Everything about food, from matching food and wine to recipes, techniques and trends.

Takoyaki - Octopus Balls

Moderators: Jenise, Robin Garr, David M. Bueker

User avatar
User

Bill Spohn

Rank

He put the 'bar' in 'barrister'

Posts

5089

Joined

Tue Mar 21, 2006 8:31 pm

Location

Vancouver BC

Takoyaki - Octopus Balls

by Bill Spohn » Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:04 pm

No, not that kind of balls. These are a Japanese street food that are becoming fairly common. They are crispy on the outside, and smooth and rich on the inside. They look like this:

Image

You make them like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHDmVhShE80

You can buy electric takoyaki makers at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000MXCDVO/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=mamaloli-20&linkCode=as2&camp=217145&creative=399369&creativeASIN=B000MXCDVO They even sell the picks for turning the balls over at half time. Handymen/women might try to retask little used escargot dishes!

The reason that I mention them here is that they are the quintessential Japanese bar food, AND they are a killer combination with a lot of white wines, ranging from German Rieslings through that Sauv Blanc that you were looking for a food match to tame the acidity.

Anyone else a fan? Is this a largely west coast phenomenon? And if octopus turns you off, you can make them with something else.
no avatar
User

Frank Deis

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

2096

Joined

Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:20 pm

Location

NJ

Re: Takoyaki - Octopus Balls

by Frank Deis » Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:09 pm

As I understand it they are more popular in Kansai (Osaka etc.) than Tokyo. But octopus turns me on, not off, and you can make them in those Danish Ebelskiver pans. I have also found them frozen at H Mart. I wish I could buy them as street food but not around NJ...

"Tako" or octopus is also a favorite ingredient in Okonomiyaki.

The best octopus I can get here is in Greek restaurants.
no avatar
User

Jenise

Rank

FLDG Dishwasher

Posts

26874

Joined

Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:45 pm

Location

The Pacific Northest Westest

Re: Takoyaki - Octopus Balls

by Jenise » Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:22 pm

If only you could get these at Japadog. :)
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
User avatar
User

Bill Spohn

Rank

He put the 'bar' in 'barrister'

Posts

5089

Joined

Tue Mar 21, 2006 8:31 pm

Location

Vancouver BC

Re: Takoyaki - Octopus Balls

by Bill Spohn » Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:41 pm

Jenise - here is their menu - take a look at the first page and they have a picture of how they present it! (If you ever hang out over here and need lunch, highly recommended) http://www.kiisujapanese.com/pdf/mainmenu_2011_04_westvan.pdf

Frank - we also have lots of good Okonomiyaki restaurants in Vancouver. I can see how an aebelskiver pan (available on Amazon) would work, although I don't do breakfast/dessert much so I don't own one.

Of course many dim sum would also work with white wine, but the takoyaki combination of a bit of crunch on the outside and smooth flavour inside seems particularly suitable.
no avatar
User

Jeff Grossman/NYC

Rank

That 'pumpkin' guy

Posts

2909

Joined

Sat Mar 25, 2006 8:56 am

Location

NYC

Re: Takoyaki - Octopus Balls

by Jeff Grossman/NYC » Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:48 pm

Oh, yes! Definitely loves me some takoyaki! This pic was taken near Toshugo.
SCN_0075 Tako!.jpg
takoyaki stand
(92.87 KiB) Downloaded 1709 times
User avatar
User

Bill Spohn

Rank

He put the 'bar' in 'barrister'

Posts

5089

Joined

Tue Mar 21, 2006 8:31 pm

Location

Vancouver BC

Re: Takoyaki - Octopus Balls

by Bill Spohn » Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:55 pm

Very cool, and I second Jenise's wish that we had Japadog or similar stands that did this food too!
no avatar
User

Rahsaan

Rank

Wild and Crazy Guy

Posts

7025

Joined

Tue Mar 28, 2006 9:20 pm

Location

Chapel Hill, NC

Re: Takoyaki - Octopus Balls

by Rahsaan » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:17 pm

Bill Spohn wrote:The reason that I mention them here is that they are the quintessential Japanese bar food...


I love takoyaki as much as the next smart guy, but they seem a bit big and messy to be quintessential bar food. For the Japanese contribution, I would look to thinks like all the cured vegetables/fish/seafood items?
User avatar
User

Bill Spohn

Rank

He put the 'bar' in 'barrister'

Posts

5089

Joined

Tue Mar 21, 2006 8:31 pm

Location

Vancouver BC

Re: Takoyaki - Octopus Balls

by Bill Spohn » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:29 pm

There's a lot of potential bar snack food - karaage, gyoza, just about any rolls but the largest ones, which tend to get sloppy.
no avatar
User

Jeff Grossman/NYC

Rank

That 'pumpkin' guy

Posts

2909

Joined

Sat Mar 25, 2006 8:56 am

Location

NYC

Re: Takoyaki - Octopus Balls

by Jeff Grossman/NYC » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:07 pm

I was at one bar, outside Tokyo, that served dried/salted little fishes as the bar snack. Very tiny, silver-shiny little things.
no avatar
User

Rahsaan

Rank

Wild and Crazy Guy

Posts

7025

Joined

Tue Mar 28, 2006 9:20 pm

Location

Chapel Hill, NC

Re: Takoyaki - Octopus Balls

by Rahsaan » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:12 pm

I think it depends on what we consider a bar. I was thinking of a very narrow definition where you mainly drink and have tiny snacks, like dried slivers of fish or cured squid.

Of course if you expand that to izakaya drinking then you get a lot more options, like what Bill is referencing.

Either way, it doesn't really matter much and is making me hungry!

(I don't eat Japanese food often enough, but this past weekend went to En Japanese Brasserie in Nyc for the first time and had wonderful fun with lots of dishes. Plus, it was great for my two-year old who particularly enjoyed twirling the soba).
User avatar
User

Bill Spohn

Rank

He put the 'bar' in 'barrister'

Posts

5089

Joined

Tue Mar 21, 2006 8:31 pm

Location

Vancouver BC

Re: Takoyaki - Octopus Balls

by Bill Spohn » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:25 pm

Izakaya bars are analagous to tapa bars in Spain, or what we used to do in Hawaii (I spent a LOT of time over there in my youth). In Hawaii it was rather inelegantly called 'pupus'. and cosnisted of such things as ahi tartare, teriyaki bites (I assiduously avoided faux sushi made with Spam), rumaki, bacon wrapped pineapple etc.

I greatly enjoyed the variety I found in tapas bars in Spain, especially in the North in Basque country, too.
User avatar
User

Mike Filigenzi

Rank

Known for his fashionable hair

Posts

7171

Joined

Mon Mar 20, 2006 5:43 pm

Location

Sacramento, CA

Re: Takoyaki - Octopus Balls

by Mike Filigenzi » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:58 am

I have not heard of these, but they look great! I'll have to find out where to get them in Sacto.
"People who love to eat are always the best people"

- Julia Child
no avatar
User

Frank Deis

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

2096

Joined

Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:20 pm

Location

NJ

Re: Takoyaki - Octopus Balls

by Frank Deis » Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:50 pm

Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:I was at one bar, outside Tokyo, that served dried/salted little fishes as the bar snack. Very tiny, silver-shiny little things.


You can buy many different varieties of tiny dried fish at H Mart and other oriental groceries. At H mart there are fairly large plastic bags with a spectrum of tiny fish sizes, from fingernail up to an inch long.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 1 guest

Powered by phpBB ® | phpBB3 Style by KomiDesign