There’s this restaurant here in Charleston called Xiao Bao Biscuit. It’s housed in an old gas station, with picnic tables in the parking lot as an eating area. And it was at this gas station turned restaurant that I first encountered the food wonder that is okonomiyaki, otherwise known as a cabbage pancake.
They serve their okonomiyaki with some different topping options – it automatically comes with the spicy sriracha mayo, but you can add a fried egg, crumbled bacon, or even candied bacon on top – and if you’re feeling ambitious, you can go for all three.
The problem, of course, that I have with their version of okonomiyaki is that it’s not paleo. (This is not actually a “problem,” per se, this is where the “scaleo” part of the blog comes in – go out to eat and enjoy what you order!) But regardless, I decided to attempt my hand at a paleo okonomiyaki recipe. It took me quite a few tries, and like most of my recipe testing scenarios, I was a bit sick of okonomiyaki by the time I was done, but I finally got it nailed down. And, this recipe is completely paleo – gluten free, grain free, soy free…nothing but good, healthy, ingredients!
The best part is, it’s pretty easy. You whisk all your batter ingredients together in a bowl, then dump in your cabbage and carrots and toss them around to coat. From there, you just scoop some out into the pan greased with coconut oil, pat it down and spread it out into a flat, round, single layer, and let cook for a few minutes on each side until its browned and cooked through.
Make sure you get a paleo fish sauce – Red Boat fish sauce is my favorite brand. It’s a little pricey, but it will last you forever because you use so little of it at a time. Just to show you how long it will last – I just checked my Amazon account, and I purchased that bottle in January of 2015. It’s still more than half full. For-ev-er, I’m telling you. For the toasted sesame oil, I buy mine at Trader Joe’s. There’s no need to pay a bunch of money for that, you can probably find an inexpensive bottle at your local grocery.
I served my okonomiyaki topped with bacon crumbles, green onions, and some sriracha mayo, but get creative! The okonomiyaki itself doesn’t have a super strong flavor, so you can feel free to top it with a variety of ingredients, depending on what you’re feeling like at the time. I skipped the fried egg for these photos, but it definitely steps it up a notch, especially with the bacon.
Speaking of stepping it up a notch, I’m attending a blogger conference this week here in Charleston! The ad network MediaVine is hosting their annual conference here, and I purchased a ticket. Since I can never just leave well enough alone, I also offered to host a bunch of the bloggers here tonight who are getting in early for a little meet and greet, so I had to add “clean house from top to bottom” to my to-do list to get ready, which is why I haven’t posted on the blog or gotten out my way overdue newsletter. Womp womp. Hopefully I learn lots of great stuff to implement here, make lots of great friends, and discover some other awesome blogs to share with you guys. In the meantime, enjoy your okonomiyaki!
What did you end up topping your okonomiyaki with? Let us know in the comments!
This recipe for Okonomiyaki ,or Japanese Cabbage Pancakes, is a gluten free and paleo version of a favorite. It's even Whole30 compliant!
- 2 large eggs
- 2 Tablespoons coconut aminos
- 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1 Tablespoon coconut flour
- 3 Tablespoons water*
- 4-5 cups shredded cabbage (10 oz bag)
- 1 carrot, shredded
- 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
- diced green onions
- diced bacon
- sriracha mayo
In a large bowl, combine the eggs, aminos, sesame oil, vinegar, and fish sauce and whisk until smooth.
Add the salt, almond flour, and coconut flour to the mixture and whisk again to combine.
Add the water a tablespoon at a time, whisking after each addition. You're looking to thin the batter out a bit, but not to make it runny. Different almond flours and coconut flours absorb liquid differently - you may not need all 3 tablespoons!
Add the shredded cabbage and carrot to the batter, and toss to combine and coat everything. If it still feels to dry, add a bit more water.
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add 1/2 tablespoon of the coconut oil to coat the pan.
Scoop out 1/4 of the batter into the pan, and using the back of your scoop or a spatula, spread it out into a single layer.
Cook 3-5 minutes, then flip and cook 2-3 minutes more or until browned and batter is cooked through.
Serve topped with bacon, green onions, and sriracha mayo, or with toppings of your choice - get creative!
*Don't add all your water at once! Add it a bit at a time until you have the batter consistency you're looking for.