With Miidere temple explored earlier on, it was time for my evening event of attending a takoyaki making party that had been arranged by another teacher.
Yesterday as you saw from my blog entry I had been to Toei Studios and geared up as a Shinsengumi which had been one of the best days of my life and I’d certainly proclaimed it the best day I’ve had in Japan. Once again however Japan continues to amaze as tonight provided me with the best evening I’ve ever had in Japan!!!
Takoyaki party beings!!
I arrived at the school dead on 6pm, quite excited as I hadn’t tried takoyaki before. Takoyaki for those who haven’t heard of it is octopus balls!
There was a great turn out of lots of students and a few teachers, it was really great as I got to meet some students who were not normally able to attend my classes, and everyone is really fun to be around and talk to.
The ingredients we had consisted of a batter that also had a fish oil in it, I think from a fish like tuna, octopus tentacles, green onions and a few other things. We started with a simple takoyaki of just those ingredients at first.
To make them we had three takoyaki making machines, basically a hotplate with lots of ping pong ball sized holes in it. I was then shown how to make the first batch, this involved pouring the batter in, then placing in the octopus pieces, then topping it with the onions. I was then told that the mix had to wait for a few minutes to start cooking.
After a few minutes I was given a small wooden pick and told to slide it into the edge of each hole and rotate it to flip the takoyaki over, the teacher who had organised this showed me how, and I then had a go. For the most part I did pretty well, however there were a few that hadn’t cooked enough to flip, so I had to try again a little later. One of my students who had been cooking takoyaki since she was little helped me and showed me what to do, she was also cheering me on while I tried.
You can see above a couple of the flipped ones, being a darker batter and crispier outer shell. Shortly after the first batch was ready!
Having never tried these before I wanted to give it a go, and I have to say they tasted delicious!!
For my next attempt I was upgraded from a small wooden stick to a proper takoyaki making tool which had a fun little octopus on the end. I asked the name but there didn’t seem to be one, so we ended up calling it nanashi (no name).
My student then decided I looked like the octopus (and from then on my name was octopus for a while!), in honour of this new name we decided to try and pull off our best ‘octopus faces’! Cooking takoyaki with here was really fun, as she’s so energetic and is really fun and has bubbly friendly personality.
This time she introduced me to her favorite type of takoyaki, I think it was called kimichi cheese takoyaki, it has now also become my favorite type of takoyaki, as well as my favorite food! The cheese really works here!
For the next batch I handed the reigns back to my students who were experts at takoyaki making, they could flip the takoyaki much more skillfully than I could. Though I was still praised for a set which I did almost perfectly!
Their batch of takoyaki was incredible, the texture and size of each one was perfect, again delicious to eat!
We had a great laugh making more batches, and each time my skills improved. It’s just as well there were a lot of people as we made so much takoyaki!!
After a while the class table ended up looking more like a kitchen than a classroom, it was a really great time talking to the students and other teachers, so many random and fun conversations.
All in all this was a really great experience and the atmosphere was amazing.
Near the end I had a few students helping me convert my name into Japanese, they wrote it down in hiragana, katakana and put it into kanji. I was then helped with the meaning of my name, which from their translation could either have the meaning of ‘true strong’ or ‘true star’. I’m happy with either as when I tried to do it a few weeks ago myself I ended up with ‘pine tree’!
After the party a student invited me to join her at a market at Toji temple on Monday, so I’m looking forward to that as she said I can pick up a lot of hand crafted items there. Also it will just be a good laugh.
So to follow yesterdays best ever day in Japan, I had now topped it off with my best ever evening / night in Japan!!! This country is simply amazing and I love it here!!!