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Meatless Monday: Japanese Vegetable-Studded Pancake

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All the ingredients for okonomiyaki.

1 All the ingredients for okonomiyaki.

Tofu and yellow bell peppers sauteed until the peppers are tender and the tofu is lightly browned in spots.

2 Tofu and yellow bell peppers sauteed until the peppers are tender and the tofu is lightly browned in spots.

Cabbage and carrots tossed with eggs, flour, water, and soy sauce.

3 Cabbage and carrots tossed with eggs, flour, water, and soy sauce.

The finished pancake-let's dig in!

4 The finished pancake-let's dig in!

I love this pancake because you can put pretty much anything you like into it. Today, it's a mix of tofu, yellow bell pepper, carrots, cabbage (this ingredient is pretty much a must), and seasonings. Oh, eggs too. Its Japanese name is okonomiyaki which translates as "what you like". Today's is a vegetarian version and I must confess I added a little Chinese twist by using some hoisin sauce to top it off. Hey, it does mean, what you like!

Japanese Vegetable-Studded Pancake
Makes 4 servings

Ingredients
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 ounces firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and patted dry
1 small yellow bell pepper (or other color), thinly sliced
3 scallions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
Coarse salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup water
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 cups shredded cabbage
1 large carrot, peeled and then cut into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
Hoisin sauce, optional

1. In a large cast iron or other broiler-proof skillet, heat the oil over medium. Add the tofu and bell pepper and cook until the pepper is tender and the tofu has browned in spots, about 5 minutes. Add the scallions, garlic, and ginger, season with salt and cook until the scallions are tender, about 2 minutes.

2. Heat the broiler with the rack, 4 inches from the heat source.

3. Meanwhile, place the flour in a large bowl and gradually whisk in the water until smooth. Whisk in the eggs and soy sauce. Add the cabbage and carrot and toss to coat. Pour the cabbage mixture into the skillet and cook, stirring several times to combine all the ingredients. Cook until the bottom is set, about 5 minutes. Place the pan under the broiler and cook until the top is set about 2 minutes. Serve right from the pan.

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