Recipe: Japanese pancakes, battered but better

FILLED with shredded vegetables, minced lean chicken and protein-packed eggs, this version of a Japanese pancake makes a nutritious and filling lunch or light dinner. In Japan it's traditionally served with mayonnaise, but I prefer to skip this in favour of a little sweet soy sauce and some salad leaves.

Japanese pancakes with mushrooms and chicken

INGREDIENTS:  

 75g wholemeal spelt flour or plain (all-purpose) flour  

 3 eggs  

 1 1/2 tbs peanut or macadamia oil  

 200g minced chicken or pork  

 150g mushrooms, finely chopped  

 2 tsp finely grated ginger  

 1 garlic clove, crushed  

 130g shredded savoy cabbage  

 1 large carrot, coarsely grated  

 Sweet soy sauce, for drizzling  

 2 tsp sesame seeds, lightly toasted  

 Sliced spring onions (scallions), to serve  

 Baby kale leaves, to serve.

METHOD: Whisk together the flour, eggs and 80ml cold water until smooth. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Heat 2 tsp of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Add the chicken and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, for 5 minutes or until browned. Add the mushrooms, ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until golden. Leave to cool completely.

Stir the chicken mixture, cabbage and carrot into the egg batter.

Heat half the remaining oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Ladle 1/2 cup of batter per pancake into the pan and spread out to 1cm thick. Cook for 3 minutes each side or until golden. Transfer to a plate and keep warm while you cook the rest, adding a little more oil when necessary.

Serve the pancakes drizzled with a little sweet soy sauce and scattered with the sesame seeds, spring onions and kale leaves.

Makes 8.

Recipes and images from Real Delicious by Chrissy Freer (Murdoch Books). Available at bookstores and online.


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