Once again, Japanese whiskey comes through with a great cooking tip.

At first, the grilled strips of meat known as yakiniku and battery balls with bits of octopus known as takoyaki don’t seem to have much in common. But both are very communal ways of eating foods that, while small in individual portions, add up to very hearty meals.

And their commonalities don’t stop there! According to yet another culinary lifehack tweet by Japanese whiskey maker Nikka, it’s not only possible to cook yakiniku on a takoyaki maker, but preferable.

The tweet was made on 10 September which apparently is Beef Tongue Day because “9” in Japanese (kyu) and “10” in English (ten) kind of sounds like the Japanese word for beef tongue, “gyutan,” especially if you’d just burnt your own tongue on some gyutan. Even though Nikka recommended beef tongue for this trick, there’s no reason why other cuts wouldn’t experience the same benefits of a takoyaki cookers, as we shall soon see.

Anyway, in celebration of Beef Tongue Day, Nikka recommended grilling some in a takoyaki cooker. For those unfamiliar, a takoyaki maker is basically an iron griddle with round indentations designed to cook spherical balls of batter. Sometimes it’s an independent electric appliance, and other times it’s just an iron plate that goes on top of a range like a frying pan might.

▼ A takoyaki ball with a takoyaki maker in the background.


We tend to not think of it as capable of cooking things other than takoyaki, but there really is no reason it can’t. Moreover, because of the indentations, Nikka says it not only helps trap the meat’s juices, but also any seasoning you add such as green onions and salt.

It was all very intriguing so our writer Mai Tsubomi decided to give it a try.

There was a bit of a problem right off the bat, though. Mai apparently got thick cuts of beef tongue, so they didn’t quit fit in the hole as easily as Nikka suggested.

But luckily that didn’t seem to interfere with the cooking. The heat seemed to spread evenly through the meat as it started sizzling away.

Once one side was nicely browned, Mai flipped in in the hole and added some green onions and salt in the indentation. Normally when making yakiniku there would be a fear of the toppings spilling over and going to waste, but here everything stayed firmly in their cups of meat.

Even when it was finished, Mai could pick up the meat along with all the onions and not spill a single piece. Because of the roundness of the holes, the toppings all congregated firmly in the center.

She was amazed at how good it tasted too. The full effect of the seasoning could be felt and the meat was juicier than she had ever had. Again, the round indentations allowed the meat to simmer in its own juices more thoroughly.

Mai tried some rib meat next and it was just as explosively juicy and flavorful as the tongue was.

That isn’t even the end of the benefits! Mai noticed that when cooking in the takoyaki grill the oil didn’t splatter nearly as much as a regular flat grill, and there wasn’t as much smoke coming from it either.

This is great news for the people of Osaka, a majority of whom own a takoyaki grill but rarely use it. It also opens the door for other creations, such as little bite-sized hemisphere omelets.

Source: Twitter/@Nikka_jp
Photos: ©SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
[ Read in Japanese ]