NaPoWriMo Day 6: Takoyaki

E-to ne (this is just to say)
I've eaten one of your plump,
steaming takoyaki balls
covered with seaweed and
takoyaki sauce with airy wisps
of bonito strips
that floated into my mouth
and melted on my tongue.
Umai deshita,
so nostalgic,
so good.
- CKI 4/11/11
Takoyaki (fried octopus) is classic Kansai street food that we often ate when we went into Osaka. The fact that I can find it in a strip mall near the Honolulu airport (Ninja Sushi) is hisashiburi, makes me nostalgic, and I can have hot takoyaki without those indescribably unique smells of Osaka city. It has become a ritual for us to stop for sushi and takoyaki there before someone leaves Honolulu.

1. You need the pan. It's on sale at Marukai right now and I'm still thinking about getting it.
The takoyaki pan is usually made of heavy cast iron, but leave it to the Japanese, there are electric versions now, but we own several cast iron pots that are older than we are, and cast iron can't be beat.
2. Ingredients:

  • 1 2/3 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 cup dashi soup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 lb. boiled octopus, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped pickled red ginger
  • 1/4 cup dried sakura ebi (red shrimp) *optional
  • *For toppings:
  • katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)
  • aonori (green seaweed powder)
  • Worcestershire sauce or takoyaki sauce (also on sale at Marukai right now)
  • mayonnaise (the ONLY time to not use Best Foods mayo is with this - the Osaka style uses the Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise - it just tastes more authentic, but we don't use it for anything that we use Best Foods for)
3. Directions:
  • Mix flour, dashi soup, and eggs in a bowl to make batter. 
  • Preheat a takoyaki pan and grease the molds. 
  • Pour batter into the molds to the full. 
  • Put octopus, red ginger, green onion, and dried red shrimp in each mold. 
  • Grill takoyaki balls, flipping with a pick to make balls. 
  • When browned, remove takoyaki from the pan and place on a plate. 
  • Put sauce and mayonnaise on top and sprinkle bonito flakes and aonori over.
**This needs to be served hot, so hot that you're rolling the ball around in your mouth to try and let out the steam from the inside, otherwise it's just not authentic. They also sell the batter as a packaged mix at Marukai.


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