How to make Quasi-Vegetarian Okonomiyaki when you’re not Japanese and you are gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free and meat-free💥
As you may remember from my blogs and stories, about 9 years ago I met Kate and Anthony Golle, the executive producers of the now famous Overfed and Undernourished documentary, and the author of Raising Healthy Families, and we went on to become friends and colleagues supporting people reaching their health goals in the Tribal Wellness Movement online wellness program. I stay in touch with Kate and Anthony and love their consistency in supplying inspiration and empowering information for living healthier lives in these challenging times.
This Okonomiyaki idea was prompted by my friend Kate’s own vegetarian fail-proof recipe which she loves to cook again and again… and then I twisted it up a little by adding egg-replacer and hummus (so, no eggs), and mixed in pre-baked wild caught whiting.
You could call it Quasi-Vegetarian Okonomiyaki (Japanese pancakes) or plant-based fish cake, or even Fish pie because …. 🥁…. I rolled the mixture into large balls then pressed into the Pie Maker to shape like pies.
1/2 green cabbage finely shredded
250g enoki mushroom finely shredded
1/2 large yellow zucchini
2 carrots grated
2-3 heads of spring onions diced finely
1 fresh cob of corn
1/2 cup rice flour or gluten free flour
Egg substitute equivalent to 1 egg
2 tablespoons of hummus
1 pack of frozen wild caught Whiting
4 stalks of spring onion for the topping
2-4 nori sheets, cut finely, or nori flakes for the topping
Vegan mayonnaise for the topping
Tamari or additive-free soy sauce for the topping
1. Preheat your oven, or plug in your air fryer. Brush a baking pan with coconut oil and arrange the fillets. Bake the defrosted whiting fillets until soft and falling apart.
2. Finely shred the cabbage, mushrooms, zucchini, onion, spring onions with a good kitchen knife on a large chopping board. Add to a large mixing bowl as you go. (Alternatively, use a food processor to shred the vegetables in smaller portions.)
3. Remove the fish from the oven, and transfer to a plate, to cool in the fridge while you continue with the vegetables.
4. Heat the Pie Maker (an electrical appliance that heats in 5 minutes)
5. Slice down the sides of the corn cobs with sturdy steak knives to remove the corn kernels. Add the corn to the mixing bowl. Stir all of the grated vegetables and a pinch of salt with a wooden spoon until combined really well. If it is overflowing, you can separate out part of the mixture into another bowl and store it in the fridge to use in another recipe tomorrow. It is best to have a bowl with room to move so you can add the next ingredients and continue stirring.
6. Now add the egg replacer, hummus, rice or GF flour, and 1.5 cups water. Stir to create ideal consistency for rolling by hand. Add further water gradually going by feel.
7. Then add your fish fillets breaking them apart gently with your hands, and again mix well.
8. Using your hands, collect a handful of the mixture and squeeze and press into large balls, filling your cupped hands. Squeeze the juices out into the bowl until the ball holds together on its own. Repeat x 4. Transfer these balls to the Pie Maker and close the lid.
9. While the first 4 Okonomiyaki pies are cooking, continue rolling the balls, transferring each ball to a growing pile on a plate. Once you have finished, you will have a bowl full of vegetable and fish stock… an amazing meal base (coconut fish laksa, anyone?) for tomorrow’s cooking adventures. Transfer the stock into a glass bowl with lid and transfer into the refrigerator, or freezer for a later date.
10. When the first 4 Okonomiyaki pies are cooked through until golden brown on the top (up to 7 or so minutes), safely lift them out with a spoon and transfer to an oven pan (or air fryer pan), to keep warm in the oven (or air fryer) while the remaining balls are cooked. To speed up the cooking process you could also divide up the balls between the air-fryer, oven and Pie Maker… depending on how many people you are cooking for and how much time you have available.
11. Serve on individual plates with shredded lettuce if desired, with a drizzle of vegan mayonnaise, Tamari or your additive-free soy sauce, and nori sushi seaweed sheets cut into strips with the scissors over the plates. I added diced tomato, and spring onion is a delicious addition Kate recommends to be more traditional, too.
Why is Okonimayaki easy to make in the Pie Maker?
Even though we work around Mammalian Meat Allergy and maintain a healthy plant-based diet for our whole family, I am going to make good use of our pie maker. We were also gifted with a matching Pie Maker cookbook (like this one) on Christmas Day and I was so happy to open the pages and find recipes for all kinds of meals not even slightly related to traditional pies. Included in the pages were many egg-based recipes, which I can try using my egg-free substitutes (such as hummus & egg replacer), and also vegetable tarts, mushroom and carrot curry casseroles, crumbed vegetable patties, fish cakes, vegetarian rissoles, savoury gluten-free muffins, and the list goes on.
NB.1: I have adopted a practice of glueing closed the pages that feature recipes and photos of meat meals (beef, pork and lamb) so I don’t have to flick through pages, and be reminded, of meals that won’t ever be cooked in this kitchen and we can focus on our Quasi-Vegetarian Lifestyle instead without distraction. It’s been a good more for mental health.
I hope this feedback is heartening and encouraging you to try this appliance too, as I’ve found it to be very quick to cook and even re-heat meals on the counter.
NB.2. I stopped using a microwave 10 years ago because of EMF research and I haven’t missed it a moment, and so I think it’s great that the Pie Maker will make it even easier for people to achieve cooking and re-heating with fewer EMF’s in their kitchen. No doubt more research will come out on kitchen appliance EMF’s, including the pie maker in future, which will be worth keeping an eye out for.
NB.3. What is a Quasi-Vegetarian diet? A Quasi-Vegetarian diet is a plants-based diet, most simply explained as vegetarian but also including fish and seafood. What this means is that a Quasi-Vegetarian diet consists mostly of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, grains, legumes and berries, and can contain some dairy such as non-animal rennet cheese, milk and pure butter, and also fish and seafood, but strictly no red meat products such as beef, gelatin, red-meat-product fermentations, lamb, pork or deli smallgoods. It is generally the most suitable and safest diet choice for people diagnosed with mammalian meat allergy (alpha-gal allergy) following a tick bite, whereby it becomes unsafe to consume all products made with, fermented with, or cross-contaminated with, foods of animal origin including cows, sheep, lamb, pig, kangaroo, rabbit, possum, whale, dolphin. Many people with MMA allergy find that poultry is safe to consume so long as cross-contamination has not occurred, and some people with alpha-gal can also consume dairy, but overall it seems healthier and helpful to adopt a plants-based diet with a strong lean towards vegan-inspired recipes and whole food plant ingredients.
You can find more recipes like the one above, that suit Quasi-Vegetarian diets as well as vegan, vegetarian and plants-based diet, in the Tribal Wellness Movement Starter Guide Recipe Book, authored by Kate and Anthony Golle. I have a number of these printed copies available and am happy to post them to you free of charge (limited stock available.)
Until then, enjoy cooking and I hope you enjoy this plants-based, quasi-vegetarian Okonomiyaki recipe! Please leave your comments and share your experiences below.