I ate Takoyaki balls in Hong Kong, and they might just be my favorite snack food ever. Their inclusion on this list makes me want to try the rest too.
A ball of crisp, puffy wheat batter encases a sweet, tender chunk of octopus. The mixture is poured onto a specially designed hotplate with shallow indentations, like ping-pong balls hewn in half. A few spring onions might be thrown on top, then the whole thing cooks until golden. Once done, it’s dusted with aonori (green seaweed powder), sprinkled with katsuobushi (bonito flakes) or doused in mayonnaise or takoyaki sauce, similar to a thick Worcestershire sauce. The shell is firm and chewy, bursting open to reveal a scalding hot, creamy and not-quite-set mass of batter. The fat chunk of octopus is the final treat, something to chew on while you attack the next.