Invented in 1935 by a street vendor named Tomekichi Endo, this delicacy first became popular in Osaka where it spread to the Kansai region and later to the Kanto region. Made from an egg-based batter with a piece of octopus inside, this ball-shaped snack is often associated with traditional Japanese food stalls called ‘yatai’. You will often see stalls selling scrumptious Takoyaki during the many summer festivals in Japan. It has since become so popular that you can also find many specialized takoyaki restaurants and shops serving a whole variety of this cute little ball-sized snack. ‘Tako’ means octopus and ‘yaki’ means to fry or to grill.
Takoyaki are prepared in a special cast iron griddle with spherical moulds. Batter is poured into the hot the moulds and a small piece of octopus is added to the batter. A skewer is then used to curl up the edges and shape and flip the takoyaki into perfect balls as the heavy iron cooks it evenly creating a perfect crispy outer layer. A batch of usually six or more takoyaki balls are then drizzled with a smoky takoyaki sauce and mayonnaise, then sprinkled abundantly with aonori (green seaweed powder), tenkasu (fried tempura bits) and shavings of dried bonito. Condiments such as chopped green onion and pickled ginger are also recommended. Interested how to make your own version of this famous Osaka snack? Join our cooking class and learn how to make perfect takoyaki!