Japanese Vegetable Pancakes are a delightful dish you can enjoy for breakfast, lunch or a light dinner. It’s a speedy recipe with lots of vegetables to alkalize your body and protein to boost your energy.
I was inspired to make this dish when garlic scapes arrived in my CSA box. One of the best things about joining a CSA is the discovery of new vegetables. If you don’t have scapes the recipe comes out just as yummy with scallions.
Garlic scapes are the flower bud of the garlic plant (the part we normally eat is the bulb). They are cut in late June to encourage the bulbs to thicken up. Scapes have texture similar to asparagus and a mild garlic taste . Buy the young tender curly ones. As they get older they straighten out.
Eaten raw, they have a slightly sharp taste but when sauteed the taste becomes soft and gentle. Sprinkle them thinly sliced on fish, rice, salad or vegetables for a lively flavor. Saute them with eggs, stir fries or risotto. Scape pesto is a popular recipe but I haven’t tried it yet.
The Japanese name for these pancakes is okonomiyaki, “a savory pancake with a variety of ingredients.” Okonomi means “how you like it,” and an okonomiyaki is an infinitely adaptable dish. Usually they are made with cabbage, scallions and eggs. Sometimes other vegetables, chicken or fish are added. It’s a great way to use up left over vegetables.
I decided to use my coiled, serpentine scapes and keep it simple with cabbage. I added a little toasted sesame seeds for crunch and almond flour to hold them together. They are gluten free. A little wheat free tamari and toasted sesame oil makes a simple savory pancake. I like spicy so I added a bit of red pepper flakes too. It’s optional.
Start by cooking the cabbage and scapes for a few minutes until they’re soft. Let cool. Mix the eggs with the spices, sesame seeds and almond flour to make a batter Mix in the cooked vegetables.
Using the same saute pan, heat, avocado oil, organic butter, ghee or coconut oil on medium high. There’s only one pan for clean up. Once the oil is hot, drop 1/4 cup portions of the batter into the pan. It should sizzle when it hits the pan. If not wait until the pan is hotter. As they cook spread the vegetables to the edges of the pancakes and press down with a spatula . Cook for 3-4 minutes until just set. Flip them over and cook another minute or two. Serve warm or at room temperature.
This is one of those recipes where I give you guidelines but you can decide what you want to put in it. Use your imagination and whatever is in your refrigerator. It’s a perfect, speedy weekday breakfast, lunch or dinner. I will be making it often for my guests this summer.
“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”
― Albert Einstein
This is a speedy dish with lots of vegetables to alkalize your body and protein to boost your energy levels.
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil, coconut oil, ghee or butter
- 2 cups very thinly sliced green cabbage
- 4 thinly sliced garlic scapes (or 1 bunch of scallions, thinly sliced)
- Pinch of Celtic sea salt
- Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
- 4 organic free range eggs
- 1 teaspoon wheat free tamari or soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup blanched fine almond flour
- Avocado oil, coconut oil, ghee or grass fed butter, for sautéing
- 1/2 lemon
- Heat a tablespoon of oil or butter in a large sauté pan, stir in the cabbage and scapes (or scallions). Add a pinch of salt and red pepper flakes. Sauté for 3-4 minutes minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften. Let cool.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, soy sauce, sesame oil, and sesame seeds.
- Whisk in the almond flour until smooth. Stir in the cooked vegetables.
- Using the same pan, heat more oil or butter over medium-high heat. Drop ¼ cup portions of the batter into the pan (it should sizzle when it hits the pan, otherwise the pan isn’t hot enough). Squash them flat as they cook and spread the vegetables to the edges.
- Cook for a couple of minutes, until they begin to set and are light brown.
- Flip and cook until the second side is brown, just another minute.
- Transfer cooked pancakes to a plate. Repeat if necessary until all of the batter is cooked.
- Sprinkle with salt. Squeeze a little lemon on top
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Category: Paleo, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegetarian
- Cuisine: Japanese