If you ever visited Japan or at least love Japanese food, you must know the popular street food takoyaki. While basically this is a very simple food (grilled octopus inside fried flour dumpling), takoyaki is famous because of its unique taste, rich sauce and topping, and its status as comfort food with cheap price. Takoyaki is so famous that there is even takoyaki museum in Japan, and its recipes appear in various websites and recipe books. Also, you can find places to buy takoyaki outside Japan, such as Coco Takoyaki in Malang, Indonesia.
Just ask the owner of this Coco Takoyaki, Shem M.D. (Founder of Travelfore.com). His love for this Japanese street snack has made him started Coco Takoyaki at food court 3rd floor in Malang Town Square, Malang, East Java, Indonesia. Unlike many other dumb-down takoyaki stalls, he insists of keeping the original taste of takoyaki like in Japan. This is a good place to taste the original takoyaki and try out various flavors, since takoyaki is quite a versatile snack.
Takoyaki Origins and Types
Takoyaki was first invented by Tomekichi Endo, a street vendor in Osaka, in year 1935. In Japan, takoyaki is famous as the later development of an earlier snack called akashiyaki, a fried egg dumpling filled with octopus that comes from Akashi City in Hyogo Prefecture. However, takoyaki later became more popular than akashiyaki, although the cooking style is similar. Takoyaki is made of batter made of wheat flour, filled with chopped octopus (tako) and mixed with tempura scraps before fried in special pan with many half round spots.
Traditionally, takoyaki is sprinkled with green onion and laver, and thin shaves of bonito made of fish, and eaten with special takoyaki sauce that taste like Worcestershire sauce. Now, the popular serving of takoyaki includes mayonnaise, but sometimes there are shops that sell takoyaki with different options of sauce such as soy sauce, chili sauce, ponzu sauce (soy based sauce with lime), sesame sauce and many more. All contribute to the rich taste of takoyaki.
Now, you can find takoyaki in various taste and flavors, thanks to the versatility of this snack. Many snack shops, including Coco Takoyaki, do not only use octopus as the filling. Popular fillings now include cheese blocks, crabstick, chicken, shrimp, and beef (or basically anything that goes will with the fried flour dumpling). Dried seaweed powder is sometimes added to give richer taste. However, traditional toppings and filling such as octopus, bonito shaves, green onion and special takoyaki sauce are still kept and become long time favorites.
Takoyak Serving Style
Takoyaki is usually served in a box with toothpicks to eat it, and in Japan, one box usually contain eight takoyaki balls (based on the standard size of takoyaki pan). However, in many takiyaki shops, sometimes there is option for four takoyaki instead of eight. Many modern takoyaki shops in Japan also sell takoyaki in ‘takoyaki boat,’ a large boat shaped bowl contains takoyaki balls in different fillings. Placing different fillings in one box is also a popular menu option in modern takoyaki shops around the world including at Coco Takoyaki.
So, if you love takoyaki and cannot go to Japan, visit an original takoyaki shop nearby right now, such as Coco Takoyaki in Malang, Indonesia.