Takoyaki: A Taste of the Streets of Japan

In a world full of fusion cuisine and mash-ups, authenticity and tradition can be a breath of fresh air. Takoyaki, which translates to grilled octopus, is a ball-shaped street food snack made with diced octopus, scallion, and ginger. Its signature sauce is an umami-rich glaze with a tangy finish, making it an approachable entrance into the world of Japanese cuisine

A platter of takoyaki, a traditional Japanese street food made with octopus.

A Tribute to Traditional Takoyaki

While the takoyaki base is a simple blend of flour, baking powder, and salt, the flavor is built by combining the dry mixture with soy sauce, dashi, pickled ginger, scallion, and octopus. After cooking in a cast iron takoyaki pan, this street food shines when sprinkled with bonito flakes and drizzled with a takoyaki glaze and Japanese mayo. 

Chef Sabrina Mirabella’s takoyaki stays true to tradition in its ingredients and preparation. However, in a nod to convenience, she blends Griffith Foods Takoyaki Sauce-Style Dry Seasoning and Japanese mayo into a two-in-one takoyaki glaze that’s full of the authentic dish’s defining flavor

A Flavor for Anywhere and Anyone

With notes of soy and Worcestershire, the sweet and savory takoyaki glaze is a must. It provides a balance of subtle sweetness with savory umami that many know and love, building a bridge between traditional Japanese cuisine that’s gone mainstream (think sushi) and the flavors and dishes that are still on the rise. (Yuzu is making a swift climb to the top.)

“Even if you don’t necessarily know the traditional dish behind it, [umami is] a flavor profile I think everyone can get behind and be excited about. It tastes really familiar, even if it’s not something you’ve had before.”

Chef Sabrina Mirabella

Given its underlying familiarity, takoyaki’s potential is unmatched. In an ever-expanding condiment market, sandwich spreads and packaged dips are excellent vehicles for the umami-rich flavor. Takoyaki seasoning and marinades offer an out-of-the-box meal kit experience for those looking for a low-fuss taste test. Products that minimize intimidation but don’t hold back on flavor are prime to help takoyaki become an appreciated flavor.

A Small but Mighty Snack

Food service outfits, especially food trucks and food halls where menus are more concise and portions are smaller, can offer takoyaki — perhaps the perfect shareable among friends. Retailers can add variety to their sushi refrigerator case with trays of takoyaki. Single servings of a takoyaki-mayo glaze can be packaged separately to help preserve the crisp exterior and are easy enough for consumers to apply on the go. Frozen takoyaki allows consumers to experience takoyaki in all of its glory without the fuss of cooking octopus or procuring a takoyaki pan. 

Letting Tradition Take Its Turn in the Spotlight 

By honoring tradition, we can embrace the flavors and cooking techniques that make a cuisine unique. Although making takoyaki requires a specific pan, the dish embodies an ethos of balance often found in Japanese cuisine and offers a comfortable introduction to authentic Japanese street food. For a sample of Griffith Foods Takoyaki Sauce-Style Dry Seasoning or to explore other flavor innovations, please get in touch.

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