Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Yesterday my friend and student Mrs. Ide, invited us over to her house for a tako-yaki party. Mrs. Ide and I share an interest in patchwork and other handcrafts and you have met her before when she wrote about her past profession as a weaver of Japanese cloth. Yesterday we did a lot of eating and chatting (some in English!) and I took lots of pictures of our "party".

First of all Mrs. Ide served us some lovely Japanese bean cakes and frothy green tea. Look at these cakes! Aren't Japanese confectioneries amazing? These are all representing the spring season; the blue one is supposed to be an iris, the green one probably wild flowers, the white one a camellia and the other two Boy's Day carps! So delicious and the green tea which is thick and very strong complements the sweet bean cakes wonderfully.

Then we started our tako-yaki party. I love tako-yaki but since I don't have a tako-yaki plate I buy my ready made tako-yaki at outdoor vendors or tako-yaki corners in the supermarket. Tako means octopus and yaki means grilled or fried and these are little "pancakes" with pieces of octopus, chopped green onions, red ginger and tempura chips inside. The tako-yaki plate is made of heavy iron and has little dips or cups that batter can be poured into. The batter is made of flour, water, egg, dried shrimp and dried fish flakes and once the batter is poured into the cups little morsels are added. As the batter cooks, the edges are prodded and poked and gradually they become little perfect balls with all the delectables hidden away inside! Then it is just a matter of divvying up the balls to everyone and eating them with a sauce of Worcestershire sauce, mayonnaise and a sprinkling of dried seaweed. Yum! The next batch is poured into the cups and for the whole afternoon we made tako-yaki and chatted!

I had such a good time and am tempted to go out and buy a tako-yaki plate but I don't think Tetsu has enough patience to poke and prod his dinner for a couple of hours so I guess I'll continue to purchase my tako-yaki at the vendors.

And for people who can't stomach the octopus, Mrs. Ide suggested using pancake batter and instead of seafood, filling the balls with chocolate chips and bananas! That sounds good too!


Tracey in CT said...

Wow...those deserts look too pretty to eat!!

The tako-yaki looks a lot like the pancake puff maker my kids got me for Easter! (

Chocolate Cat said...

What a wonderful day you must of had, talking and eating - 2 of my favorite things!! Those cakes are SO pretty. Thank you for sharing.

anne bebbington said...

I'd go with the bananas and chocolate chips myself - looks fun though

DomesticShorthair said...

That all looks so yummy! I've recently learned to make some wagashi, but haven't made any outside of class, but now I feel inspired to try it. Hmm, I might have to go find a takoyaki pan, too...

Marilyn R said...

The sweet bean cakes almost look to good to eat! I would probably like the pancake version too!

LindaL said...

I just love reading your stories about Japanese life, as well as seeing your quilting projects.

artfilstitch said...

I just love tako-yaki, however I didn't know what I was eating before I bought them :>) Was I surprised to find out that I was eating octopus! Delicious!! We spent a beautiful day at the Ueno Park enjoying the Zoo, Shrines, and the Museum. There were local vendors with many foods, and various wares. I had to try these delicious looking little balls...they reminded me of ebelskivers (a danish pancake) which I have the iron round skillet with the little round holes. We enjoy making these with an apple filling. They are delicious, too!!
It is great that you had a good day with a friend in the kitchen.