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Food Akashiyaki 明石焼き

Akashiyaki (明石焼き) is a small round dumpling from the city of Akashi in Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. The dumpling is made of an egg-rich batter and octopus dipped into dashi (a thin fish broth) before eating. Modern-style akashiyaki first started selling in the Taishō period by a yatai shopper Seitarō Mukai. Although takoyaki, another Japanese dumpling, is more popular in Japan, it is based on akashiyaki. Both are made with a takoyaki pan, a type of frying pan or cooktop with many hemispherical moulds. Compared to takoyaki, akashiyaki has a softer, more eggy texture.

Akashiyaki used to be known as tamagoyaki (玉子焼き grilled egg) for a long time locally. Around 1988, a city official renamed tamagoyaki to akashiyaki for purpose of promoting Akashi. The origin of the name is the decoration named Akashidama. It is one kind of artificial coral made by hardening egg whites with saltpetre, and it was used as decoration for kanzashi (簪). From the end of the Edo period to the Taisho period, the production of Akashidama was thriving as a local industry in Akashi. According to legend, akashiyaki were created to use the large amounts of leftover egg yolk and wheat flour from the production sequence of Akashidama. In addition, Akashi city abounded with octopuses. Thus people started mixing those ingredients together and akashiyaki.

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