Mini Okonomiyaki

I suspect that it is going to be quite some time until our next overseas holiday. In recent years we’ve been to Fiji, and to Japan, and we had hoped to travel to Vietnam this year. But sadly that is looking highly unlikely.

So while we cannot travel to indulge in authentic international dishes, we can attempt a little international fare at home. With that in mind, we created our very own Japanese-themed dinner on the weekend which was rather fun. The girls helped make sushi, and we decorated the table with paper cranes that we learned to make from an origami book.

For main course we made a chicken curry in the slow-cooker, which we served with rice and a cabbage-style salad. To start – we had our homemade sushi (a post for another day) as well as a mini version of one of my favourite Japanese dishes – okonomiyaki!

This version was slightly different to the original in that we added zucchini along with the usual cabbage. Pulled together with egg and flour, and pan-fried to perfection.

We actually made these in advance, so when it was time to serve we reheated them in the oven before topping with okonomiyaki sauce and kewpie mayonnaise. Finished with a sprinkle of coriander (or you can use spring onions) and togarashi seasoning.

These mini versions worked beautifully as a starter – akin to a fritter. In fact, we loved them so much that we made another batch the next day for lunch!

Now where in the world to take the MCP kitchen next??

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Mini Okonomiyaki
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Course Appetiser
  1. Place the grated zucchini, onion and a sprinkle of salt in a bowl, and set aside for 20 minutes.
  2. Squeeze as much of the liquid out of the zucchini mix as possible.
  3. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the egg and a few tablespoons of cold water to make a batter (not too thick).
  4. Add the cabbage and the zucchini mixture, and stir to combine.
  5. Heat some olive oil in a large frypan. Drop spoonfuls of the batter in and shape into a circle. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes each side, or until golden brown. Remove and place on some paper towel. Repeat until all the batter has been used.
  6. To serve, drizzle the sauce and mayonnaise over the top of the fritters, and sprinke with spring onions and togarashi seasoning.
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Sundried tomato hummus

IMG_5065 Yep. Still here, still blogging, and still eating for two Winking smile  Baby BBB continues to thrive in utero, extremely well, and at our appointment today there was no indication that she is coming early. Rather, the race is now on as I found out my doctor is away as of next Tuesday, so fingers crossed she at least makes her appearance before then. I continue see a lot of walking and spicy food in my future. Last weekend we had what we thought might be our last dinner with friends as a couple (although it could very possibly be that we now have this weekend as well!) A simple BBQ was on the menu, and with the main course being taken care of by our friends, I decided to make a dip to share beforehand. A sundried tomato hummus. IMG_5059 And it really could not have been simpler. Just chickpeas, garlic, paprika, tahini, lemon juice, oil, water and of course, the sundried tomatoes. IMG_5060 Processed until smooth and creamy. IMG_5061 Sprinkled with a little paprika… IMG_5064 And an extra splash of olive oil… IMG_5067 Loaded with rice crackers… IMG_5073 And the sundried tomato dip was done. IMG_5074 Doesn’t get much quicker or simpler than that Smile  IMG_5084 But now, time for a walk and some curry Winking smile Sundried tomato hummus

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1.5 tbs tahini
  • 100g sundried tomatoes
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tbs olive oil + extra
  • 1-2 tbs water
  • 1 tsp paprika + extra
  1. Process all ingredients in a food processor until smooth and creamy. Add more oil / water if needed in order to reach desired consistency.
  2. Transfer to a serving bowl, and sprinkle with extra paprika and olive oil.

What about you? Are you a fan of flavoured hummus?

Gluten free blini with prosciutto & basil creme fraiche

IMG_2934 We started our recent Russian-inspired lunch with a rather easy starter. One that was relatively simple to put together (once the blini themselves were made that is!) blini Blini with prosciutto & basil crème fraiche. And they were gluten free! Originally from Russia, blini are small leavened buckwheat pancakes that are traditionally served with sour cream and caviar. To make the (GF) blini, I made a batter using:

  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour, sifted
  • 1/4 cup GF plain flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp baking powder, sifted
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup milk + 1 tsp lemon juice (combined and left aside for 5 minutes to form a ‘buttermilk’)
  • 30g melted butter

IMG_2887 Then pan-fried small amounts in a little butter like mini pikelets (a few at a time), until golden brown. IMG_2891 My blini were by no means perfect or uniform in shape, although I think that gives them a little character 😉  IMG_2895 Although, next time, I would probably rest the  batter for half an hour or so prior to cooking, to see if my blini come out a little thicker. IMG_2896 The topping for the blini could not have been simpler. Starting with basil pesto, that I stirred through a tub of crème fraiche. IMG_2924 IMG_2936 Followed by some sliced prosciutto…  IMG_2931 And finished with chopped chives.  IMG_2932 Simple yet tasty…  IMG_2933  And served straight from the chopping board for all to enjoy!   IMG_2938 A versatile starter, for which the topping possibilities are endless! What about you? Ever tried blini and have a favourite topping? Another favourite of mine is sour cream, smoked salmon and dill – YUM!