A classic dish of Kansai cuisine, takoyaki is Japan’s unique street food, octopus balls (like bite-sized octopus dumplings). Textural and curious, each with a hidden piece of tako (octopus) inside, takoyaki was invented in 1935 by an Osaka street food vendor, inspired by akashiyaki from Hyogo Prefecture, a similar dish of octopus balls in a soup. Today, Osaka is flooded with takoyaki stalls, frying balls throughout the day on specialty cast iron pans. From a watery batter teamed of tako, tempura puffs, green onions, and pickled ginger, takoyaki are expertly flipped then grilled until golden. Piping hot off the grill, practice some patience before taking a bite, as the inside is still gooey and molten hot!
Greasy and comforting, these tiny takoyaki balls are surprisingly filling. Now everywhere in Japan, its served soft in Osaka but prefered crunchy in Tokyo, takoyaki is also known as a typical festival food, and with specialty shops offer experimental toppings. Slathered with thickened sweet soy sauce and Japanese mayo, tasty takoyaki are best topped off with some katsuobushi (dried bonito shavings), wiggling in the heat. Discover takoyaki during an Osaka food tour (grilled in front of your eyes), or taste some at night on an authentic bar crawl in Tokyo. Get hooked on this unusual street food during one of our takoyaki experiences, where you can learn to make it youself in a takoyaki party cooking class.