Takoyaki is a famous snack in Japan and almost everyone (who’s not allergic to seafood or batter) knows how it tastes and how it’s made. But before digging in to have a piece of this tasty treat, here’s a little info: Takoyaki was first popularised in Osaka, where a street vendor named Tomekichi Endo is credited for its invention in 1935.
It was initially popular in the Kansai region, but later spread to the Kanto region and other areas of Japan. Takoyaki is made of wheat flour-based batter and cooked in a takoyaki pan. It is filled with minced or diced octopus, tempura scraps (tenkasu), pickled ginger and green onion and is then brushed with takoyaki sauce, served with mayonnaise and sprinkled with green laver and shavings of dried bonito (katsuobushi). As years go by, many variations have emerged. One restaurant in Osaka in particular, is popular for serving the best takoyaki in the house: Kukuru restaurant.
The seating area in the restaurant isn’t very big so we had to wait a little bit. The good news is they entertain you (or torture, depends on how hungry you are) while you wait.
Of course, they have a few different options. They do offer a Russian Roulette, where 5 of the 6 takoyaki balls are regular flavors and then the 6th one has Wasabi only in it. They all look the same on the outside so you won’t know until you bite into it. You could order a plate and play a game with your friends, if you are into that sort of thing. We were not so we ordered the other options!
This is what came first. It is a little different from the traditional takoyaki. It has eggs in the batter so it is fluffier and you dip it into a salty soup….I want to say consomme soup, but I could be wrong……either way it was really good and I would order this next time with no hesitations.
This was the traditional takoyaki. Sliced green onions plus a small piece of octopus. If you can’t decide what to get always go for the traditional option, you can’t go wrong.
This one is the takoyaki with a giant piece of octopus! You have to eat the octopus separately for this one. The octopus is just too big to eat with the takoyaki…..well I guess you could, but you do run the risk of choking on your takoyaki, just a warning.
They also offered Oden. It’s November, but it was still a little muggy to eat Oden. This tastes the best on a really cold day, but that’s just my opinion. In Nagoya, some people like to eat Oden with miso. I have come to enjoy eating Oden with miso and hot mustard! I must be becoming a Nagoyan, “I <3 Miso!”
If you aren’t into octopus or seafood then you should try Okonomiyaki! It uses the same type of batter, but it is shaped like a pancake, but it’s not sweet. They are a variety of options to add to it. There is always the basic sliced cabbage in the batter, but you can mix in beef, or pork, or cheese, or mochi, or seafood,….the list just goes on. I have seen one that had yakisoba noodles added to it. Hey whatever floats your boat! (^-^)
We also made a pit stop at a Vietnamese Restaurant for a refreshing mid-shopping fruit refreshment. We also stopped at a egg custard shop, but we ate those too quickly (hey they were small!) to take a photo of. Plus, the shop is minuscule and had no seating area so we had to stand and eat. Oh the manner rules we were breaking by doing that….the shame, oh the shame! oh well, they were good and worth the shame! (*^-^*)