Takoyaki is my most recent adventure. Even though I lived in Osaka for six months (the birthplace of takoyaki and home to numerous famous takoyaki establishments), I avoided it like the plague. The first time I had takoyaki was in America when I was in high school, and I HATED it. I thought it was the grossest thing ever.
“You keep complaining about takoyaki, but you haven’t even told us what it is!” Right you are. Takoyaki is a sphere of fried dough with… wait for it… OCTOPUS INSIDE! When I had it in America, the octopus was cut into lots of little strips. However, after consulting many friends, I found that it is typically not in little strips but in a chunk in the middle, like a single piece of tentacle.
You make takoyaki in a cast iron pan with little sphere molds on it. You can find pictures of them online; hopefully I’ll take a picture of one sometime and upload it haha. Basically, you pour the takoyaki mix in the mold, then use a toothpick to turn it as it cooks to make it a sphere. I dunno, it looks complicated to me. One of these days I’ll have to try making them!
SO. The takoyaki I had a couple weeks ago was from this restaurant in Iiyama, the same one that had the fantastic okonomiyaki! My friend really wanted to eat some… so I decided I’d try it. They have many different batters for the takoyaki, and we decided on lemon pepper; they came out in record time and COVERED in green onions and mayo. Yummy!
While this experience has not completely gotten rid of my fear of gross takoyaki, it has certainly put takoyaki back on the list of possibly edible foods. I’ll have to try it from other locations to decide if I actually like it or not!