Takoyaki, or octopus dumplings, is perhaps Osaka's most famous food. It’s a cheap vendor-style treat made from grilled batter with a chunk of boiled-octopus in the middle. It comes in bite-sized round shapes, giving birth to a million puns about octopus balls on your chin. ;) It’s an acquired taste, I call it “three textures for the price of one” - a soft outer shell, gooey (boiling hot) batter inside that, with a chewy octopus center.
Takoyaki is a light meal you’ll find served all over the place from food stands at train stations, tourist spots and festivals all over Japan. They’re topped with “aonori" (thinly-ground seaweed), “katsuobushi” (dried bonito fish flakes) then one of the following three toppings - mayonnaise & “uista” (worcestershire) sauce, salt, or “ponzu” (a citrus sauce).
The takoyaki dough is made of wheat flour, water and egg, but sometimes also contains bonito sauce or other secret ingredients such as soy, milk, sugar, or miso. Additional toppings include diced green onion, red pickled ginger, “tenkasu” (crunchy bits of deep-fried dough), or red shrimp.
Pro-tip: even if the outside seems cool to eat, beware of the boiling hot batter interior!
Price per person:
¥300 ~ ¥800
- Where can I eat it? -
Takoyaki is available from stalls and the front of restaurants all over Osaka, and the rest of Japan too. But one of our favorite places is in Amemura, near Namba. It's called "Takotako King" and it's in the restaurant guide. Click the link below to access it directly.