Osaka offers tons of delicious foods, especially so-called “Konamon”. I’ve written about another Konamon cuisine, Okonomiyaki, on HTJ before.
Everyone knows that Osaka is famous for Takoyaki as one of its soul foods. There are many Takoyaki shops all over Osaka. I highly recommend eating Takoyaki when you visit Osaka. Today, as an Osaka local, I’ll tell you about three Takoyaki shops I recommend in the southern part of Osaka city.
Origin of Takoyaki
Takoyaki is a snack made by mixing octopus and condiments into a flour batter and baking it in a ball shaped mold. It originated in Osaka, and originally used soy sauce-flavored beef as an ingredient.
Although there are several possible origins of Takoyaki, it’s said that Choboyaki(ちょぼやき）is its authentical original form. Choboyaki is wheat flour dissolved in water and poured onto a special copper plate, and konnyaku, red ginger, peas, soy sauce, green onions and dried bonito flakes are added and baked. It was considered a snack from the Taisho era (1910s) to the beginning of the Showa era (1920s). It said that it was especially popular with girls, and they called it Yakiyaki (やきやき). Mothers often baked choboyaki when children gathered at home.
Takoyaki was invented by a man named Aizuya, whom I’ll introduce later, but it was originally created in reference to “Choboyaki” and “Akashiyaki,” which had existed for a long time. First, “Radioyaki” was created as a variation of “Takoyaki.” The ingredients of Radioyaki were miso-flavored konjak and well-stewed beef tendonl. The dough was made with rich dashi soup. So they could be eaten without any saurce.
From that, Aizuya took inspiration from “Akashiyaki” and decided to add octopus and chicken eggs as ingredients. Thus, finally, the present form of “takoyaki” was born.
Be Absolutely Careful
Takoyaki are small and round in shape and bite-sized. Even if you think it has cooled down on the outside enough to eat, you never want to eat it in one bite. Its inside is too hot. Please be careful to eat it slowly. Please let them cool down enough.
My favorite three Takoyaki shops (area South of Osaka city)
Yamachan is located near JR Tennoji station. Walk toward the east between Abeno Harukas and Abeno Hoop, and you can find the 1st Yamachan store, which is a take-out store, on your right. Turn right at the next corner through it (about 130 feet (40m)), and you can find a 2nd Yamachan store. You can eat delicious Takoyaki in it but it is a small restaurant. If you want to eat different kinds of Takoyaki, I recommend Sanshu-mori(三種盛り), which has three tastes of Takoyaki on one plate, Young (ヤング) and YoungB(ヤングB), which hastwo tastes of Takoyaki on one plate. Yamachan’s takoyaki is very crispy on the outside, but melty on the inside. I love Negi Mega Mori(ネギメガ盛り), which has a heap of chopped green onions placed on top of the takoyaki. And there are three flavors to choose from.
Address: Bld.Kawakami 1F 2-3-53 Matsuzaki-cho Abeno-ku Osaka City
Regular holiday: Irregular hours
Open: 【weekdays】12:00~23:00, 【Saturdays】11:00~23:00, 【Sundays, National holidays】11:00~22:00
Access: JR line, Osaka Metro line Tennoji station Google map
As I mentioned earlier, takoyaki was invented in this Aizuya. Therefore, this takoyaki restaurant cannot be left off the list. Aizuya’s takoyaki are not covered with any sauce. They are also smaller in size compared to takoyaki from other restaurants. Those who see Aizuya’s takoyaki for the first time may be a little surprised and a little disappointed by thesize. However, there is an important meaning behind this.
Aizuya has maintained the style of eating simple, flavorful, juicy takoyaki as it has for generations (about 90 years). This is because they respect the founder’s belief that “we want to stick to being easy.”
Even if you are doing something else, you can easily pick it up and eat it with your hands. It is inexpensive and tastes good even when cold. That is Aizuya’s takoyaki.
Aizuya says that takoyaki was born in Osaka, a city of merchants, and has been loved by Osakan people forever.
Aidu ya (会津屋)
Address: 2-3-1 Tamade nishi Nishinari-ku Osaka City
Regular holiday: Open year around (except New Years Day)
Access: Osaka Metro Yotsubashi Line(Blue) Tamade station EXIT＃1 Google map
Naniwa ya(浪花屋：なにわや）～ No.1 takoyaki for me～
I recommend this takoyaki as the most delicious one I’ve ever eaten. The surface of Naniwaya’s takoyaki is soft, well seasoned, light, and very tasty. I recommend eating them with mayonnaise only, which is surprisingly delicious. If you want to take the takoyaki home, I recommend that you take the plain one home and eat it with yuzu kosho (Japanese citrus pepper) and mayonnaise. Super delicious!!
Naniwa ya (浪花屋)
Address: 4-6-8 Nagai Higashi Sumiyoshi-ku Osaka City
Regular holiday: Open year around (except New Years Day)
Access: Osaka Metro Midousuji Line(Red) Nagai station EXIT＃5 Google map
takoyaki-naniwaya.com (Japanese ver.)
First of all, if you want to make takoyaki at home, you will need a takoyaki pan or takoyaki cooker. It is said that every family in Osaka has a takoyaki pan. Takoyaki is the soul food of Osaka. A takoyaki pan or a takoyaki cooker is very useful, so we recommend that you purchase one. Please check it out .
~Let’s Cook Takoyaki~
Ingredients (about 20 takoyaki balls)
100g of Takoyaki-flour, 40g of octopus,
1 egg, tenkasu, 300~400cc water
☆If you don’t like octopus, you can use other seafoods or sausages of your choice
☆Instead of tenkasu, you can also replace it by crumbling shrimp chips (“Kappa Ebisen” by Calbee かっぱえびせん) into smaller pieces.
Cut octopus into small pieces. Bacon and cheese are good ingredients too.
Make the batter
Mix takoyaki flour, eggs and water
☆Any takoyaki flour and tenkasu is OK☆Instead of tenkasu, you can also replace it by crumblingshrimp chips (“Kappa Ebisen” by Calbee かっぱえびせん) into smaller pieces.
Heat the takoyaki pan and oil it.
Pour takoyaki batter in the pan, and put a piece of octopus in the center of each circle.
After that, sprinkle tenkasu on it.
When the edges start to brown, use a pointed stick to turn the top and bottom over.
Turn it over and over again to make a golden round takoyaki, with the overflowing dough and other ingredients placed inside the takoyaki.
Recommend buying a Takoyaki cooker
As I told you above, I recommend buying a takoyaki pan or takoyaki cooker.
When my children were little, I used to use a takoyaki pan to make snacks for them. You can use pancake mix and instead of octopus, you can add chocolate, bananas, or fruit jam, things like that, to make round, delicious treats with your kids.
If you use pancake mix and put cut up wieners inside, you can make small round corn dogs.
Children can also enjoy making the pastries with you as you rotate them around. If it is an electric product, it has a Teflon coating and is non-stick, making it easy to make. Please give it a try.
Did you enjoy reading my Takoyaki article? I love Takoyaki as an Osakan soul food.
In Osaka, when someone starts eating Takoyaki, I tell them “Let it cool then eat (はふはふして食べや～Osaka dialect.) If you come to Osaka and you find a person who starts eating takoyaki too soon, please try telling them the expression “Hahu hahu shite tabe ya”.
Anyway, Osakan takoyaki takes the cake.
Thank you for reading my article. Please feel free to leave your comments and thoughts.
See you next time.
I’m a clay artist, and have my own shop in Ikaruga town, Nara, which is near Horyuji temple: world heritage site. And I’m a volunteer English tour guide there. I enjoy learning English everyday.