Recipe from Simply Ming One-Pot Meals by Ming Tsai and Arthur Boehm (Kyle Books, 2010)This is my take on Japanese okonomiyaki, pancakes with savory toppings. In some okonomiyaki restaurants, customers cook their own pancakes on an iron griddle set in the table. My kitchen-cooked version uses soba noodles to make free-form pancake "sandwiches," which are filled with a delicious, shrimp-based purée. These are fun to do, and they make an impressive showing for guests.
1. Fill a large bowl with water and add ice cubes. In a large pot, cook the noodles in abundant boiling salted water until al dente, about 5 minutes. Using a large strainer, drain and transfer the noodles to the ice water. When the noodles are cold, drain and set aside.
- 8 ounces soba noodles
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup pancetta, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon organic Worcestershire sauce
- 1 bunch scallions, sliced thin, white and green parts separated, 1 tablespoon of the greens reserved for garnish
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large eggs
- 1 pound small (51-60) shrimp, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil, plus more, if needed
2. Heat the pot over medium heat. Add the pancetta and sauté until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the pancetta on a paper towel and set aside.
3. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce and the larger quantity of scallion greens. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
4. Add the eggs and shrimp to a food processor and pulse until the mixture is roughly puréed. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl, add the parsley, pancetta and scallion whites, and fold to combine.
5. To make the pancakes, place 1/4-cup portions of the noodles on a work surface. Flatten to make about 16 pancakes about 3 inches in diameter. Top each with 1 heaping tablespoon of the shrimp purée, top with the remaining noodles, and flatten to make 1/2-inch-thick pancakes.
6. Add the oil to a nonstick sauté pan and heat over medium-high heat. Using a spatula, and working in batches if necessary, add the pancakes and sauté, turning once, until crispy, 4 to 5 minutes.
7. Place streaks of the mayonnaise mixture on serving plates, top with the pancakes, garnish with the remaining scallion greens, and serve.
TO DRINK: A Marsanne, like Treana Mer Soleil Vineyard Viognier-Marsanne from California