Saturday, May 29, 2010

Random Weekend Picture 14

There are many mobile food seller carts in Tokyo, especially in the summer. This one is selling takoyaki or octopus dumplings (often waggishly referred to as "octopus balls"). There are a variety of ways to make them, and you can read some of the ingredients at the linked Wikipedia page. Special pans and kitchen gadgets are sold to make takoyaki at home, but most people buy it from supermarket delis or these sorts of stalls. Notice that there are 3 mayonnaise tubes sitting on the prep area (one nearly empty on the far side of the table, and two new ones in the foreground). The Japanese do love their mayonnaise. Oddly, I have never tried takoyaki, but it is one of those things I really should get around to trying.

My husband took this picture at a shrine on New Year's Eve several years ago. He loved catching a shot of the guy slumbering in the background, particularly since this picture was taken in the mid-morning.


ebidebby said...

You should definitely try takoyaki before you leave. It's not my favorite, but fresh from a stall, it's hard to resist.

I will never understand mayonnaise as a flavor, though. I wonder if Nestle will make a mayonnaise KitKat?

C said...

Hi Orchid!

Man, I really do love takoyaki! In fact, I embrace mayonnaise and love those sushi rolls with baked mayo on top or foods like takoyaki and okonomiyaki. May I ask why you haven't gotten around to trying it yet? I'm in Los Angeles and the local Japanese markets sell frozen & bagged takoyaki that you can just microwave, garnish, and eat. It's pretty good stuff. I've even gotten my dubious-to-foreign-foods-boyfriend to eat it and semi-like it. :)


Orchid64 said...

It's surprising how many things I haven't "gotten around to" here. I think it's mainly around in the winter from carts or stalls so I'll make it a priority this year (maybe around New Year's).

A mayonnaise KitKat would be the most awesome breed of horrible that I'd actually be excited to sample one! ;-)

Thanks for commenting!

MoIppai said...

I'm living in Kansai at the moment, the home of Takoyaki! I love them and I highly recommend you giving them a try - if you're not keen on octopus you can get takoyaki with cheese, meat, even pineapple.


Orchid64 said...

C: The reason I haven't tried it is that it just wasn't something I got around to lately, and early on I was a bit freaked out by the notion of eating anything with tentacles. ;-)

Molppai: I'd so be there with cheese! Yum!

Thanks for your commenting!

suriKata said...

Seriously, how can you call yourself japanese snack reviewer when you have ignored something like takoyaki for so long? :D It tastes pretty much like okonomiyaki, as they have batter, sauce and mayonnaise in common. And I think you even don't have to wait untill New Year, any local festival should do..
Anyway, I enjoy your blogs, I wish I were able to write as often :)

Orchid64 said...

Hi, Surikata, and thank you for commenting. I call myself a snack reviewer because I've made over 500 posts about Japanese snacks (I'm kidding here... I don't take my status very seriously at all!). ;-)

I consider takoyaki to be Japanese food, actually, as opposed to a "snack". Sushi would fall into the same category as would ramen or other things people tend to consume as parts of meals. It's really outside of my scope with this blog as I tend to focus on stuff that is sold packaged in shops (as opposed to deli food or stall food). That being said, hearing that it tastes like okonomiyaki doesn't really endear me to it as I'm not a fan of okonomiyaki.

MidnightScott said...

I tried Takoyaki at the Japan Festival here in Houston in April. I liked the dough itself (but I could barely finish the 5 balls I was given). The octopus was very tough and felt weird going down though.

Orchid64 said...

Hi, MidnightScott, and thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!

One of my concerns about squid or octopus-based foods is the sense that they might be "rubbery". I don't know if it depends on the preparation or if that is just the natural texture of them. Your experience does seem to lend credence to the idea that I may not be a big fan of takoyaki!

Dave Brightbill said...

Takoyaki is delicious. I make it at home in Florida when I have the time and access to a fresh octopus. The secret is in cooking the octopus. I do mine in a pressure cooker which helps tenderize it; as does putting a wine cork in the water when boiling or pressure cooking.