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Every year I like to bring one dish to Thanksgiving dinner that breaks a little with tradition and uses a conventional ingredient in a new way. This holiday season, I’m experimenting with okonomiyakiokonomi means “how you like” or “what you like” in Japanese, while yaki translates to “grill” – a savory Japanese pancake that can be made with a variety of flavor combinations. I love sweet potatoes, so I’ve used them here as my base and added hints of ginger and furikake, a Japanese dry seasoning mix. The dish is finished with a drizzle of Kewpie Mayonnaise – a creamier mayo made with rice vinegar rather than distilled vinegar – Sriracha and bonito flakes. (If you’ve never had bonito flakes, okonomiyaki makes an ideal way to play with them at home: The dried, smoked, fermented and thinly shaved tuna flakes add intense umami flavor.) 

SWEET POTATO OKONOMIYAKI

You can find furikake, pickled ginger, Kewpie mayo and bonito flakes at most international markets and Asian grocery stores.

Serves  6 to 8

  • 1 large sweet potato, julienned (about 5 cups)
  • 2 Tbsp pickled ginger, slivered
  • 1 Tbsp furikake
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil, divided
  • Sriracha (to serve)
  • Kewpie mayo (to serve)
  • bonito flakes (to serve)

| Preparation | In a large mixing bowl, combine sweet potato, pickled ginger, furikake, scallions and eggs; stir to combine and season with salt and pepper. Add flour and toss to combine.

In a large nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Add ¼ sweet potato mixture to pan, and press into a thin layer using the back of a spatula. Cook until set and golden brown, about 2 minutes; flip pancake over and continue to cook until set, approximately 2 minutes. Repeat with remaining sweet potato mixture to make six to eight pancakes total. Divide pancakes between six and eight serving plates, drizzle each with Kewpie mayo, Sriracha and bonito flakes to taste, and serve.