As Japanese food becomes more and more popular around the world, it's interesting to witness the foreign influence on Japanese cuisine. With Costco food courts and mammoth sized burgers readily available, the proportion size of the food and people in Japan are quite literally beefing up. One example of this is the popular Osaka/Kansai originated street food Takoyaki.
Fried Takoyaki in San Francisco
This warm and savory snack was always a favorite of mine at Japanese street festivals or in our home kitchen growing up. They are usually served in a set of six and casually eaten with a toothpick skewer. Takoyaki consists of a batter of flour, eggs and dashi with fillings of chopped octopus (tako), red ginger and green onions. They are topped with katsuobushi (fish flakes), green seaweed powder (aonori) and Japanese mayonnaise with a drizzle of Worcestershire or Takoyaki sauce for added zest and flavor. Though I believe the best way to experience Takoyaki in it's purest form is street style, all the above ingredients are available at your local Nijiya or Japanese grocery store, if you choose to create the Takoyaki at home.
So, on a recent trip to Japan, I was a bit stunned or maybe even mesmerized to find my favorite little Takoyaki balls turned in to one gargantuan takoyaki on steroids. Appropriately no longer titled a "takoyaki", it was now a "Bakudan-Yaki" which translates to "Grilled or Fried BOMB". Since these are much larger, a meal in itself, they have more filling options than the bite-size original. Ingredients such as shrimp, corn, onions, cabbage, ham and even "ki-mu-chi-zu" a.k.a. kimchi (written in Japanese above) are yours for the choosing.
Back when I lived in Japan, I wouldn't have ever imagined a Takoyaki the size of a small bomb. Well, times have definitely changed and the world has really gotten much smaller or in this case a WHOLE LOT BIGGER.