Hello everyone, and welcome to a brand-new collab between myself and the always amazing Moyatori (Please check out her blog, she’s awesome). As we’re both foodies who love to cook, and as my Cooking in Anime series is one of the more popular on my blog, I came up with a bit of an idea for a collaboration we’ll be working on. Here are the rules:
- The name of the game is “Shiritori”. As you all probably know, it’s a game where you try and come up with words or sentences that begin with the last letter or syllable as the person before you. Repetition is not allowed.
- Posts will be broken up into two different parts:
- “Recipe” in which we give a recipe, talk about the techniques and effort that went into making the food.
- “Discussion” in which we talk a bit about the dish and the show it came from.
For clarity in the posting format:
I’ll be typing in Blue for discussions And in Black for the general body of the post.
Moya will be in Red.
Well, this is kind of something we’ve been thinking about doing for a while. Well, I suppose by “thinking” I mean mentioning it in passive conversation, then forgetting about it for a few months… But we’re finally actually getting moving, huh?
We’re getting moving!! (I’ve been practicing taking pretty food photos, but they all turned out very pathetic…)
That’s ok. I’m not very good at food photography either… but it’s perhaps to be expected since I generally just use my phone camera. Putting my photography skills aside, however, let’s dive right into our first recipe, shall we?
2 Cup Okonomiyaki Flour
4 Large Eggs
3 Cups Dashi Broth
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 Large Octopus (or Boiled Octopus Tentacles)
Red Pickled Ginger
Deep Fried Shallot bits
6 Fresh Green Onions
There’s a lot to do here, but it all goes by pretty quickly. Combine Eggs, Flour, Soy Sauce, and Dashi Broth in a large bowl, and whisk together very thoroughly. You want a silky-smooth, liquidous mixture a bit runnier than pancake batter. Pour your batter into a squeezable condiment bottle, it’ll make your life a LOT easier down the line.
Next up is our octopus (whom i affectionately nicknamed Mr. Tako. My siblings immediately asked if it was a Mexican octopus, though, so you may want to think of a better nickname than I did). If buying fresh, bring a pot of lightly salted water to a rolling boil, and boil Mr. Tako for 3-4 minutes, depending on size. You’re aiming for a faintly translucent color in Mr. Tako’s flesh, somewhat on the raw side, as it will continue to cook in the Takoyaki, and overcooked Mr. Tako is extremely rubbery. When cooked, take out of the pot and shock Mr. Tako immediately in an ice bath, making sure to cool it down completely, as quickly as possible. This will stop any additional cooking from taking place, and help make it tender.
Slice Mr. Tako into half-inch pieces, and store in a bowl for use later on.
Prepare a small bowl each of Fried Shallots, chopped green onion, and finely chopped red ginger. When all this is put together, it’s finally time to get cooking.
Place your Takoyaki pan centered on your stove burner, oil generously (there should be a little puddle of leftover oil in each hole) with a neutral-flavored oil, and turn the heat to High. Quickly squeeze batter into each cavity of the pan, filling almost all the way to the top. You must move pretty quickly now. Drop a piece of Octopus directly in the middle of each puddle of Takoyaki batter. Generously add Green Onion, Red Ginger, and Fried Shallots on top.
Once you have added toppings to the last Takoyaki, the first one you poured will most likely be ready to flip. Using a pair of wooden chopsticks, carefully try to pry up one side of the Takoyaki, pressing down on the other side with the other chopstick. The goal is to lift it up so that it can sit on its side. Once this is accomplished, generously pipe more batter down into the open cavity, while tilting the Takoyaki even more, until fully inverted and resting on the new batter.
Repeat this process carefully but quickly, with each successive Takoyaki. In the end, you should have new batter beneath, and they should be reasonably circular. If any batter or toppings spill out onto the flat parts of the pan, use your chopsticks to try and stuff them back into the Takoyaki. Continue to gently rotate the Takoyaki until each and every ball rolls around easily, and has a wonderful brown color.
Plating up some Takoyaki is perhaps the most satisfying part of the cooking process. Carefully empty out the piping-hot Takoyaki onto your serving platter of choice. Arrange them however you like, but try and ensure that each Takoyaki has a decent amount of exposed area on top.
Drizzle the whole pile liberally with Okonomiyaki sauce, and Japanese Mayonnaise, before sprinkling with chopped Green Onion, Fried Shallots, and Bonito Shavings. Make sure to serve right away, since they’re best eaten hot, and enjoy a delightful mix of sweet and savory, a crunchy exterior and a fantastically fluffy interior.
For those of you who are unsure about eating Octopus, you can easily replace the main filling with sweet corn, edamame beans, or Shrimp. It’s technically not Takoyaki anymore, but still delicious and impressive to behold.
Man, Takoyaki isn’t the easiest thing in the world to make, but man is it rewarding to finish it, and eat it. I think the most recent show I watched that really highlighted Takoyaki was Season 2 of Mob Psycho 100. I haven’t had a chance to really talk about it on my blog much, but it made an impact on me with its increased focus on the characters, consequences, friendships, and even mental health. It was a pretty fantastic season that was very emotionally invested from beginning to end. Takoyaki is featured pretty regularly through the series, usually as something that Reigen and Mob eat together. It’s kind of like a little thing that helps bond them together.
Sadly, I haven’t gotten around to seeing Mob Psycho, or made any takoyaki from scratch. I did help my neighbour squeeze mayo on takoyaki though! I hated said neighbour for most of high school, so that was indeed a takoyaki bonding moment?
As for takoyaki anime scenes, I remember that there’s a girl who sells takoyaki in True Tears (has anyone even seen that show?), and she was best girl in the small and cozy harem. A store that specializes in takoyaki! I need a place like that in my life (Astral, start one pleeease~).
Apparently Takoyaki is just the food of friendship, eh? Squeezing mayo across a pile of Takoyaki is awfully satisfying, i’m not gonna lie. As for True Tears, forget having seen it, I’ve never even heard of that show! I may have to give it a look, though, if it’s a recommendation coming from you. I will say, though, that the making of Takoyaki is relatively more complicated than they make it look in Anime… I dunno if I’d like to have that be my dedicated job, but perhaps as a snack food now and again.
Haha, I can’t recommend it because I can’t remember enough about it, but upon searching up the opening, I did realize that it wasn’t takoyaki at all, but imagawayaki, a.k.a. wheel cakes. 😅 Doesn’t she totally look like a takoyaki girl though?? Still, an Astral-branded takoyaki shop would have been nice. Perhaps a weekend night market gig?
I’ll have to give that some thought… Perhaps it wouldn’t be too bad every once in a while. I have lots more things I want to cook, though! Speaking of which, got any hints for us as to what you’re cooking up over on your side, Moya?
“Ki.” Honestly…I’m stuck between two ideas right now! Here’s a hint though: both options involve baking. If you follow me on Twitter, you’d probably expect that anyway haha.
Knowing you, Moya, it’s bound to be something absolutely decadent, and my mouth is gonna be watering for days afterwards thinking about it! But I guess that gives the readers something to look forward to!