It's amazing how formative your early years are - taste trickles down from tongue to memory, creating those comfort foods that carry you through the rest of your life. Mine are a mixture of American middle-class standards and the foods I was reared on in Hawaii as a child. My comfort foods are scallions and bonito, pickled ginger and poke.
This is not really my recipe but is instead a traditional recipe for the Japanese savory pancake of okonomiyaki - just the way I ate it twenty-five years ago on a school lunch tray. The pancake is crispy and browned on either side, the top covered in crunchy, salty bacon. Bright notes of scallion and cabbage run through the soft middle, punctuated by crisp bits of tempura flakes. To add a rich umami flavor, I like to add bonito flakes and furikake to mine.
This is a bit of a kitchen sink type of dish. The word, okonomiyaki, means as you like it and the recipe can be adjusted to your exact preferences. The only true measures of the dish include the flour, egg, bacon (or pork), scallions, and cabbage. Try adding some Chinese sausage in, or shrimp, for another delicious variant.
1/2 cup all purpose flour
5 oz water
2 scallions, sliced
1 cup sliced napa cabbage
1/4 cup tempura flakes (optional)
2 tbsp bonito flakes (optional)
4 slices bacon
pinch of salt
1 oz canola oil
tonkatsu or okonomiyaki sauce (optional)
furikake or shredded nori (optional)
Mix flour and water until all lumps are dissolved (by hand with a whisk to avoid developing gluten). Whisk eggs in a separate bowl until whites and yolks are completely mixed. Add eggs, scallions, cabbage, tempura flakes, bonito, salt, and furikake to flour mixture. Fold to combine. Heat a 10" skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil. Add half of mixture and cook 2-3 minutes or until bottom is able to pull away from the pan to flip. Add two slices of bacon on top in one layer and flip pancake so bacon side is down and cooked side is on top. Cook 4-5 minutes. Cover, cook additional 4-5 minutes or until bacon is cooked through. Flip so bacon is top side and serve. Makes two pancakes.