My husband and I visited Seattle last month and went to a fabulous restaurant called Tanaka San, by chef, Tom Douglas, where he ordered a savory pancake. I, of course, was unable to taste it because it was thickened with flour, but there were a few nice gluten-free items to choose from. He said the savory pancake was amazingly delicious and that I should try to create something similar for my blog. And so I did. Does it taste the same? No, probably not even close, as I didn’t know what I was comparing it to, but my rendition is tasty and worth cooking up. If you visit Tanaka San you may be interested in taking a seat where we did, on the high stools that over-look the chef’s kitchen; the best seat in the house in my opinion! Of course, if you are out for a romantic dinner then take the table for two (the restaurant is much prettier than the industrial kitchen but I loved watching them cook).

Tanaka San's Kitchen
Tanaka San’s Kitchen

As I watched the chef (not Tom Douglas) but an assistant chef, mix up the batter, he placed two small strips of bacon on the grill before pouring the batter over the top. As the pancake cooked he mixed up a little tangy slaw of some sort. After the pancake was plated he placed it on the top and sprinkled it with sesame seeds.

Making Savory Pancakes
The insides of a savory pancake.

I believe they made their pancakes strictly from cabbage as their main base but I decided to add a little potato as well.

Crispy Savory Pancake
Crispy Savory Pancake.

I also changed it up a bit by adding three sautéed jumbo shrimps on top, not only for the taste but for the presentation. The Asian slaw is a very simple mix of cabbage, rice vinegar and raw honey. Add fresh scallions and sesame seeds on top, along with the shrimp and you have a very lovely presentation. Like I said, I have no idea if this comes anywhere close to Tanaka San’s version, but to this gluten-free cook, it was mighty tasty and good enough for any dinner party!

Savory Pancakes with Asian Slaw & Shrimp
Savory Pancakes with Asian Slaw & Shrimp.

I like to leave the tails on my shrimp because they look prettier on the plate that way. I know it’s a little messy having to pull them off but I think most guests don’t mind.

Savory pancakes, Asian Slaw, and Shrimp is Yum on a Plate
Savory pancakes, Asian Slaw, and Shrimp is Yum on a Plate

A small bite of shrimp, a touch of Asian slaw and the savory potato-cabbage pancake make a very yummy combination. You could even make them bite size with only one shrimp on top for a nice hors d’ oeuvre.

Bite of Savory Pancake
A delicious bite of tangy and savory.

Savory Pancake with Asian Slaw & Shrimp

Serves 4-6
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Dietary Dairy-free, Gluten-free
Meal type Appetizer, Main Dish
Misc Gourmet
An infusion of flavors burst with the combination of this savory pancake with Asian slaw and shrimp. Cook them large or make small ones for an appetizer.



  • 1 1/2 cup Potato (shredded)
  • 1 1/2 cup Cabbage (shredded)
  • 1 bunch Scallions (sliced and 1/4 cup greens reserved for topping)
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1/3 cup Gluten-free Flour Mix
  • 6 medium slices Bacon (cut in half)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt (ground)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper (ground)


  • 1 cup Cabbage (shredded)
  • 3 tablespoons Rice Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Raw Honey


  • 12 Large Raw Shrimp (sautéed)
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Butter
  • 1/4 cup Sesame Seeds (toasted)
  • 1/4 cup Scallion Greens (reserved from cut scallions for pancake)


Make small mini-size pancakes with one shrimp on top and serve as an appetizer.


Step 1
In a small bowl combine honey and rice vinegar. Mix well and add 1 cup shredded cabbage. Toss and set aside to marinate.
Step 2
In a large bowl shred potatoes and Cabbage. Cut scallions about 2/3 up the stocks and add to potato and cabbage mix. With remaining greens, slice at an angle (about 1/4 inch slices) and reserve for topping. Add egg, gluten-free flour, salt and pepper to the pancake mix and toss to combine well.
Step 3
Cut bacon strips in half and lay two halves down side by side for each pancake in a non-stick fry pan or pancake griddle. Pour enough batter to cover the bacon strips (about a 4" round). Cook until crisp on each side.
Step 4
While pancakes are cooking, remove any veins by slicing down the back of the shrimp and pulling out the dark vein. Saute shrimp in butter and olive oil just until they turn pink on both sides. Remove from heat and reserve for topping.
Step 5
Toast Sesame seeds under the broiler until they turn light brown. Watch carefully, they can burn quickly. Set aside for topping.
Step 6
Assemble by placing pancake (bacon-side down) on a dish. Add about 1/4 cup slaw on top of pancake followed by three cooked shrimp, green scallions, and sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds. Serve warm.

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