2 Authentic 'Yaki' Dishes To Try When You Are In Osaka
Osaka comes second just to Tokyo when it comes to modernisation, facilities, population, tourism, opportunities and what not! Osaka being a long lasting trade center which maintained connections with the West, its cuisine has turned out to be a bit different compared to Edo aka Tokyo. People from other parts of Japan think that Osakans are a bit more easy-going and humorous. There is an informal saying that Osakans feast until they lose consciousness, which shows their love towards food. Also, they like their food grilled ('yaki' in Japanese); most of the famous Japanese dishes especially the following have actually come out of Osaka:
You may have heard about this delicious and 'munchy' pancake dish that contains mainly flour, cabbage, octopus. pork and bonito flakes (Katsuobushi) namely 'Okonomiyaki'. It is so popular in Japan that you would see hundreds of Okonomiyaki restaurants scattered all over the country. If you are in Osaka, you are extra lucky coz thats where this dish has its origins and started becoming popular. Some may argue that Hiroshiman Okonomiyaki is the authentic one, however, the Osakan one beats all others in taste, preparation and, ofcourse, popularity. Keeping in mind how big Osaka is, and how long of a history it has compared to Hiroshima, we can pretty much say that it is the best place to have Okonomiyaki in Japan. Just walk along any street in Osaka, you would see tens of varieties or versions of Okonomiyaki available, one being the famous Modanyaki, which is a very new invention and it contains noodles as an extra item to the flour based mix. There are spicier versions of Okonomiyaki with peppers and onions; there are sweeter versions with mochi, rice etc. If you are looking for great places in Osaka to try Okonomiyaki, head to the always-crowded Dotonbori district.
Takoyaki is an another authentic grilled dish that came out of Osaka and took the rest of Japan, and the world, by storm. There are cookers, pans and other household items available in the market to prepare Takoyaki. Such is the popularity of this octopus based dish! However, if you think that this dish has something to do with the American 'tacos', you are mistaken. In most literal sense, the word 'takoyaki' simply means 'octopus that is fried'. The best thing about Takoyaki is that it comes in round balls with a unique flavored sauce and tenkasu (the resultant crispy waste after making 'tempura'). These Takoyaki balls are perfect for anytime of the day, however, most of the people like to have `em as evening snacks. Head to the American Village in Osaka to have the best Takoyaki ever in the entire country.
Map: Americamura (American Village), Osaka
What do you think of these two dishes? If you are a fan of grilled food, these two are unbeatable choices for a perfect evening.