Takoyaki is one of my favourite street foods from Japan. A ball-shaped dumpling made of pancake batter, and cooked in a special takoyaki pan, it is traditionally filled with diced octopus, and served garnished with pickled ginger and spring onion. These days, it is commonly brushed with takoyaki sauce and Japanese mayonnaise, and topped with shavings of dried bonito fish.
Originating in Osaka in the mid-1930s, it is now popular throughout Japan where it can be purchased at yatai (street food stalls), or in specialty restaurants. Very tricky to make at home with much twisting and turning required while cooking in a searingly hot pan, whenever I go to Japan I make sure to get my fill of it. On my recent trip to Nara, where the pictures below were taken, Dr G and I enjoyed some fantastic takoyaki.
It was great then to learn of Pom Pom Takoyaki, a new venture founded by two Japanese women living in London - Hana and Tomo. Hana has been living in the UK for over 20 years working as an interior designer while Tomo only arrived in London in 2009 after a 3 year stint at the Ritz Hotel restaurant in Paris.
|Pom Pom Ladies at Work|
In addition to Pom Pom Takoyaki with the traditional octopus filling, they also offer a sticky teriyaki chicken-filled Pom Pom served with sweet teriyaki sauce, a Frankfurter and bacon version with crispy onion topping aka Pom Pom Hot Dog, and also Pom Pom Potato made with curried potato, peas and cheese with curried mayonnaise.
The sweet Pom Poms are also delicious and beautifully presented. Flavours include Pom Pom Banana served with hot chocolate sauce, Pom Pom Apple made from caramelised apples and cinnamon sugar and also Pom Pom Chocolat, Pom Pom Wheatgrass and Pom Pom Coconut.
I was so impressed by the quality and flavours of Hana and Tomo's Pom Poms that I decided to start serving them as canapés at my own Japanese Supper Club events. Unsurprisingly the feedback from diners has been fantastic, and I am really pleased to see one of my favourite Japanese dishes, and a relatively unknown one, become more popular in the UK.
For more information about Pom Pom Takoyaki, prices and how to order click here. If you would like to order Pom Pom Takoyaki for a private party or corporate event, or simply to eat them at home, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively you can meet Hana and Tomo and try out their Pom Poms on the 17th & 24th March at Hackney Homemade at St.John's church garden, off Mare Street http://www.hackneyhomemade.com/food/ or on 30th March at Brixton Sundowner Night Market. http://sundowner.b-electric.co.uk/2012/02/02/brixton-sundowner-2012/
Also Pom Pom Supper Club is in the pipe line, hopefully starting in April.
Learn more about Pom Pom Takoyaki on Twitter, follow them at @pompomtakoyaki.
Hana and Tomo's Pom Poms will also be available at the Japanese Supper Club at my home in Islington on 23rd, 24th, 30th and 31st March 2012.