Heavy Hitters: Takoyaki and Okonomiyaki

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Posted on October 29, 2016 9:21 am | Leave your thoughts

Takoyaki and Okonomiyaki are Japan’s favorite street food. They both are heavy, naughty, and delicious. Once upon a time this type of food was only a Kansai regional offering, but nowadays you can find them everywhere. Takoyaki makers are common in home kitchens throughout all of Japan.

Takoyaki (たこ焼き)

The literal translation is “octopus fried”. There is more to it than just octopus, as the basic recipe also has crispy tempura bits, pickled ginger, green onions, and batter. What makes takoyaki so awesome is how customizable it is and you will find infinite variations at different restaurants and festivals. Creative minds make the best takoyaki, as the only limits are in how far the imagination can stretch.

Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き)

An insane and sinfully delicious blend of ingredients that are egged, battered, and grilled like a pancake. A really crazy pancake that makes no sense, but comes together to form a super-charged flavor punch. The translation of okonomiyaki means “any way you like it” and that is literally what it is all about. You can have your okonomiyaki in any combination you want. It’s amazing.

Affectionately called “Japan’s pizza” because of how customizable it is and how the possibilities are unlimited. The usual ingredients are seafood, meat, wasabi, kimchi, and veggies. Yakisoba noodles are very common too. It will be topped with a healthy dose of mayo and Japanese Worcester sauce.

Taiyaki (鯛焼き)

You will often find taiyaki at a place that makes takoyaki. It’s a yummy dessert that is sweet beans inside grilled batter, mostly fish-shaped. A great blend of savory and sweet. The perfect snack while at a festival or walking the streets on a weekend.

Ryan’s Rant: My 2 Yen

As an American living in Japan I hear a lot of people here talk about how fat Americans are and how heavy the food in America is. I like to point out to those people how popular takoyaki and okonomiyaki has become in Japan. In time I expect Japan’s population will get fatter just from those two dishes alone. They are not going to catch up to America’s fatty ways, but definitely get to a heavier place. That all being said, I love me some takoyaki and okonomiyaki! A perfect blend of things that should not go together topped with too much mayonnaise and fish flakes. I’m not sure if there is better thing to eat after being drunk at 2am on a Friday while you wait for the trains to begin running in the morning.

– Ryan


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This post was written by Lauren Saunders

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