Where Does Takoyaki Come From?

Takoyaki is a beloved Japanese traditional dish made from scrambled eggs, octopus meat, wheat flour, and many other ingredients. The locals enjoy these sizzling balls at a variety of places ranging from street stalls to convenience stores and Japanese bars. This creation has gained popularity in many countries of the world in no time due to the ideal combination of fillings, toppings, and sauces that make it highly tempting. Ever wondered how this festive dish originated and covered the journey to reach its current state that people see today with various versions available?

It is believed that takoyaki or fried octopus balls were created in Osaka by a Japanese vendor Tomekichi Endo in 1935. Initially, he invented Choboyaki which included rectangular-shaped items. After getting inspired by kushiyaki, and round dumplings, he created a new version of the previous recipe and named it Takoyaki.

In this blog post, I have tried my best to include some important aspects regarding takoyaki that will assist you in getting introduced to this recipe. It won’t be a surprise if it makes you curious about adding this snack to your wishlist and even cooking it yourself.

Brief History Of Takoyaki

Though there is not much precise time precise data available on the history of takoyaki and its origin, there is still some helpful information that enlightens the readers about this amazing traditional dish. According to the sources, takoyaki dates back to 1935, when a common street vendor, Tomekichi Endo, made a recipe called choboyaki.

However, still, this person from Osaka is associated with these octopus balls. It is because he used the same ingredients that the Japanese now use to prepare takoyaki and it tasted the same as well. The only difference between these food items is their shape. Choboyaki has a rectangular shape with a flat surface and circular bump-like structures.

Later, this man took inspiration from a dish that included round balls or dumplings called kushiyaki. Its inventor was Hyogo Prefecture. Tomekichi decided to make another version of Choboyaki and prepare fluffy octopus balls called takoyaki, which gradually became one of the most popular dishes in Japan that a majority of people enjoy, particularly during festivals.

With time, food lovers created several variants of octopus balls. For instance, the version that chefs cooked in Osaka did not include any cabbage. However, many restaurants and food stalls started including this leafy vegetable in takoyaki. If you have plans to visit this Asian country and try this dish, there is a great possibility that you will notice cabbage while eating octopus balls in some Tokyo diner.

What Is Takoyaki Called In English?

In English, Takoyaki is well-known as some names include octopus balls, Japanese balls, fried octopus balls, and grilled octopus balls. Therefore, when someone mentions one of these terms in a group or comes across these names in some piece of writing, others immediately get the idea that takoyaki is being discussed and you are going to learn something about this dish.

What does Takoyaki Mean?

Takoyaki is a Japanese word for a delicious food item. It is made of two root words: tako and yaki. Tako means ‘octopus’, while yaki means ‘method of cooking’. Here, since the way of cooking is deep-frying the balls, Takoyaki refers to deep-fried or pan-fried octopus.

What Does Takoyaki Taste Like?

The fluffy octopus balls are deep-fried or grilled, which leads to the tempting crispy texture with a lot of crunches due to octopus bits and green onions that chefs add to the fillings. Furthermore, takoyaki is somewhat chewy as well, mainly due to the presence of tempura chunks, and mild earthy flavor and aroma attributed to the presence of seafood inside the balls.

The overall texture, level of crispiness, and taste are highly comparable and similar to that of the golden-brown shrimp, especially the one that is deep-fried in batter. If you are into seafood and have tried octopus meat before, there is no way you are going to dislike takoyaki after trying it for the first time.

As you might know, the flavor is significantly enhanced with the texture when you garnish the grilled balls, pour some sauce, and experiment with the materials inside the flour coating as well as the spices in the batter. For example, octopus balls taste a lot different when you consume them with okonomiyaki sauce than when you try this recipe with takoyaki sauce and mayonnaise.

Dashi, ginger, some spices, and sugar content make okonomiyaki sauce an amazing and tempting blend of slightly sweet taste with some hot and smoky flavor and aroma. Thus, the resultant flavor is largely dependent on the materials that you prefer to add to this snack.

How do you reheat leftover takoyaki?

In case you take out the leftover takoyaki from a refrigerator, it will require ten to fifteen minutes to get ready for consumption. You can reheat it by either microwaving it or cooking it in a pan. For heating it in the oven, you have to set the appliance to about 375°F.

Is takoyaki supposed to be warm?

The traditional method of eating takoyaki is taking the bites of soft crispy balls as soon as they are removed from a hot pan or grill. It is supposed to be warm while eating. It is better to wait for 3-5 minutes so that it does not hurt the taste buds and cause burns.

Can you put takoyaki in the fridge?

To store takoyaki, it is advised to put the extra octopus balls in an airtight box and then preserve them in a refrigerator which allows people to relish the original flavor.

Final Thoughts

It won’t be wrong to say that Takoyaki is one of the most valuable dishes invented in Osaka that became an integral part of the culture of this country. Its sales are high, especially in summers when the locals and tourists enjoy it with chilled beer and other beverages. Here’s hoping that you have found this penning interesting and helpful.

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