I am convinced, that no matter how long one lives in a country, there will always be a place one hasn’t visited or food one hasn’t tried. Especially when living in a country like Japan, where everything seems to be about food.
Today, while strolling through Ikebukuro, I tried bakudanyaki (ばくだん焼き) or ‘fried bomb’, which is by no means a new discovery, since it has been around and making waves since the better part of a decade. But since I rarely visit Ikebukuro (I don’t know why, because it’s a great part of Tokyo) I hadn’t tried it yet.
There are several stores in Tokyo, where you can try Bakudanyaki, but the one I heard most about is the Bakudanyaki Honpo in Ikebukuro. The long line in front of the little store speaks of its popularity (and the willingness of most people here in Japan, to stand in line for a ling time, if it’s something good).
Bakudanyaki looks almost like a huge Takoyaki (たこ焼き). It’s 8 cm in diameter and weighs about 200 grams. On the website of Bakudanyaki Honpo it says, that it combines the best parts of Okonomiyaki, Monjayaki and Takoyaki and this description is spot on. The Balls are filled with Okonomiyaki ingredients and while the outer mantle is the consistency of Takoyaki, it’s inside is still gooey and soft, like Monjayaki.
Since it was the first time, I decided on the ‘Regular’ Bakudanyaki, filled with quail egg, sausage, mochi, cabbage, and more. Even Takoyaki can be a challenge, so it’s no wonder, that this huge version of it is difficult to eat. But once you get it ‘open’ it’s easier to tear of pieces of the outer layer and eat the insides. It’s an interesting combination of the three similar, yet different foods and definitely worth a try.
The Bakudanyaki don’t cost more than 500 Yen and even stay under 500 kcal. After one of them I was quite full, yet not overstuffed, therefore the perfect balance for a quick lunch break. At the Bakudanyaki Honpo you can find several different flavors, like Teriyaki-Mayonnaise or Curry-Cheese. The Regular one was great and the next time I’ll definitely try the Piri-Kara-Kimchi, which looked really good as well.