The Japanese Festival

A different day among old friends, tasting street food.

In the past June 24 (2017) we head up to Lisbon, the Portuguese Capital city, to participate once again at the Japan Festival in Lisbon, (Festa do Japão em Lisboa), this was the 7th edition of the Festival. Festival that is held every year (since 2010), during the summer time, as part of the city annual festivities. Now days the Festival is happens at the Park of the Nations (Parque das Nações) a parish of the city of Lisbon, and where was the EXPO98.

It became almost a tradition for us to go there, if possible, and hang out with some of our Japanese and japanophile friends, tasting a little bit of the Japanese culture, from the popular "cosplayers" (whose pop culture is ascending rapidly) to the professional performers, that some come all the way from Japan to attend the Festival. (and other cultural events).

According with the Japan Embassy (Portugal), this is the main objective of the Festival:

(...) to picture the "Japan of today" and the environment of "Matsuri" (festival), through the presentation of Japanese culture...(...)
And so every year we have a great time there, meeting up with old friends and acquaintances that we only have the chance to see in that event (because of the distance between residences). The Festival is organized voluntary by Japanese residents in Portugal with the support of the Japanese Embassy and the Lisbon City Hall.

Time for Sake!

The Japanese Ambassador and event organizers.

The opening ceremony has always a special way of welcoming the public and that moment is to offer all a cup of sake (), the famous Japanese rice wine, made from the fermentation of rice. So usually when the Japanese Ambassador Hiroshi AZUMA makes his opening speech the crowd gather around the main stage. Always friendly and smiling the Japanese Ambassador and the event organizers get together to break the barrel and start officially the Festival. That usually is held on a Saturday between 4pm to 22pm.

Make way for "Takoyaki"... YUM!...

The long line for takoyaki!

Street food, who doesn't like snacks at any time?! Specially if they as tasty as takoyaki たこ焼き (octopus balls) are. Does not matter if you are with friends and family or hanging around only by yourself, street food can always indulge your soul... and specially your stomach! According with the Wikipedia:

Takoyaki was first popularized in Osaka, where a street vendor named Tomekichi Endo is credited with its invention in 1935. Takoyaki was inspired by akashiyaki, a small round dumpling from the city of Akashi in Hyōgo Prefecture made of an egg-rich batter and octopus.
So one of our high moments at the Festival was when we head up to the food stand to get our "basket boat" with the 3 little takoyaki balls on it! The lines people make every year for it are soo long! You have to wait for several minutes before reaching the cashier! But is worth it, and you enjoy every single bite on it! Each "boat" costs 3€ (Euros) around 3,5$(US Dolars)

(A aside personal observation: is a "shame" that in the Festival has lack of more stands and variety on Japanese street food, but is understandable since it is a free event... maybe one day they can have more...)

Home adventure and making of VLOG.

We enjoy making little adventures at the kitchen even when we have the conscience that we are not top chefs... So this visit to the Japan Festival made us want to cook some Takoyaki at home, that is possible when you have the right tools for it, first of all you need a a special molded pan. At the time we didn't found the one we needed at a reasonable price so we end up buying on Amazon a Aebleskiver pan that is used in Denmark to make a ball like sweet. (Check out this link for information: http://bit.ly/1HlXLu9 )

The decision of using that pan was not the best one since... well, check out our vlog down here and you will understand!

I hope you enjoy our 3th episode and please if you enjoy don't forget to like and subscribe!

The Takoyaki Recipe

How to achieve that street food feeling at your own home!

Since in our video we do not show the recipe, we leave you here the main ingredients that you must use to make the takoyaki. And a great link were you can get all the information about takoyaki: http://bit.ly/2uZ3RRp

Ingredients

2 green onions/scallions 1 Tbsp pickled red ginger 4.2 oz cooked octopus (4.2 oz = 120 g) (See notes) ¼ cup katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) (¼ cup = 4g) 1 cup all-purpose flour (1 cup = 4.2 oz = 120 g) 2 tsp baking powder ½ tsp kosher salt 2 large eggs 1 tsp soy sauce 1½ cup dashi (1½ cup = 360 ml) 2 Tbsp neutral flavor oil (vegetable, canola, etc) ⅓ cup tenkasu (tempura scraps) (⅓ cup = 15 g)

Topping

Takoyaki Sauce (Tonkatsu sauce) Japanese mayonnaise

THANK YOU!

We hope you enjoyed our episode and that you have fun (with more success) making takoyaki at home! Above all have fun with a smile on your face, always!

Since we want you to be successful in your home cooking, we made a selection of products that you might find interesting to start your takoyaki adventure and have fun between your friends, family or even alone! Enjoy see you soon! And please share with us how did it went your try!