Origin - Japan
Original Takoyaki with a variety of toppings
Takoyaki たこ焼き (literally translates to “Fried Octopus”; "tako" meaning octopus and "yaki" meaning fried) is a Japanese street food in the shape of little round balls. It is made with a wheat-flour based batter and cooked in a special molded pan. Takoyaki is commonly filled with diced octopus, tempura scraps, green onions, and pickled red ginger. It is brushed with Takoyaki sauce (similar to Worcestershire sauce) and mayonnaise, and then sprinkled with aonori (green laver flakes) and shavings of dried bonito. It is commonly served straight from the pan and the inside is gooey and the outside crispy.
Making Takoyaki requires a special, cast-iron pan with half-spherical mounds. The half spheres in a Takoyaki pan is what makes it possible to evenly heat the crispy balls of deliciousness and give it its round shape.
Special cast-iron pans are used to cook the Takoyaki
Today, there are various types of Takoyaki with a combination of different toppings and sauces that give your mouth a pleasant surprise when you take a bite.
The invention of Takoyaki dates back to 1935 and its creation is credited to a street vendor named Tomekichi Endo who got the inspiration from a similar dish called, akashiyaki, a small round dumping made of an egg-rich batter and octopus from the city of Akashi in the Hyogo Prefecture.
Akashiyaki is similar to Takoyaki, but a little more softer and an eggy consistency
After perfecting his techniques, he sold his Takoyaki in the Kansai region of Japan which instantly became a hit and later spread to the rest of Japan. Takoyaki can be found in almost everywhere in Japan being sold by street vendors, supermarkets, 24-hour convenience stores, and specialty restaurants.
[How to eat]
Remember to poke a hole before taking a bite!
When Takoyaki is fresh off the pan, it is very hot inside. To prevent burning your tongue, it is recommended to poke a small hole with your toothpick, skewer stick, or chopsticks to let out the hot steam before taking a bite. Enjoy!
DishRoots' Recommendations (LA Only)
This restaurant specializes in Takoyaki with 7 different types of sauces and toppings. The original type comes with 8 Takoyaki balls with their house-made sauce, mayonnaise, bonito flakes, and aonori; only for $6.90!
They have amazing spicy caviar sauce that matches perfectly with their Takoyaki.