Back in December, on the eve of our 10-day break, I threw a fun okonomiyaki bounenkai at my place to celebrate the end of the year. Remember when I deemed 2012 as the Year of the Okonomiyaki? Well, it seemed only fitting to end it this way. And when Jay and Rie suggested they bring the goods for akashiyaki, my curiosity sparked and I could not refuse.
What is akashiyaki? I had no clue. I had never even heard of it. So when Jay walked in with a big takoyaki pan, we knew this was serious business.
Akashiyaki is essentially a takoyaki (octopus ball, Yamahomo article here), that you then dip into dashi and eat. According to Wiki, this dish predates the takoyaki and is from the Akashi region of Kansai, right near Kobe City. Rie and Jay had everything ready, from the ingredients for the batter, to the tako (octopus), to the dashi.
The batter consists of eggs and flour. Pour this mixture into the takoyaki grill, along with some gari (pickled ginger) and the requisite tako into each ball mold.
Akashiyaki is much eggier than the okonomiyaki or takoyaki batter. People in Japan also refer akashiyaki as "tamagoyaki" (fried egg).
Then Rie and Jay went into full-on mode to make BALLS.
Johnny manning the okonomiyaki station, and Rie and Jay working the akashiyaki.
Jay and Rie were total pros at this. I did not attempt to do this, as it looked as though it requires a lot of skill. We all let Jay and Rie do their thing.
Okonomiyaki vs. Akashiyaki Throwdown!
Then, dip balls in dashi broth, with negi (green onions):
The akashiyaki came out a tad salty, which we attributed to the batter mix. But nonetheless, it was very good and so savory. It had a gooey, creamy texture, and the tako in the middle was such a treat! The dashi was warm which added to the gooey aspect. It all sort of melted in my mouth.
As for the okonomiyaki, you all know the drill. This time, I made smaller pancakes instead of a huge one like at the last party.
We were able to fit four pancakes on the pan.
Johnny did a stellar job flipping the pancakes. This is not easy!
Johnny and the spatula
It was a great party, full of close friends. An end to a crazy wonderful year!
Yoko and Jade
Washi, Vanesa and Mystery Man
Johnny, Jay, Rie and Washi
Pork belly porn
Perhaps this year will be the Year of Akashiyaki?
Let's have a stellar year!