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Impressive Octopus Balls (aka "takoyaki")

pirikara Nov 28, 2007 09:27 AM

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.

  1. r
    rameniac Nov 28, 2007 10:19 PM

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

    1 Reply
    1. re: rameniac
      pirikara Nov 29, 2007 01:14 PM


    2. y
      ymushi Nov 28, 2007 10:27 PM

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

      4 Replies
      1. re: ymushi
        pirikara Nov 29, 2007 01:15 PM

        Oh yes yes, katsuobushi galore. Sorry bout that!

        1. re: pirikara
          eatdrinknbmerry Nov 29, 2007 02:08 PM

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

        2. re: ymushi
          exilekiss Nov 29, 2007 02:16 PM


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

          1. re: ymushi
            ymushi Nov 29, 2007 08:19 PM

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

          2. Xericx Nov 29, 2007 01:44 PM

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

            1 Reply
            1. re: Xericx
              SauceSupreme Nov 29, 2007 02:03 PM

              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. modernist Nov 29, 2007 02:08 PM

              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.

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