Japanese Vegetable Pancakes

half cabbage

This week we are trying hard to save money without sacrificing nutrition or taste. So, what are some of the cheapest vegetables in the produce section?

  • Red Cabbage – $0.99 / lb.
  • Carrots – $0.99 / lb.

So when I came across this recipe from Smitten Kitchen for Japanese Vegetable Pancakes, the base of which is carrot / cabbage, I was thrilled! One of the problems with buying even a small head of cabbage is that you always have at least twice as much as you need, so I used the rest to make cole slaw. I just love the color of red cabbage, even if it was $0.30 more expensive per pound. The smallest napa cabbages (green) were 5 lbs. anyway!

chopped cabbage


shaved carrots

The United States plays Ghana in World Cup soccer tonight, and my friend is hosting a BBQ. What goes better with/on hot dogs than cole slaw, I ask you?

Well, baked beans, maybe. But we’re talking about a surplus of cabbage, remember?

frying pancakes

Once the cabbage is thinly sliced and the carrots are peeled into ribbons (the most time consuming part of the procedure) the veggie pancakes come together quickly. A dusting of flour and a bath in beaten eggs and you’re ready to fry. Medium-high heat worked best for me to get the slightly crispy-on-the-outside texture that you want.

The sauce for this dish is perfectly tangy. The only things I added were 1.5 tsp of sesame oil, since I didn’t have any sesame seeds to toast and sprinkle over the pancakes, and a small amount of rice vinegar in place of rice wine. So, that totally bumped up the tang even more. I also used frozen spinach in place of kale because it was cheaper.

finished pancakes

I imagine these vegetable pancakes would be a great option for dinner if you’re hosting vegetarian friends. They certainly present an interesting way to put different kinds of veggies together in a satisfying meal. When I prepared the recipe it made enough for twelve 4-inch pancakes, ample pancake pleasure for four diners.


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