Takoyaki and Okonomiyaki
(Takoyaki served in a traditional way)
(Okonomiyaki scooped by a special utensil)
Takoyaki (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Takoyaki) and Okonomiyaki (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okonomiyaki) are “Teppanyaki” cuisines enjoyed by Japanese commoners. If you wish, you can cook at home too, but the Japanese tend to enjoy both at speciality restaurants. The slight difference between both is Takoyaki tend to be a “carry out” while “Okonomiyaki” tend to be “eat in.”
(Stop by at Takoyaki stand to get some and enjoy!)
The reason for that might be because of these “must” utensils, which very few households own at home. They are used to cook, cut, and eat! Very convenient!
As mentioned above, both Takoyaki and Okonomiyaki are Teppan cuisines. Also, they use flour as a base, in which all the ingredients are placed properly. “Tako” in Takoyaki means “Octopus,” and that means in the flour mixed with water includes pieces of octopus. Nothing else works. Only octopus works. Period. Other than octopus, red ginger, scallion, and some other fresh ingredients are used. But NOT too much. Otherwise, tiny balls wouldn’t hold all ingredients inside. Those special balls are cooked in special pans like the one in the picture above.
(Can you see Tako/Octopus?)
(Some like mayo on it)
(Served in a restaurant)
(Sold at a Night Booth called Yomise)
On the other hand, “Okonomi” in Okonomiyaki means “as you like.” That is, you can put anything you like, such as meat you like, cabbage, eggs, and so on. Imagine a pizza of Japanese version. Some areas in Japan prefer putting the fried noodles inside. On top of that, you, again, put whatever you like to have.
(Bonito Flakes called Katsuobushi on top of it)
(Mayo on it)
(How it is cooked on Teppan)
There are special sauce for each – Takoyaki sauce and Okonomiyaki sauce. They are both tangy and sweet & sour. Just writing about it makes me crave for one or two of Takoyaki and Okonomiyaki. Like frozen pizzas in US, there are frozen Takoyaki and Okonomiyaki in Japan. Never even think about eating those. Just put on shoes and get on your bike, which takes you to your favorite Takoyaki shop and Okonomiyaki restaurant in your neighborhood!! Irresistible! Yummy! I miss them…