Takoyaki Quest:Kōga-ryu Takoyaki in Amerikamura,Osaka
Takoyaki – literal translation is “Baked Octopus”.
Tako means octopus in Japanese.Actually, takoyaki is not what you might imagine from its name. It looks like a dumpling, with a piece of octopus inside.
Note: While “Ikayaki”, a similar name to “Takoyaki” is what you imagine it would be.
(Ika means squid)
Kōga-ryu Takoyaki in “Amerika mura” (American village), Osaka.
I’m going to tell you about my long time favorite “Kōga-ryu” takoyaki in my first takoyaki post. Among all “Kōga-ryu” shops, I love the main one in Osaka the most, because of its location. It’s in the middle of the city, facing to “Mitsu Kouen (Mitsu Park)” a.k.a. “Sankaku Kouen” (“sankaku” means triangular) in the Amerika mura. I spent my youth in Osaka and visiting Amerika mura again after a long time brought back memories.
Kōga-ryu was established 40 or more years ago – nearly half a century! Amazing, isn’t it?
I asked staffs if I could record them cooking, and they kindly granted my request.
This is the video I took;
Cooked by a veteran staff with five year experience. Do you see him using his both hands? This is THE Kōga Ninja! (Kōga-ryu is the first takoyaki store that started the cooking technique of using both hands.)
He told me they carefully cooked takoyaki to become uniformly brown for best taste.
I had “Kakumei no negi ponzu” (Revolutional takoyaki with sliced green onions and a citrus-based sauce) which was recommended by another staff as “a good choice for hot season”. Equally brown on surface and thoroughly cooked, but still soft texture inside. It’s quite tasty. Ponzu (a citrus-based sauce) on takoyaki created a perfect harmony, and negi (green onions) and shichimi (seven flavor chili pepper) gave a spicy taste. Umm, yummy!! Hey, gimme beer! …No, I didn’t order beer because it’s still lunchtime.
(In Japan, drinking alcohol in daytime is considered rather unusual.) I had Japanese tea instead.
According to their official website, Kouga-ryuu has many commitments to its quality.
Some of them are;
・Octopus – carefully chosen octpus which are used for sushi and sashimi.
・Mayonnaise – homemade using egg yolks from chickens fed with special feed.
・Sauce – the same taste since its establishment. Fruity flavor with heaps of apples and onions.
Note: In Japanese, sauce (pronounced as “sōsu”) usually refers to a fermented liquid condiment like Worcestershire sauce.
[Oudou no sōsu mayo]
(Classic takoyaki with sause and mayonnaise, using plenty of yamaimo, a Japanese mountain yam)
10 pieces – 350 yen.
The store’s original flavor. Enjoy the harmony of the sweet sauce and homemade mayonnaise.
[Kakumei no negi ponzu]
(Revolutional takoyaki with sliced green onions and a citrus-based sauce)
10 pieces – 450 yen.
A smash hit in the American village! Enjoy the mixed taste with of bland mild ponzu sauce and a heap of sliced green onions.
Three takoyaki sandwiched between senbei (Japanese rice crackers). If you are just a bit hungry, this is a good choice.
There are four variations;
[Takosen] Regular. Only takoyaki is sandwiched. 150 yen.
[Negi takosen] Sliced green onions are also sandwiched. 200 yen.
[Cheese takosen] A slice of cheese is also sandwiched. 200 yen.
[Mentai takosen] Mentaiko”, a seasoned cod roe is also sandwiched. Mentai is an abbreviation for “Mentaiko. 200 yen.
Negi pon (abbreviation for “negi ponzu”) was truely revolutional. Try it! Of course, sōsu mayo (classic takoyaki with sauce and mayonnaise) is absolutely “classic” too! Reasonable price, and great taste!
Oh, I almost forgot to tell you there is an eat-in space upstairs with air conditioners. There is an elevator on the left of the shop. Push the “2” button in the elevator.
I’d like to extend my appreciation to all the Kōga-ryu staffs who were very helpful and willing to do my favor.
I love Kōga-ryu more than ever!
Kōga-ryu official website【甲賀流 たこ焼き HP】
How to get there
The nearest subway (underground in UK) station is “Shinsai-bashi”.
Go out Exit 8 of the station, then head for south on the “Midou-suji” road.
At the crossroads “Midou-suji Suou-machi”, take a right.
You will see a police station and a park.
Ten(10)min. walk from the subway station.
Map on the official website.
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