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Takoyaki, which literally means "grilled octopus", are small ball shaped snacks made with octopus, flour and egg based batter, green onions, pickled ginger, and tempura flakes. The batter is first mixed and poured onto the takoyaki pan which has spherical half molds. The octopus and other ingredients are then swiftly added into each mold and flipped over to cook the other side to a nice outer crisp. Takoyaki is usually served in a paper bowl from street vendors and topped with mayonnaise, aonori (dried, powder seaweed), and katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes).
Takoyaki is especially popular in Osaka. It is also very easy to make at home, with takoyaki pans being available for purchase. A special pick is used to flip the takoyakis without poking into the pieces, which you also might want to consider purchasing. Takoyaki parties are becoming very popular among the Japanese.
It may not be a common dish in the United States or other parts of the world, but Osaka's Takoyaki are definitely a must-try while sight-seeing in Japan. Give the Osaka specialty a try during any of Japan Deluxe Tour's fully-guided Cherry Blossom Japan Tours or Southern Japan vacation packages with time spent in Osaka!
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