Takoyaki Weekend! DashOut Sunday!
Growing up in Jamaica I never ate this alien like creature many referred to as sea puss. I had a cousin who would tell me how great it tasted curried and I would just look at them like 😜.
Fast-forward 2 decades later and octopus has become something I eat without thinking. I usually have it in pasta, fried or sautéed. But one of the most enjoyable and well know dishes is Takoyaki. The reason it is so enjoyable is that a group of people usually gather round and have a Takoyaki party and the dish is prepared together and eaten fresh.
The special pans that are used to make Takoyaki are very in expensive and most people don't even bother to wash them after use. A quick wipe with a wet kitchen towel will do the trick.
While I won't go into details of the recipe, just know that it is very simple. You just need to make a batter with 2 eggs, flour, of water and a little dashi stock, add some scallion and onion, other herbs and spices to your liking. But you can also use the ready made flour called Okononomiyaki flour. Make sure you have the octopus cut up into small bits ready to put into the batter while it is on the pan. For those of you have have made it before, you will realize that the cover photo is not the octo used in the Takoyaki, that was for eye catch appeal 😆.
The fun in Takoyaki is actually making them yourself though it is a technique which I personally have not mastered...well I haven't really tried as someone always wants to be the Tokoyaki cook. But I can see the joy on peoples faces when they roll the perfect Octopus ball. It can also turn into a little game to see who rolls the best.
This right here is the rolling/turning stage where things can go wrong easily. Turn it too fast and it breaks up, turn it too slow and it may be difficult to make it round. Timing seems to be everything when it comes to Takoyaki. 1-2 minutes seems to do the trick once the pan is already hot and also depending on the pan you have.
But if all is done well, you get these bite sized octopus balls that many enjoy. It is one of the most famous street foods in Japan and can be bought in many malls as well. Come to think of it, once the pandemic is done, this would be an interesting addition to the Jamaican street food roster. One thing to note is that you can put anything inside the balls. I think some codfish, shrimp, corned beef or even some vegetables would work great. The batter isn't expensive and the filling is usually very small. Perfect profit possibility if you ask me.
And here is the finished product with Bonito flakes that actually move once placed on something hot. It is like they are alive. Some Otafuku Takoyaki Sauce and mayo are usually used to give it that extra flavor as well. One thing with a Takoyaki party is that it is hard to take good photos as everyone is ready to dive in. Cheers, buy the dip or not, I hope you make some money this year.