If you've never heard of a Friday night fish fry, it's probably because you're not from the midwest. Usually something that occurs during Lent - when some refrain from eating meat on Fridays - the fish fry has become a "go-to" for many here in the chilly north. Here in Milwaukee, you can find a fish fry year round on any given Friday night, especially the all-you- can eat version.
Fish fries normally consist of beer battered cod (although now you can get baked or broiled fish too), french fries or potato pancakes (with applesauce), German potato salad, rye bread and coleslaw. Sounds healthy, huh? Did I mention that there is typically an all-you-can eat option?
While I do allow myself to indulge about once a year in a traditional fish fry, I've tried to find ways to make some of these old favorites a little more healthy. I tried Japanese cabbage pancakes awhile back, and have made them quite a few times since then. I've put my own twist on these, and they've now become a favorite in our household. Even my 4 year old nephew proudly proclaimed, "I like cabbage", after eating one! It didn't hurt that he helped make them too!
Begin with shredding a head of cabbage and two medium sized carrots. Chop a bunch of scallions (white and light green parts only) and add those to the bowl. To that, add a glug of tamari (soy sauce), a teaspoon of sesame seed oil (optional), and freshly ground pepper. Add one egg and 1 c of your favorite pancake mix - I used this
one from purely elizabeth because it's loaded with ancient grains and really gives the pancakes a bite! If your mixture is too dry, add another egg. If it's too wet, add some more pancake mix. Either way, you want it a bit more on the wet side.
Add some olive oil to a fry pan, you don't need a lot - so don't over do it....you're not deep frying them - just pan frying. Make sure the pan and oil are hot - but not too hot - medium high heat is fine. Scoop some of the mixture into the pan and smoosh it down with your flipper, remember you want it to resemble a pancake. Let cook for about 2 minutes on each side. They should be a golden brown color and crispy on the outside.
Let cool on a wire rack, or use the wire rack to keep them warm (in an oven set to 250 degrees) while you're making your main dish.
Now, when it comes to how you eat them - I'll let you decide. My husband, ever since he had his first cabbage pancake, decided he liked his with jam. I prefer a small amount of sour cream. My nephew, well he was confused by the whole pancake thing and asked for his with maple syrup. It didn't look appetizing, but it got him to eat them...to each their own!
However you decide to eat them, I'm certain you'll love them. They are the perfect balance with a crispy outside and soft inside. You won't even miss the potato, I promise!