Chef’s Armoury Event – Rosebery, Sydney
It seems that Asians like making edible things in a spherical shape: beef balls, fish balls, daifuku, dango, dumplings. Maybe the shape of the food represents the simplicity and the back-to-basic roots of Asian cuisine. I was having a discussion with the boyfriend the other day and we were talking about the difference between Asian food and non-Asian food. Asian food seems to be more focused on the natural flavours of a dish. Albeit, we do use a lot of sauces and different seasonings, but we find the right balance between each to create an intricate dish. Even then, the dish can still taste very natural like there hasn’t been much added to the main ingredient. I don’t think Asians could ever make a show like 4 Ingredients. The sauces alone would take up about 3 of the ingredients. While I do occasionally enjoy a steak, it makes you think how simple it can be. A piece of meat, some salt and some pepper.
Now I’m going completely off track. So going back to spherical shaped food, on Saturday, the boyfriend, my eldest ‘daughter’ and I went to a Takoyaki demonstration at Chef’s Armoury. I have loved Takoyaki since my high school years. It’s cheap, warm, tasty and so easy to get your hands onto. When Chatswood has their Thursday markets, there is always a Takoyaki stall (Colotako). They also have a stall at the night markets in Chinatown. Watching rows and rows of Takoyaki being made and dished out to the crowd of Takoyaki-lovers. They are a great street food that comes out piping hot and has led to many burnt tongues over the years.
I was excited heading to a Takoyaki demonstration and though it would be some basic ‘you sit there and watch me’ demonstration. But Leigh was very nice and allowed the boyfriend to do some hands on cooking. Now the boyfriend wants to buy a Takoyaki pan so that we can have a Takoyaki party.
Thanks to Chef’s Armoury, I have a Takoyaki recipe to share with everyone.
Serves: 60 balls
Preparation time: 5 mins + 1 hour resting time for batter
Cooking time: 5 mins
- 300 grams cake flour
- 3 eggs
- 1 heaped tablespoon kuzu or other starch
- 1 litre pre made dashi stock
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1½ cups finely diced cabbage
- 1½ cups finely sliced shallots – green part only
- Kezuribushi (bonito flakes)
- Japanese mayonnaise
- Takoyaki sauce
- Double sift flour into bowl.
- Add kuzu, eggs, soy sauce and mix.
- Slowly add the stock and whisk well until the mixture is smooth. It should have the consistency of thin cream.
- Add shallots and cabbage, mix and let the batter rest for an hour in the fridge. You can use the batter straight away but a rested batter produces better results.
- Heat the pan on high and oil well with rice bran or vegetable oil.
- Mix the batter and pour into the Takoyaki pan half way up each Takoyaki mould.
- Add a piece of octopus in each of the moulds and cover with more batter until overflowing.
- When the batter starts to set a little, scrape the excess with a skewer back into each ball.
- Spin with a turning spike with the uncooked side down. Keep turning until the balls are formed and are a nice crisp down all the way around.
- Serve with a splash of Takoyaki sauce, Japanese mayonnaise and some bonito flakes.
Traditionally Takoyaki are filled with octopus, but they can be substituted with other ingredients. Try a sweet version by adding some matcha and substituting the savoury ingredients with sugar syrup, place some pieces of mochi or m ‘n’ ms inside to create a delicious dessert. This sounds interesting and if I buy a pan I will try and make both sweet and savoury *insert ingredient*-yaki.
Happy nom nom nom-ing!