"Okonomiyaki is a savoury Japanese pancake that’s great for using small amounts of leftover meat. Pork belly is popular, but if you want to adopt a nose-to-tail approach to eating, let’s start thinking about using other bits, like pork trotters. Ask your butcher for the front legs of the pig, which are meatier than the back legs. If trotters are too much of a leap, you could substitute them with a pork knuckle." Matthew Evans, For the Love of Meat
- 2 pig front trotters, shin and trotter portion
- 1 tsp salt
- 150 ml vegetable oil, for frying
- mayonnaise (Kewpie or regular), thinly sliced spring onion, pickled ginger and a crisp cabbage and radish salad, to serve
Home-made okonomiyaki sauce (or you can buy it from a Japanese grocer)
- 3 tbsp tomato sauce
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3 eggs
- 180 g plain (all-purpose) flour
- 1½ tsp soy sauce
- 1½ tsp sesame oil
- 150 g cabbage, finely shredded
- 3 spring onions (scallions), finely sliced
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Rinse the trotters under cold running water. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil over high heat. Add the trotters and simmer for about 5 minutes. Drain the trotters and rinse them well. Rinse out the pan, then add the trotters and cover with water. Add the salt then bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and skim off any impurities that rises to the surface. Cover the pan and simmer for 2–3 hours or until the meat is soft and falling off the bone. Remove the trotters from the pan, place on a wire rack set over a baking tray and allow to drain. Save the stock to be used for another purpose.
When cool enough to handle, remove the membrane and meat from the trotters and roughly chop it. Discard the bones.
Heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan over medium–high heat. Add the chopped trotter meat and sprinkle with a little salt. Fry until golden and crispy. Be careful not to crowd the pan – you may need to fry the meat in batches, depending on how much you get off the trotters. Set aside.
To make the okonomiyaki sauce, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
To make the pancakes, whisk the eggs, flour, soy sauce, sesame oil and 95 ml water in a bowl until a smooth batter forms. Fold in the cabbage and spring onion.
Heat a large non-stick frying pan over high heat, cover the surface with the vegetable oil, then add the pancake batter. Scatter the pork bits over the top, then reduce the heat to low. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the bottom is golden brown – you can lift up the edge slightly with a spatula to have a peek. To flip the pancake, invert it onto a plate, then add a little more oil to the frying pan and slide the pancake back into the pan. Cook the other side for another 5 minutes, or until golden brown.
Flip the cooked pancake onto a serving plate, then top with mayonnaise in a crisscross pattern, drizzle the okonomiyaki sauce over the top and scatter with loads of spring onion. Serve with pickled ginger and a crisp radish and cabbage salad.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Vanessa Austin. Food preparation by Alex Herbert.