Three in four Japanese like okonomiyaki and takoyaki


The two soul foods of the west of Japan are okonomiyaki, a sort-of savoury pancake, and takoyaki, a ball of dough with octopus testicles inside. This survey from @nifty looked at what the whole country thinks of okonomiyaki and takoyaki.

I love okonomiyaki; it’s great on a hot summer’s evening in front of blazing hot plate with an ice-cold beer or three. My first few years in Japan I ate it at least twice a week at a local shop, as it was one of the few easy vegetarian meals even with little language, as they cook everything right in front of you.

I’ve never had takoyaki, however. It always smells too strong for me, and the dancing fish flakes look quite unappetising!

Okonomiyaki: mayo and ginger top it off -- ready to eat!

Research results

Q1: Do you like okonomiyaki? (Sample size=2,643)

Love it35.0%
Like it39.5%
It’s OK24.1%
Dislike it1.4%
Hate it0.8%

Q2: Do you like takoyaki? (Sample size=2,643)

Love it36.8%
Like it37.7%
It’s OK21.6%
Dislike it2.0%
Hate it1.0%

Q3: Do you think okonomiyaki goes with rice? (Sample size=2,643)


About one fifth of the respondents from the Tokyo area said yes, but from the home of okonomiyaki (and carbohydrate consumption) in Osaka and Kansai, 56.2% have them together.

Q4: What ingredients are a must for okonomiyaki? (Sample size=2,643, multiple answer)

Pork, bacon74.9%
Red ginger42.7%
Tenkazu, agetama (batter balls)39.9%
Yamaimo, nagaimo, fibrous potatoes39.3%
Chopped green onions37%
Seafood (shrimp, squid, etc)28%
Fried soba, udon, noodles24%
Fried egg19%
Beef sinews6%
Chikuwa, kamaboko, fish sticks4%
Mochi (rice starch balls)3%
Konnyaku, starchy rubbery lump2%
Nothing in particular9%

Q4: Other than tako (octopus), what fillings have you eaten in takoyaki? (Sample size=2,643, multiple answer)

Chikuwa, kamaboko, fish sticks8.1%
Konnyaku, starchy rubbery lump7.7%
Bacon, sausage7.3%
Mochi (rice starch balls)6.3%
Mentaiko (spicy roe)4.9%
Mini tomato1%
Never had anything other than tako55%
Never eaten takoyaki2%

Q7: What is the appeal of okonomiyaki and takoyaki? (Sample size=2,643, multiple answer)

Can eat it piping hot61.1%
Can eat it from stalls at festivals32.2%
Cheap eat30.5%
Everyone can enjoy making it19.8%
Has lots of vegetables18.9%
Great with family (children)16%
Can enjoy altering the recipe14%
Fun around the kitchen table13%
Great with adults12%
Great with alcohol11%
Simple to prepare10%
Can make lots in one go7%
Can use left-overs6%
Great with rice3%
Nothing in particular18%


Between the 21th and 18th of May 2017 2,643 members of the @nifty montior group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. No further demographic information was presented.

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1 Comment »

  1. peter donohue said,
    June 1, 2017 @ 06:20

    I think it is “octopus tentacles”, not “octopus testicles”

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