What is it
Takoyaki is a Japanese street food that has risen to great popularity over the years. Known perhaps as much for the intriguing pan with circular indents that’s used to make it as for its crunchy-soft texture and sweet-salty taste, takoyaki is one of those quintessential night market eats, where it’s fun to watch it being made before your eyes.
Takoyaki is batter with pieces of octopus inside, and is cooked inside a takoyaki pan, usually a cast iron griddle. A pick is used to keep the orbs moving as they cook so as to distribute the heat evenly.
The takoyaki (tako = octopus, yaki, from yaku = to grill or fry) are served with dipping sauce, and sometimes covered in bonito, though there are plenty of varieties. It’s usually eaten as an appetizer, or as a snack.
Where to get it
Check out these Vancouver spots to try takoyaki
Sushi Bella serves their appetizer takoyaki with fruit sauce, mayo, bonito, and green onion. They have four locations in North Vancouver, Burnaby, and Vancouver.
At this popular downtown spot, the takoyaki are served with crispy shredded carrot, tempura sauce, takoyaki sauce, trail mix crumb, shredded seaweed, and Katsuobushi (dried, fermented, and smoked skipjack tuna).
Address: 423 Seymour Street, Vancouver
Among the plentiful offerings at this casual Robson Street Japanese fast food restaurant are takoyaki.
Address: 388 Robson Street, Vancouver
Head out to Richmond to Ichiro for their “Karikari Takoyaki,” and save room for their sushi, sashimi, and other Japanese delights.
Address: 12011 2nd Avenue, Richmond
Not surprisingly, Metro Vancouver’s night markets are a great place to score some of this Japanese street food. Markets like the Panda Market (formerly the International Summer Night Market) and the Richmond Night Market usually boast takoyaki vendors. Check the markets’ websites for location information and schedule.