Osaka, home to a wide variety of delicious dishes, is a place that is filled with all sorts of specialty dishes! Within all these dishes, the ones that mainly use komugiko (wheat flour) are called “konamon” and some representative dishes include okonomiyaki and takoyaki. Here are five of the most delicious konamon dishes that you can find in Osaka!
The first dish on the list is okonomiyaki, the dish that best represents Osaka! You can cook it by frying pancake-like batter made from wheat flour, then eat it with sauce and mayonnaise slathered on top. Although it is also the specialty dish of Hiroshima, there are differences between both regions. The biggest difference is the way it is cooked. In Hiroshima, the okonomiyaki is cooked by layering the ingredients on the batter and not mixing them together. Whereas in Osaka, the meat and other ingredients are mixed with the batter, then cooked. The ingredients used in each region are also unique, with Hiroshima mainly using Chinese noodles and vegetables and Osaka primarily using meat (pork and beef) and cabbage. Furthermore, the sauce that is poured on top of the okonomiyaki is a little spicier in Osaka.
Next on the list is Osaka’s iconic dish: Takoyaki. This dish is made by putting finely chopped octopus into diluted wheat flour, then adding dried shrimp, dried bonito powder, red ginger and chopped spring onions into the mix. The resulting batter is then poured into an iron mold and cooked into a fluffy, round shape. The takoyaki balls are topped with Worcester sauce, mayonnaise, katsuobushi (small flakes of dried bonito) and nori (seaweed), then skewered with a toothpick or some other utensil for eating. Though there are shops where you can eat the dish inside their premises, takoyaki is best known for primarily being sold at take-out shops, as well as for being a staple dish at food stalls during festivals and other events.
Next up is ikayaki, a dish that people in Osaka love just as much as okonomiyaki or takoyaki. While sugatayaki – a type of ikayaki where the squid is grilled whole with soy sauce or other sauces – may be the most well-known ikayaki, the Osaka version is completely different. In Osaka, seasonings, squid slices, and sometimes even beaten eggs, are mixed with a batter made from wheat flour. This batter is then spread thinly and, when cooked, takes the shape of a crepe-like konamon. Just spread some sauce on top and dig in! You will surely get addicted to the crispy texture of the squid, the fluffy sensation of the wheat flour and the fragrant aroma of this dish. The shop at Hanshin Department Store in Osaka’s Umeda District is particularly popular for selling ikayaki. They apparently sell up to 10,000 pieces of ikayaki in a day! Try it!
Next up is another Osaka specialty: Negiyaki. It uses the same wheat flour-based batter as the one used in okonomiyaki, but its batter is dominated by spring onions. This dish also typically uses beef sinew and konjac jelly, which have been seasoned through boiling, as ingredients. It is flavored by spreading soy sauce on top. When done, this is a delicious dish that is crunchy and aromatic on the outside, and fluffy and lightly seasoned on the inside.
The last dish on the list is tonpeiyaki, which is a staple dish in okonomiyaki shops and izakayas in Osaka. With this dish, pork back ribs, cabbage and other ingredients are stir-fried together with a wheat flour-based batter, then wrapped in a mixture of fluffy, syrupy beaten eggs. It is eaten after spreading a lot of sauce and mayonnaise on top of the omelet. There are shops that use less wheat flour than okonomiyaki or no wheat flour at all, so it is on the light side in terms of volume. Tonpeiyaki is famous as a side dish to tide you over until the okonomiyaki, the main star in the meal, is cooked.
The dishes that were showcased in this article are available in various spots in Osaka, such as restaurants, specialty shops and take-out stalls! You have to try them at least once!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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