When Life Gives You Zucchini Make O Konomi Yaki

Evidently I’m pretty good at growing summer squash, and not much else. Of all my garden plants the only two that bore much of anything edible are two very different heirloom squash varieties.

They sit next to a trumpet vine so they were pollinated and pollinated and pollinated. Did I mention I live alone? I’m just saying that’s a lot of squash no matter how many friends will continue to accept your offerings.

I’ve also gotten adept at inventing uses for squash. Shredded salads, pureed soups, steamed and mashed with cheddar (Thanks to Jimtown and Carrie Brown for that one) and then of course, the usual zucchini bread and a zillion variations on pasta sauce.

One day I was doing my usual, “what can I do with squash today?” mental exercise and I suddenly remembered a delicious O Konomi Yaki recipe from my old Fields of Greens cookbook. I swore it called for zucchini but when I looked at the recipe, it actually didn’t. That fact did not stop me.

Basically the dish involves shredding carrots and cabbage, (or zucchini) and adding some sliced shiitakes, green onions, and ginger then cooking the veg in sesame oil until wilted.

Next, add a little soy sauce, mirin, and some pepper flakes and cook until liquid is absorbed.

Transfer to a bowl and add just enough beaten egg (1 per 3 cups of vegetables) and flour (1 to 2 tablespoons) to hold the mixture together for cooking in a cast-iron pan.

Stir in some chopped cilantro just before cooking over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes per side and you’ve got it.

I made a little dipping sauce with soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, sugar, and rice vinegar to go with, and, for an uncomplicated accompaniment, I wrapped fillets of wild salmon in parchment with mushrooms, lemon, and tomato and baked it at 350 for about 15 minutes. All in all, a quick and satisfying meal with minimum mess and fuss.

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One Comment

  1. Ellen
    Posted August 31, 2010 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    Now aren’t you the shit. They look super! Can’t wait to try them.

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