O-Konomi-Yaki (Vegetable Pancakes)

Adapted from the Tassajara Bread Book
These Japanese pancakes are good for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Quick and easy, the recipe is endlessly adaptable.  I’d say you want to hang on the the onion, and if you don’t have celery an aromatic substitute would be nice, but beyond that the vegetables that you have are the vegetables you should use.  The recipe makes plenty, and they are a splendid leftover, either cold, or if you prefer them warm with a quick trip through the toaster.
If, like me you find you have chopped up far too many vegetables, you can always double the batter portion of the recipe, or even just throw some more flour and water in to make it work.  This isn’t the kind of recipe where exact measurements are the only way to succeed.

  • 1/2 a cabbage: Chinese, green or red
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1/2 an onion: yellow or red
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1/2 C Walnuts (you can also use any cooked meat or fish, or omit entirely, but walnuts are my favorite)
  • 2 C whole wheat flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk
  • 1/3 C olive oil
  • enough water to make a batter

Chop, shred, dice or thinly slice the vegetables, walnuts and/or meat.
Mix together remaining ingredients in a large bowl to form batter.
Fold vegetables into batter and ladle onto a nonstick or lightly greased skillet in large spoonfuls.
Serve with soy sauce.