Japanese Hot Easy Snack on the Go
Those ball-shaped Japanese snacks, called Takoyaki, are basically batter cooked in a special pan with half ping-pong sized molds. Flour is dissolved in a specially mixed soupy stock and poured individually over the half molds. Then minced or diced octopus or “tako” are added, along with leeks, pickled ginger, and tempura scraps. Made of cast iron, the pan is evenly heated. As one side of the takoyaki gets cooked, each is turned to the other side with a pick to get cooked in turn. The balls are brushed later with takoyaki sauce, mayonnaise is added, then green aonori and shavings of dried bonito are sprinkled over. Takoyaki makes for great, delicious snacks.
The dish first appeared in Osaka in 1935 by some street vendor credited for this invention. It was inspired by akashiyaki, a small round dumpling from the city of Akashi, made of egg batter and octopus. What was comfort food for the people of Osaka spread to other regions and now is available throughout Japan. It has long been associated with street food especially during matsuri, which are any local religious festivals held in Japan.
Everybody seems to love takoyaki. They’re bite-sized and easy to eat even by children, but be careful since they’re usually freshly made and hot. There are many individually operated traditional takoyaki stores, especially in Osaka. However, big companies have gone into franchising their takoyaki versions since the 1990s and since then been competing in the fast food market within and outside of Japan.
The hot dish has evolved into high quality snacks with attention to ingredients, toppings and degrees of cooking. In the US, one can find takoyaki stalls in malls and supermarkets and other commercial areas. Many Japanese restaurants also serve this favorite snack.
Hot Balls of Snack and Fun in Federal Way
At K-Ton, our takoyaki is not just your regular street food fare but is a different restaurant experience. From the hands of our talented chefs, we bring you the popular Japanese snack balls you’ll always love.