Wednesday, June 08, 2005
Yaki = fried and Tako = octopus.
Osakans love Takoyaki and Osaka is renown for its Takoyaki.
The ingredients for a Takoyaki party are as follows;
Gather together a group of people.
Make sure the newlyweds bring their new takoyaki maker that they received as a gift from the group of people at the party (Do not forget the cord as this is an essential part of the apparatus).
Mix up a monstrous bowl of batter that the party goers cannot possibly in their wildest dreams finish off.
Make absolutely sure you have a bunch of octopus, chopped up into small chunks, (they look somewhat reddish burgundy, kind of the colour of a radish) (and ohhh sooo delicious with their yummy little tentacle suckers sticking out of each chunk hither and thither).
Sausage and cheese can be substituted but only for foreigners who can't really handle Japanese cuisine, (one feels inferior and barbaric if one succumbs to such nonsense).
Have an assortment of toppings including but not limited to very small but very plentiful little fishes, (I kept thinking of myself as a sperm whale who takes in a huge mouthful of sea water, then strains the water out through its teeth, leaving him with a meal of fishes) (the relative sizes being the only similar thing I suppose), fine but very green seaweed slivers, fish flakes, pickled ginger, mayonnaise and takoyaki sauce.
Warm up the fryer, grease er up, and pour in the batter.
Plop in a chunk of Tako, add some toppings and let er fry.
As the batter starts to become warm, you take a toothpick like thingy (or in a pinch a single chopstick will do) and spin each one around so it becomes a ball. (This is extremely tricky at first when the inexperienced newlywed has to try his hand at it, and he is more than likely to make a fine mess of it). (It is supposed to end up looking somewhat like a chicken ball, but a little smaller and much more round).
The Takoyaki is deemed ready to eat when the outside of the batter is cooked and able to be handled with chopsticks, but the inside is still very gooey.
Share the 20 or so takoyaki amongst all the party goers, add some takoyaki sauce and/or mayonnaise, fish flakes or seaweed and enjoy!
Caution!!! They are very very hot, especially in the middle, make sure you don't stick the whole thing in your mouth right away!!!
Repeat the above process as many times as you can, (I cannot believe how these slight Japanese people can eat just as much as me), and then cook up the rest of the batter and tako to save for later.
All the while conversation and frivolity can be the order of the intervals in between mouthfuls.
After everything is cleaned up, waddle out the door and see if you can make your way home.
One final note. If you own the takoyaki greasing brush from the dollar store, be very careful when you clean it, as it is likely to come apart in your hands, rendering it virtually useless.