Momo-Yaki (もも焼き)

A starchless, sucrose-free version of deliciously rich cabbage and pork pancakes— in Japanese terms, okonomiyaki (お好み焼き) … with peaches! Hence, “okonomi/お好み“– as you like it; “yaki/焼き”– grilled, meets “momo/もも“– peaches!! Paired with fat-busting fresh green onions, arugula, mint, blueberries and fiery spices, and you’ve got yourself a fresh and fatty, tasty balanced meal.

Ingredients:

Momo-Yaki base

  • 1/8 cup almond flour
  • 1/8 cup almond butter (unsweetened)
  • 1/8 cup hazelnut milk (unsweetened)
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups shredded napa cabbage
  • 1 strip sugar-free bacon, cut into two halves
  • 1/2 cup frozen or fresh peach slices, chopped into small chunks
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 additional cup of water (to deglaze frying pan as necessary)

Momo-Yaki Sauce, Spices, and Accompaniments

  • 1/4 cup frozen or fresh peach slices, chopped into small chunks
  • 1/2 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 tsp dried mint
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp each ground cardamom, ground ginger, cayenne pepper, cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh scallions
  • 2 cups fresh arugula leaves/rocket to plate

Special equipment:

  • Whisk
  • Two rubber spatulas
  • Frying pan or skillet with lid (**Tip: nonstick is ideal! But if you don’t have, oil your pan.)
  • Ladle
  • Paper towels

Prep time: 30 minutes
Yields: 2 servings

Preparation:

  1. Prepare batter: whisk together almond flour, almond butter, hazelnut milk, 1/8 cup water, baking soda, salt and egg until smooth.
  2. Stir the cabbage into the batter and set aside. (***Tip: wrap the cabbage in a paper-towel and squeeze it tightly first to rid it of excess moisture before mixing it in for better frying.)
  3. Heat a frying pan on medium heat and quickly wipe a THIN layer of olive oil onto the pan (i.e. 1/4 tsp) with a paper towel as it is heating. Place one halved-bacon strip directly in the middle of the pan and lay 1/4 cup of the chopped peaches around it. Heat for 3-4 minutes to sear the bacon strip, just until it starts sizzling.
  4. Use a ladle to spoon half of the prepared cabbage batter directly on top of the bacon and peaches, pouring carefully so that the batter covers everything and makes a round pancake in the center.
  5. Cover the pan with a lid and cook the batter for 4 minutes on medium-low heat. Add 2 Tbsp of water directly to the pan to help steam-cook the bacon eveb further and prevent the momo-yaki from sticking, then cook for an additional 3 minutes covered.
  6. Use two spatulas– one in each hand on either side of the momo-yaki—to flip it completely over in the pan. Then repeat the process: cook the other side for 4 minutes on medium-low heat, covered. Add 2 Tbsp of water directly to the pan, then cover and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Remove the pancake once completely firm and place it on a plate, keeping it covered with a paper towel until ready to serve. (Note: this helps to trap heat!) Repeat steps 3 through 6 with the remaining batter.
  7. Meanwhile, make the momo-yaki sauce: bring to a boil in a small saucepan the blueberries, 1/4 cup of peaches, mint, and 1/4 cup of water, then simmer on low heat for up to 10 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat; optionally smash the berries and peaches down with a fork for a smoother sauce.
  8. Garnish each momo-yaki with 1/4 tsp of cardamom, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and ginger, half of the momo-yaki sauce, and 1 Tbsp of the chopped scallions.
  9. Add fresh arugula around the momo-yaki and enjoy!!!

Yasmine’s notes:

Not every meal has to be simple in order to both be quick and tasty. Some thrive on being the colorful, eclectic palates they are! I’ve always had a special place in my heart for the lavishly decorated Okonomiyaki in particular (call it my love for the manga Ranma 1/2 as a big influence in my youth), and while I can’t abide the starch, sucrose, and fatty levels of traditional Japanese okonomiyaki…

…i.e. no more than I can traditional Canadian starch pancakes with bacon, German starch pancakes with cabbage, Chinese starch pancakes with scallions, or American starch pancakes with blueberries and peaches, let’s say…

I can take every one of these kinds of great produce meets protein flavors that ALL of the cultural influences combine to make. (***Plus, throw in the Iranian practice of pairing some sabzi on the side too; including mint, peppery sharp greens and equally fresh scallions—and some fiery spices as well— all to help cleanse the otherwise VERY fatty plate deep-fried pancakes are… just, minus the equally traditional starch flatbreads and goat-milk cheeses I can’t have there, either!)

Hence you have this balanced, deep, complex, sharp, sweet, hardy dish that I take the liberty of naming ‘Momo-Yaki/もも焼き’– yes as homage to okonomiyaki in its native Japanese. And at that, not because I endeavor to favor Japanese over any other culture that also counts as a fair influence in helping me make healthier upgrades all around— but because out of all of these things, I consider it an homage of its own kind that I know how to accurately name this dish in Japanese in the first place. I am one, after all, who is a blend of multiple heritages herself, none of them Japanese in particular, and yet is still connected and willing to learn from all of us about all of the good things we DO share in this world as one.

(And to that regard, thanks to one of my family for encouraging me to study more on Duo Lingo— it’s really helping me learn that much more of Sanji’s native languages that, oddly enough, Zirconia seems to understand too…

But of course, more to come there in Torus Link itself.)


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