Chop the green onions into small pieces.
Roughly chop about one cup of cabbage.
Spiralize 4 to 5 cups of vegetables. In this recipe, the green onions and cabbage are a must, but you have some flxibility in choosing other vegetables. I have used zuchinni alongisde traditional Japanese tubers: yamaimo and daikon. Other popular choices are carrots, peppers, and radish.
Put 1/4 lb of tofu in the food processor with 1/4 cup of soy sauce and 1 3/4 cups of water.
Blend the tofu until it has a smooth consistency.
Mix 2 teaspoons of baking powder with 2 1/2 cups flour. Any flour will do, but cake flour gives this recipe an extra lift.
Mix the tofu blend into flour and baking soda mix and stir until the flour is dissolved. Minimal stirring is best to keep the pancakes fluffy.
Including tofu in the pancake batter gives this recipe a nutritional boost. Tofu is a good source of protein and contains all nine essential amino acids. It is also a valuable plant source of iron and calcium.
Fold all of the vegetables into batter. Unlike Hiroshima style okonomiyaki, which is made in layers, Osaka okonomiyaki shuffles the ingredients conveniently together.
Heat an oil with a high smoke point, such as canola oil, on the pan. To test whether the oil is ready to use, leave a small fleck of vegetable in it. The oil is hot enough when bubbles appear around the vegetable.
Pour a ladle of batter onto the hot oil. Swirl the batter with the underside of the ladle to expand the pancake into a circle.
Sprinkle a bit of furikake on top of the pancake batter. The roasted seaweed will give the okonomiyaki an appetizing, umami flavor.
Cook the pancake for about three minutes on medium heat on this side.
Note: Furikake (振り掛け) is a blend of seaweed, sesame seeds, and spices, but some brands will add fish, so read the ingredients carefully! I’m using Mishima brand Nori Komi Furikake.
Flip the pancake and heat again for at least three minutes. If this is your first pancake in the batch, give it a poke to check whether it has cooked through.
The vegetables in the batter release water while cooking, making the cook time longer than you might expect. A common mistake with this recipe is to cook on slightly too high of heat, resulting in burned bottoms and raw insides. If this happens to you, lower the heat and increase the cook time.
Give the thick pancake a final flip and heat it from the other side for about 30 seconds. Look at the nice texture the nori has added to the top!
So far, the ingredients of this recipe are fairly bland and gentle. The dazzling flavor will come from the tonkatsu sauce, so drizzle it on generously.
Tonkatsu (豚カツ) is Japanese for deep fried pork cutlet, a specialty in my old hometown, Nagoya. But don’t be fooled! Just as steak sauce has no steak in it, tonkatsu sauce is made of prunes, vegetables, and spices.
Serve the okonomiyaki hot, and enjoy!