauce and lite mayo.
7.) Itadekimasu! (Be thankful for your food, and eat!)
Serves roughly four people. Cooked Okonomiyaki freezes well…just cool it in the refrigerator before freezing.
Again, I don’t have a calorie count, but all of this is pretty healthy.