How to eat takoyaki (a ball-shaped octopus dumpling) | Try it piping hot in just one bite!
Takoyaki is an Osaka specialty. It is a staple street food always available at festivals and events in Japan. For this article, we went to the very popular takoyaki specialty restaurant TSUKIJI GINDACO and asked them how to enjoy piping hot takoyaki!
The fun way to enjoy takoyaki
The ZETTAI UMAI!! Takoyaki is GINDACO’s most popular item. It is larger than ordinary takoyaki and features the flavorful umami of the ingredients and soup stock tightly packed inside. Each of the ingredients is carefully selected.
(1)First enjoy the takoyaki as it is
The takoyaki is served with a thick, sweet GINDACO sauce, kezuribushi (dried bonito shavings), and aonori (dried seaweed bits), so first enjoy it as it is without mayonnaise.
(2)Insert the skewers and enjoy in one bite
The regular takoyaki comes with two skewers, while the other takoyaki items come with chopsticks. When eating with the skewers, hold the two skewers like chopsticks, poke the octopus inside from above at a diagonal angle, and lift up the takoyaki. Then, if possible, put the whole thing in your mouth in one bite! Be careful not to burn your mouth because it is so hot!
(3)Split in half
If you find it difficult to enjoy a whole piece in one bite, you can make a hole in the takoyaki with a skewer to release the heat inside, or split it in half then enjoy it.
GINDACO serves takoyaki with either mayonnaise or karashi mayo (spicy mayonnaise) in a small packet.
The first thing to remember when opening the packet is to make sure the opening is small.
This allows you to pour mayonnaise as if you were drawing lines. It is surprisingly difficult to pour it neatly like the staff does.
Many different varieties of takoyaki
GINDACO offers a wide variety of unique takoyaki items, from standard favorites to seasonal specials! In this section, we will showcase the staff’s recommended items, as well as some secret menu items that most foreign tourists are unaware of.
Secret item HADAKA HADAKA
The HADAKA takoyaki has no sauce or anything else on it, and is truly HADAKA (naked). You can fully appreciate the great taste of the takoyaki, which is usually hidden behind the sauce, by enjoying it like this.
The takoyaki in its plain state is round, and easy to pick up when you stick a skewer into it. The outside is crispy and the umami of the broth fills your taste buds as you bite into it.
The charm of HADAKA is that the packet of takoyaki sauce and mayonnaise comes with takoyaki, so you can enjoy each piece the way you like it. Ask the staff “HADAKA kudasai” (Please make it HADAKA) to enjoy takoyaki this way!
Takoyaki with Leek NEGIDAKO NEGIDAKO
NEGIDAKO is a takoyaki topped with crunchy negi (leek) and dipped in a special tentsuyu (tempura sauce) with daikon oroshi (grated radish). It is one of the most popular menu items at GINDACO. There is also a surprising way to eat it that not everyone knows!
First add the tentsuyu and daikon oroshi to the cup.
Next, split the takoyaki with chopsticks and stuff the inside with negi and kizaminori (dried seaweed strips).
Then, dip the takoyaki in the sauce as if you were scooping up the daikon oroshi.
The fresh negi and the gentle taste of the tentsuyu give it a light and refreshing flavor. This is a must-try when you come to Japan!
There are many other arrangements of takoyaki in Japan in addition to the ones presented here. We hope you will find your own favorite way to enjoy takoyaki and share it with your friends and family!
* The published information is current as of October 2022. Prices and other details are subject to change.
Founded in 1997 in Kiryu, Gunma Prefecture, this is the largest takoyaki chain restaurant in Japan. It currently operates more than 500 locations not only in Japan, but also in other Asian countries, including Taiwan.