Kitty cakes

Kitty cakes

A Year of Practiculture
Rohan Anderson & Kate Berry

Now I know these aren’t really ‘kitty cakes’ – the classic Japanese okonomiyaki – but me being the hillbilly country bloke I am, I’d never heard of them. It’s one of the pitfalls of living in a bubble in the bush! A friend of mine (enter Kitty) told me what I could do with all the cabbage I had lying around and, thankfully, it was something nicer than what she normally tells me to do (Kitty has a potty mouth). Intrigued by the idea of making cabbage palatable for the ratbags, I accepted her idea on the proviso that she show me how to cook them. The process seemed easy enough, but it was the eating that hooked me like a stupid fish. How could this be made of cabbage? It felt like something a bit naughty! I ate a bunch of them, loved them, then a few days later asked her to make them again. That was when she really told me where I could put the cabbage.


Quantity Ingredient

The brown sauce

Quantity Ingredient
250ml Catsup
125ml mirin
80ml tamari
90g dijon mustard

The mayo

Quantity Ingredient
250g Mayo
1 tablespoon ready-made wasabi

The cakes

Quantity Ingredient
150-300g plain flour
2 whole cabbages, hearts removed, finely shredded
100g dried slippery jack or shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped
10 spring onions, finely chopped
170ml mirin
8-10 eggs
sunflower oil, for shallow-frying
handful dried nori, cut into strips, to serve
sesame seeds, toasted, to serve


  1. To make the brown sauce, simply pop all the ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer over medium heat until the sauce reduces and thickens.
  2. For the mayo, simply mix in the wasabi.
  3. To make the kitty cakes, in a large bowl, mix 250 ml water with enough of the flour to make a soggy paste. Add the cabbage, mushrooms, spring onions, mirin and eggs, and mix well. The idea is to make a battered mush of well-stirred ingredients.
  4. Heat the sunflower oil in a large heavy-based frying pan, then use a large mixing spoon to dish a few patties into the hot oil. Cook until golden brown on both sides. I tend to flip them over a few times to get them evenly cooked through – nothing worse than raw cabbage in a thick kitty cake! Lay on paper towel to drain off any excess oil while you cook the next batch.
  5. Serve with a squirt of both sauces, a healthy topping of seaweed and a generous sprinkle of sesame seeds.
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