There is an old Japanese saying: “大阪の食い倒れ” or “Osaka no kuidaore”, which translate to something like: “Osaka’s people are known for overindulging themselves in food and drinks” Wow all that!? Yes the Japanese words are shorter but the meaning is more or less the same. This saying is easily understandable for someone who visits Osaka for the first time. The variety and quality of food in this city is something that goes beyond description.
We will try in this article to describe one of, if not, the most famous dish of the region, Osaka’s soul food, Kansai’s most affordable snack ,the tourists number one dish to try…. drums rolling …. Takoyaki.
If you are visiting Osaka, you HAVE to try the famous Osaka’s Takoyaki!
Takoyakis are small balls of grilled dough with cooked octopus legs inside; the flavour is enhanced by using a natural stock of fish and other seafood ingredients. The secret of the deliciousness of Takoyaki is the thoroughly crafted dough and the selected ingredients of each shop.
The small pieces of Takoyaki are carefully backed on a specially made copper plate and the grilling is made in front of the customers in a show like performance displaying the skills of the extensively experienced baker!
The perfectly grilled pieces are somehow goldish in colour and are crispy from the outside and soft in the inside. The Takoyakis are put on a specially made paper plate and the sauce of your choice is spread over the steaming hot delicacy. You can choose between a special Takoyaki seasoning sauce, mayonnaise, soy sauce or you can keep the taste simple by just spreading some salt and a red spicy powder.
The serving wouldn’t be completed without the adding of the literally dancing slices of the katsuboshi; or slices of shaved dried fish. The heat of the recently grilled dumplings and the light weight and extremely thin texture of the katsuboshi produces which I love to call the “dancing fish’s effect” over your plate, in which you can see a distinguishable movement of this topping swaying from side to side above the delicious snack. The spectacle is comparable to the Snake charming performance right on top of your plate.
Be careful not to burn yourself, the inside is literally steaming hot and the right technique to eat the snack would be to open it first with the toothpick and wait until the air goes inside. When the ball gets a little bit colder, then, you can devour it and enjoy the exploding deliciousness spreading inside of your mouth. I don’t know about you, but, I’m getting hungry just thinking about this Osaka’s speciality. Good thing is; I know what I’m getting for dinner tonight.