Ep26 - Octopus, Polpo, Pulpo, Tako: Takoyaki - My Delicious Dilemma

minoan octopus flask.jpg

Throughout the world and throughout time, people and cultures have both revered and feared this eight-limbed, legendary Cephalopod - the octopus. We’ll look at the mythology and folklore of the octopus, their physiology and behaviour; which all strengthen their reputation as symbols of strength, intelligence and mystery. We’ll look at artworks by Japanese master Hokusai, resin artist Keng Lye, potter Tammy Garcia and illustrator Esther Van Hulsen. Plus I make takoyaki - round octopus pancake balls! This whole episode was inspired by a chat to my amazing friend Michiru who I miss a lot! She was eating takoyaki while we were video chatting on Line and I just knew I had to make them! Thanks Michi!!! xox

Show Notes:
00:00-01:45

Intros
01:45-06:30
Octopus background history, myths, characteristics, origins, ancient history,
06:30-16:00
art, late minoan marine style flask, tammy garcia, Hokusai, Esther Van Hulsen, Keng Lye
16:00-19:15
Intelligence of the octopus, Octopolis, Octlantis, escape artists, anatomy, physiology, sex lives and child rearing
19:15-20:40
Jean Painleve octopus short films
20:40-25.25
Takoyaki and Michiru!!!
25:25-27:25
Closing
27:25-28:07
Cringey jingle

Blackware octopus pot   Tammy Garcia  (IG:  tammygarciaart )

Blackware octopus pot
Tammy Garcia (IG: tammygarciaart)

Blackware octopus pot   Tammy Garcia  (IG:  tammygarciaart )

Blackware octopus pot
Tammy Garcia (IG: tammygarciaart)

Blackware octopus pot   Tammy Garcia  (IG:  tammygarciaart )

Blackware octopus pot
Tammy Garcia (IG: tammygarciaart)

Blackware octopus pot   Tammy Garcia  (IG:  tammygarciaart )

Blackware octopus pot
Tammy Garcia (IG: tammygarciaart)

A block print depicting the folklore tale of Akkorokamui from Hokkiado, Japan, date and artist unknown

A block print depicting the folklore tale of Akkorokamui from Hokkiado, Japan, date and artist unknown

hokusai dream.jpg
680px-Tako_to_ama_retouched.jpg
Octopuses as depicted by artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi from the story of Princess Tamatori and the Dragon King.

Octopuses as depicted by artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi from the story of Princess Tamatori and the Dragon King.

Illustration by  Esther van Hulsen  ( IG: esthervanhulsen ) made with ink extracted from a 95 million year old octopus fossil by paleontologist Jørn Hurum. The piece is exhibited together with the fossil in the Natural History Museum in Oslo, Norway.

Illustration by Esther van Hulsen (IG: esthervanhulsen) made with ink extracted from a 95 million year old octopus fossil by paleontologist Jørn Hurum. The piece is exhibited together with the fossil in the Natural History Museum in Oslo, Norway.

95 million year old octopus fossil found in 2009 and it’s ink, extracted by paleontologist Jørn Hurum and then . The piece is exhibited together with the fossil in the Natural History Museum in Oslo, Norway. ink as used in Esther Van Hulsen’s octopus illustration as seen above.

95 million year old octopus fossil found in 2009 and it’s ink, extracted by paleontologist Jørn Hurum and then . The piece is exhibited together with the fossil in the Natural History Museum in Oslo, Norway. ink as used in Esther Van Hulsen’s octopus illustration as seen above.

Singapore based artist  Keng Lye’s  resin and acrylic 3-D octopus on an enamel plate  IG: keng_lye

Singapore based artist Keng Lye’s resin and acrylic 3-D octopus on an enamel plate IG: keng_lye

Takoyaki ingredients -  IG: Smy Goodness

Takoyaki ingredients - IG: Smy Goodness

Cooked Octopus -  IG: Smy Goodness

Cooked Octopus - IG: Smy Goodness

Takoyaki batch 1 -  IG: Smy Goodness

Takoyaki batch 1 - IG: Smy Goodness

I used the Japan Centre recipe for Takoyaki:

Ingredients

batter:
200g flour
2 eggs
450ml water
pinch of dashi stock

fillings:
100g fresh boiled octopus, chopped
1 bunch spring onion, chopped
red pickled ginger
tempura flakes

toppings:
takoyaki sauce
japanese mayonnaise
aosa powdered seaweed (or aonori)
katsuobushi bonito flakes

How To Prepare

  1. Start by creating the batter. Grab a large bowl and mix together 2 eggs, 200g of flour, 450ml of water and a little dashi stock. Set this aside. If you have the ready-made okonomiyaki flour, follow the directions for making the batter and you’re good to go.

  2. Place your takoyaki plate on the gas stove on medium heat and heat up a small amount of oil in each hole.

  3. Cut up your octopus into small pieces. Place a piece of octopus in each of the semi-circular holes, and then fill up each hole to the top with the batter mix. You can even overflow the batter out of the hole to make it easier to flip them later.

  4. Now you can add the chopped spring onion, red pickled ginger and tempura flakes to each hole. The amount you add is up to you, but only a small amount of each will give enough flavour.

  5. Once the takoyaki are about half cooked, about 1-2 minutes, you will need to flip them over. The best way to do this is to use a small wooden skewer to poke the outside of the batter and flip it over within the hole. This takes a bit of practice to get done smoothly so keep trying if you are making a mess.

  6. You can usually only flip each takoyaki about three quarters of the way round so allow it to cook a little more before flipping it again. By now, all your takoyaki should be round so keep rotating them in the holes to make sure that they cook evenly on all sides. This will take about 3-4 minutes until golden brown on the outside.

  7. Place a few takoyaki on a plate and smother them with loads of takoyaki sauce and Japanese mayonnaise. Then sprinkle a bit of powdered seaweed and some bonito flakes on top and enjoy. Allow to cool slightly and enjoy hot. 

Takoyaki batch 2 -  IG: Smy Goodness

Takoyaki batch 2 - IG: Smy Goodness

Liguria Octopus Salad -  IG: Smy Goodness

Liguria Octopus Salad - IG: Smy Goodness

Greco Octopus Salad -  IG: Smy Goodness

Greco Octopus Salad - IG: Smy Goodness

Spiral of Archimedes Octopus -  IG: Smy Goodness

Spiral of Archimedes Octopus - IG: Smy Goodness