Happy Wednesday, Noshers!  I’ve been a little MIA lately as I recover from a pretty awesome weekend trip (er…two weekends ago) to Sedona and Scottsdale. I’ll be posting a few photos, so keep your eyes peeled! In the meantime, I’m super excited to share a new project I’ve set up for myself – my very first cookbook cookthrough!

Ok, I’m not sure if that’s a real word, but much like the movie Julie and Julia, I plan to cook every recipe in one of my newest cookbooks.  I’m going easy on myself to start – I don’t have a set time limit (yet…if I start lagging behind, I might set some rules in place), and I’m not cooking the recipes in order. Rather, I’m skimming through and picking recipes that most interest me (but I will try all of them), and more importantly, for which I can find the ingredients.  And the cookbook I’ve chosen for my very first cookthrough is……the Lucky Rice cookbook!

I actually won this book a while back, and when browsing through it, I realized that I wanted to try making every single recipe.  The cookbook features both classic and new takes on Asian dishes, and author Danielle Chang infuses the book with her own personal stories.  It’s a fantastic read!  I also chose this cookbook because I was super-spoiled in NYC with ethnic grocery stores galore, tons and tons of live seafood, and a bustling Chinatown from which to purchase ingredients. I might have to get a little creative in Kansas City, but it should be an interesting challenge!  I’d love if you cooked along with me – it would be so fun for us to cook together and for me to see photos of your cooking! I’ll be tagging my posts/photos with #BigAppleNoshLuckyRice – tag yours as well so I make sure I see them 🙂

The very first recipe I wanted to try was for Japanese Pancakes, or okonomiyaki.  Unlike American pancakes, the Japanese version is savory, with meat, scallions, ketchup, and Kewpie mayo.  My challenges for this recipe was sourcing the Kewpie mayo (which is delish) – I wasn’t able to find it at my local grocery store, but Amazon saved the day (link here).  Yay!

The recipe itself was pretty straight forward, and the results fantastic.  I used to have okonomiyaki all the time when I lived in NYC, where Japanese izakaya (basically the Japanese equivalent of a gastropub) cooked them up to order along with yakitori and other delicious bites.  The versions I’ve had featured octopus; this recipe called for bacon, with which I was A-OK.

Japanese Pancakes (Okonomiyaki) (from the Lucky Rice cookbook) – Makes 2 large pancakes

  • 3 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups cake flour or all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 cups finely shredded cabbage
  • 1 bunch scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp Asian sesame oil
  • 6 slices thin-cut bacon, halved crosswise
  • Japanese Kewpie Mayonnaise, for serving
  1. Mix the ketchup, soy sauce, and Worcestershire in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, kosher salt, and baking powder. Beat in 1 cup of cold water and the eggs to make a thick batter. Stir in the cabbage and scallions.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil over medium-high heat.  Pour in half of the batter and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, lowering the heat slightly if necessary to prevent burning.  Arrange 6 bacon pieces on top of the pancake, pressing them down slightly into the batter. Flip the pancake over and continue to cook for 5 to 6 minutes more, until the bacon is crisp and the pancake is golden brown. Transfer the finished pancake to a plate, and repeat with the remaining oils, batter, and bacon.
  4. On a servicing plate, drizzle the ketchup mixture over the pancakes.  To complete the dish, add squiggles of the mayonnaise on top and garnish with additional scallions.

I ate this pancake for dinner, and it was quite filling!  But don’t take my word for it, try it for yourself! Remember to tag your photos with #BigAppleNoshLuckyRice and let me know – can’t wait to check it out! 🙂