The only Asian food that is very popular is sushi. In fact, most people associate Japanese food only with Sushi and I was one of them until recently. Since I moved to Boston, even though I tend to think that the food in Boston is not the best, I have been able to eat a much larger variety of food. Whenever I go out I ask myself if I feel like having Japanese curry, Korean bbq, Chinese hot pot... Understanding these types of food helps me appreciate the countries much better and I can't wait to visit all those places to try the authentic recipes.
In January we got hold of an authentic takoyaki machine! I was very excited to cook them by myself since I had only tasted them once when I was visiting Hong Kong in December. Tako means octopus in Japanese, and takoyaki are known as octopus balls. Takoyaki is a very popular street food in Japan. To make takoyaki, a cast iron or electric takoyaki pan with many half-spherical molds is used. The pan needs to be very hot when cooking the batter. Making the batter in itself is pretty simple, but the tricky part is to cook the takoyaki as a ball. The pan is in the shape of half balls, so you need to turn the balls when they're half cooked in order to shape a nice ball. It took us several tries before we managed to find the perfect technique.
- 1 2/3 cup flour
- 2 1/2 cup dashi soup
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 lb. boiled octopus, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1/4 cup chopped green onion
- 1/4 cup chopped pickled red ginger
- 1/4 cup dried sakura ebi (red shrimp) *optional, I didn't use it
- *For toppings:
- katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)
- Takoyaki sauce (you can find it at the asian supermarket)
Mix flour, dashi soup and eggs in a bowl to make the batter. Thickness of the batter should be like a potage soup. Preheat a takoyaki pan and grease the molds. Pour batter into the molds until almost full. Put octopus, red ginger, green onion, and dried red shrimp in each mold. Grill takoyaki balls, flipping with a pick to make balls. When browned, remove takoyaki from the pan and place on a plate. Put sauce and mayonnaise on top and sprinkle bonito flakes and aonori over.
*makes 4 servings
*makes 4 servings
If you want more directions on how to cook the takoyaki, you can look at this funny video on Youtube!