21 Feb 2010
TakoYaki is one of the famous dishes in Kawasaki( town i live)..Its the greatest Street snack in all the local festivals. Though the dish looks yummy the tought changes if you think of its ingredients Octopus and slimy squids..
Takoyaki - The Literal translation is Octopus Fry or Grill.
Takoyaki is a popular Japanese dumpling made of batter, diced or whole baby octopus, tempura scraps (tenkasu), pickled ginger, and green onion, topped with okonomiyaki sauce, ponzu, mayonnaise, green laver (aonori) which is some seaweeds, and katsuobushi (fish shavings), first popularized in Taisho-era Osaka, where a street vendor named Endo Tomekichi is credited with its invention in 1935.
Takoyaki pan - A takoyaki pan is typically made of cast iron with half-spherical molds. The heavy iron evenly heats the takoyaki. It is very similar to the Paniyaram making kadai.
Images from Google:
History of the Cuisine
Endo Tomekichi is credited with the invention of takoyaki. He was a street vendor in Osaka, who sold choboyaki from a cart. As had been done with okonomiyaki, he began to experiment with new ingredients for the batter balls.
At the time, in the city of Akashi, in the prefecture of Hyogo, just to the west of Osaka, a popular treat called akashiyaki, was being sold. It was a piece of boiled octopus, surrounded by a loose, eggy batter, and accompanied by a clear broth that could be used for dipping. Octopus were plentiful in the Seto Inland Sea, and in 1935 Endo tried putting octopus in his choboyaki and adding a flavoring to the batter. The new snack proved to be a milestone.
Endo's success allowed him to open a shop in the Nishinari ward of Osaka City called Aizuya. which still serves the firm, dry batter balls with a chunk of octopus tentacle inside that is the quintessential form of takoyaki. In the original recipe there were no other ingredients, toppings, or sauces.
Not only was Endo's invention a popular success, it was to become the mascot of its home city. You can find takoyaki in its many variations throughout modern-day Japan, but in Osaka's gift shops and department stores you can buy takoyaki paraphernalia such as key chains, dolls, cell phone straps, even takoyaki-shaped computer memory devices.
Ironically, one of the best places to introduce yourself to the many faces of takoyaki is just outside of Universal Studios Japan. An overwhelming number of visitors to Osaka's thoroughly Hollywood theme park said they were disappointed there was nowhere in the area where they could sample genuine takoyaki. Universal City Walk, just outside USJ, responded by opening the Takoyaki Museum in July 2006
The "museum" consists of five vendors, branches of takoyaki shops in Osaka, where you can review takoyaki history, sample the variations have come about since 1935, and pick up souvenirs, all under one roof. You could start with the Kukuro branch. They offer takoyaki's predecessor, akashiyaki, and takoyaki with a dark and piquant sauce.
The chefs there all wear name tags that display a rating of their skill on a scale of one to five stars, and it is fascinating to watch the masters turning steaming batter balls with needle-pointed steel chopsticks at lightning speed.
There is a branch of Aizuya there, still selling the original product. The other branches offer more recent variations. The Kougaryu branch from Amerika-mura serves takoyaki with a sweet sauce and plenty of mayonnaise, a variety popular among the younger generation of Japanese. The Imotako branch includes little chunks of potato in their recipe, and the Juhachiban branch adds generous quantities of milk and dried shrimp to their batter. The gift shop sells frozen takoyaki, takoyaki mascots and trinkets, equipment for making takoyaki, and dry confections made to look and taste similar to the real thing.
Whether you begin your appreciation of takoyaki at the Takoyaki Museum or in the wider ranges of the city of Osaka, or even somewhere else in Japan, be careful not to bite in too soon. That little chunk of octopus remains unexpectedly hot for a long while.