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Takoyaki – たこ焼き

A popular hot snack originating from Osaka and an indispensable staple sold at matsuri festival stalls.

Takoyaki is a fried spherical food that includes octopus, leeks, red pickled ginger, and tenkasu (tempura scraps) inside. In general, they are about the size of a golf ball, however, there are also stores that serve extra-large takoyaki that are as big as a baseball and have an entire small webfoot octopus about 5cm stuffed inside.

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. 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 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.

Try it at home! Homemade Takoyaki recipe by JustOneCookbook.com

Source: JapanVisitor.com, SushiAndSake.net | Photo courtesy: Jennifer Yamamoto

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