I am a huge fan of Japanese cuisine – but it’s not something I’ve really had a great deal of experience cooking. Apart from the odd okonomiyaki and teriyaki here and there, most of my Japanese eating has been out at restaurants. But I had a craving for Japanese, a few sheets of nori left over from a failed cauliflower rice sushi experiment and a couple of sachets of wasabi floating around from my last takeaway. I didn’t have a great deal of veges left in the fridge, which is where the rest of the main ingredient inspiration came from – carrots. I always buy carrots…but I very rarely actually cook with them. They usually only ever get chopped up into salads or munched on raw (with almond butter and dukkah). So given they’re not my go-to vege, I often end up having lots in the fridge. It was time to try carrot fritters/okonomiyaki.
To serve, I made a wasabi coconut cream. Mainly because I wanted to temper the heat of the wasabi, as my husband isn’t the hugest fan, and I didn’t have any greek yoghurt – which is what I normally would’ve turned to first. Not shopping can provide so much inspiration! We had just come home from a trip fishing on the Blackwood River on Molloy, so I also had fresh bream fillets to serve with it which you will see in the photos – but they are flavoursome enough to be a vegetarian meal on their own. Slightly sweet, delicious, crispy little things that they are!
Carrot and Nori Fritters5-6 baby carrots
1 tbsp cornflour
1 sheet of Japanese nori/seaweed
2/3 cup plain flour
1 tbsp of corn flour
1/4 tsp of salt
2 egg whites
1 cup cold water
oil for frying
Wasabi Coconut Cream1 tin coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
2 sprigs coriander, leaves removed and shredded
1-2 sachets wasabi (or a 2-4 cm squeeze from a tube)
Preheat the oven to 150C for keeping cooked fritters warm whilst you cook the remainder.
Grate the carrots using a coarse grate. (I do this in my food processor). Use a pair of kitchen scissors to chop the nori up into thin strips. Mix the carrot and nori together and toss through 1 tbsp cornflour.
In a separate bowl, whisk together plain flour, the second tablespoon of cornflour and salt. Whisk the eggs gently and add the cup of water to the eggs, mix together. Pour this batter over the carrot mix and gently fold together until it comes together. Don’t overmix it.
Heat a frypan to a medium-high heat. Add a layer of oil to the pan and allow to heat as well. Ladle the mixture into the pan to form fritters to the size of their choosing. I like pikelet size ones – around 10cm diameter. Cook for 2-3 minutes until crisp and golden. Flip over and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Remove to a plate and keep warm in the oven.
Meanwhile, pour the thin watery layer of the coconut milk off and reserve for another use. Beat the wasabi and salt to taste into the remaining cream with a hand beater. Stir through the coriander.
Serve alongside the carrot and nori fritters