I remember walking in Tokyo with my parents when I was little and smelling something amazing. It came from a street vendor cooking something that looked like a pancake but smelled savoury. I knew I had to have some. I patiently waited my turn, which seemed like hours, but it was all worthwhile. As I held my treasured okonomiyaki, I took a big bite. Eyes closed. Umami.
Tonight, I wanted to experiment with making vegan “omelettes” with chickpea flour. I didn’t want just any omelette. I wanted okonomiyaki. I decided to serve it with yakisoba. That seems like a nutritious full vegan meal to me: noodles, beans and plenty of veggies to go along with it.
So, here is my version of Modan-Yaki (モダン焼き). Hope you like it.
Easy Vegan Yakisoba (4 servings)
Cook according to package directions, drain and rinse in cold water:
- a package of yakisoba noodles (I only had buckwheat ramen noodles, but it worked just fine so go ahead and substitute)
While it cooks, saute in 1/2 c water:
- 1 onion, sliced
When softened, add:
- 8 oz coleslaw mix or shredded cabbage
Cook until softened. Add the noodles and tonkatsu sauce to taste. You probably will use around half of the sauce below. Mix well. When heated through, take off heat.
Vegan Tonkatsu Sauce (just the right amount for both the yakisoba and okonomiyaki)
- 3 T sucanat
- 1/2 c ketchup
- 3/4 c soy sauce (we use low sodium)
Veggie Filled Okonomiyaki (Makes 8)
Mix together in a bowl:
- 2 c chickpea flour
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp sucanat
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 Tbs nutritional yeast (optional)
- 2 c water
Whisk together well. Add in:
- 1/2 c panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 c green onions, sliced
- 1 potato, white or sweet potato or yam, grated
- 1 – 2 large romaine lettuce heads, shredded (my family will happily eat lettuce and since I already cooked cabbage in the yakisoba, I thought it better not to cook it again here)
Mix well. If there is too much liquid, you can add in more shredded or grated vegetables. Now, heat a non-stick pan and spray on some oil. With your hands, form a ball with the batter and place gently on the pan to cook. I managed to squeeze 4 pancakes in my pan. Cook on medium heat for 5 – 10 minutes until crispy. Turn, pat down gently and cook another 5 – 10 minutes. When both sides are crispy, turn once again, cover the pan with the lid and steam cook for an additional 3 – 5 minutes.
Vegan Modan-Yaki: Yakisoba topped with Veggie Filled Okonomiyaki
By now you’ve got both your noodles and your pancakes. It’s time to serve!
Place yakisoba on a plate and top with one okonomiyaki.
Now drizzle sauces and garnish with the following toppings:
- tonkatsu sauce (from above)
- vegan mayonnaise
- nori flakes or other seaweed
- green onions, sliced
I love chickpea flour!