August 17, 2013

He’e - Tako - Octopus (Poke part 3)

It was the perfect prank. Tiny takoyaki balls look just like marshmallows - at least when they are covered in chocolate. To try and trick Kyle, I slipped three seafood balls on a stick and dunked them in the chocolate fountain. The hardest part was keeping a straight face while we waited for his reaction as he bit into chocolate-covered tako. It was priceless, even though I am anxiously waiting for payback.

Kids plate - I can't actually remember, but I think the balls on the stick were takoyaki
We were visiting friends in Japan last summer when we saw all kinds of tako, or octopus. Although we didn't try it raw as pictured, we did enjoy takoyaki, minced octopus formed into balls and fried. It was good - but not when you're expecting a marshmallow!

Fresh tako at the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo
Pickled tako?
What does all of this have to do with poke? Well, it seems that tako is most common seafood used (after ’ahi), but look out for other fish and shellfish, depending on the season. Want to catch your own tako? Learn more about wild octopus from this website. Once you've caught one and you'd like to try and make your own tako poke, check out this recipe.

Apparently Whole Foods says no to tako poke
I love tacos, so I was pretty excited to see a sign for "tako poke." I figured the lack of a large Mexican community led to the typo. However, I was a little disappointed to discover that tako was not a spelling error, but is Japanese for octopus. Although we do enjoy poke, I have still yet to try the tako variety, so you'll have to settle for stories about other experiences with octopus.

Maui Tacos, don't mix it up with Tako
Courtesy of:

Language note: he’e is the Hawaiian word for octopus/squid, so it's interesting that the Japanese tako is used. We have a few other foods that commonly use Japanese words, and I'll get to another one next! With that, I'll leave you with pictures of my chocolate-covered kids.

This is the third installment on poke, if you would like to start at the beginning, click here.

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