Author's Notes: Okonomiyaki is a Japanese cabbage pancake. There are many regional ways to prepare it, some including dried or fresh shrimp, and it's usually topped with a sweet/salty/sour combination of sauces and garnishes. This is our rather untraditional take, with a meat-free pancake that we serve with a gochujang-marinated chicken, a zag of Kewpie mayo, cilantro and fresh black radish. This recipe is open to many interpretations; the important thing is to keep a balance of textures and flavors to achieve the celebrated yin and yang of Asian dishes.

Okonomiyaki with Gochujang Chicken Print Recipe

Ingredients:

    For the pancake:
  • 1 head of Napa cabbage
  • 1 fresh spring onion, or small yellow onion
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • For the chicken:
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 Tbsp gochujang
  • 1 Tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • For toppings:
  • Kewpie mayo, sriracha, cilantro, black radishes (peeled and sliced thin), sesame seeds
  • Optional: scallions, bonito flakes, furikake, pickled daikon, bean sprouts

Preparation:

  1. Place the chicken breasts between two sheets of plastic or in a large resealable plastic bag. With a rolling pin or mallet, pound the breasts until 1/4" thick.
  2. Transfer breasts to a large resealable plastic bag. In a small bowl, whisk together gochujang, vinegar, salt and oil. Pour marinade into plastic bag and seal. Work the chicken around with your hands over the bag so it is evenly coated in marinade. Refrigerated 30 minutes, or overnight.
  3. While chicken is marinating, shred the cabbage. Using a mandoline or slicing very thinly with a sharp chef's knife, shred cabbage into small strands. Place cabbage in a large bowl.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder and sesame seeds. Add flour mixture to the bowl of cabbage, and toss several times until all of the cabbage is coated with the mixture.
  5. Crack the eggs in to a small bowl with the sesame oil. Pour over the cabbage and gently mix until the egg is well incorporated, coating each strand of cabbage. The mixture should be loose but not runny. Add a few tablespoons of water at a time to achieve this consistency.
  6. Slice the onion into thin rings. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add a little oil to the pan, and lay a few onion rings together in the middle, overlapping slightly. Gently drop 1 1/2 cups of the cabbage batter on top of the onions, and carefully spread it out to about 1/2" thick.
  7. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the bottom is browning nicely. Carefully flip (you might need two spatulas) and cook on the other side for 3-4 minutes, until golden brown. Move the pancake to a plate and repeat with remaining batter. You should get 4 good sized pancakes out of this.
  8. While pancakes are cooking, heat a large skillet or grill to medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook until done, about 4 minutes per side. Test the internal temperature with a thermometer until it registers 165 degrees. Remove chicken to a plate or cutting board to rest.
  9. To assemble, place a pancake in a shallow bowl or plate. Top with the chicken, and drizzle with Kewpie mayo and sriracha. Add sliced radishes, cilantro and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.