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Nov 28, 2007 09:27 AM

Impressive Octopus Balls (aka "takoyaki")

I remember reading a thread a few months back asking where one could find takoyaki, which is freshly chopped octopus tentacles mixed into a savory batter and pan-fried into the shape of a bite-sized ball. I only knew about the ones sold in the frozen food section at the Japanese market and other random places that only did it in a mediocre way.

But now here it is.... at Asa Ramen in Torrance. Rameniac has been raving about their ramen for a few weeks so I finally checked out the place last night. Ramen isn't really my thing so after I got it out of the way I tried the takoyaki and, wow, crispy on the outside and hot and nearly oozing on the inside. According to the chef, there's a secret ingredient in there that allows the inside an almost pudding-like consistency. A half-dozen plate costs $4 to $5 if I remember correctly. It's topped with mayo, scallions and a thick soy-based sauce, just like they do it in Japan. Though I must say, taste-wise, it's unlike anything I've had in Japan. It has a very homestyle flavor which undoubtedly comes from months of trial and error.

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  1. after you "got the ramen out of the way?" ><

    1 Reply
    1. no shredded dried bonito on takoyaki ? that's important !

      4 Replies
      1. re: ymushi

        Oh yes yes, katsuobushi galore. Sorry bout that!

        1. re: pirikara

          i love when there's a katsuoboshi parade. makes everyone happy.

        2. re: ymushi


          Asa definitely has it with bonito flakes on top. :) They serve like ~5 different styles of the Takoyaki! Very cool.

          1. re: ymushi

            you can't miss ' aonori ' , dried green seaweed ,too !

          2. Do you see them making the Takoyaki? I got a kick out of that.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Xericx

              If only we did -- we spent a good fifteen minutes with one splayed open trying to figure out the mystery ingredient. Taro root was our closest guess, but really we couldn't figure it out.

            2. i believe they have them at gaja in lomita and i've had a decent but non traditional version at sasaya, who has decent food for the area, but not spectacular...

              i love takoyaki.