Takoyaki is a famous and very delicious Japanese street food, that is made from small batter balls filled with octopus pieces.
What is Takoyaki ??
“Tako” mean s’octopus’ and “Yaki” means ‘grill’ or fry in Japanese but takoyaki is not just grilled octopus. They are round in shape and made from a batter of flour, egg, and dashi stock then filled with cooked and diced octopus, scallions, tenkasu, and red pickled ginger. That is the reason Takoyaki is usually classified as “Konamono” (flour things) along with Okonomiyaki because they both are cooked with flour (“Kona”in Japanese) batter.
What else is in Takoyaki apart from octopus?
Special takoyaki batter is made from flour, egg, and dashi stock. The batter is filled with cooked and diced octopus, finely chopped scallions or green shallots, Tenkasu, and pickled ginger. You may be wondering what the tenkasu is. Tenkasu is the crunchy bits of deep-fried batter produced as a by-product of tempura. Adding tenkasu gives depth of flavour. Usually red pickled ginger is added for more colour and also adds a tangy refreshing taste when you bite into the takoyaki balls.
Do I need a special takoyaki pan?
Takoyaki is made in a special pan. In Japan, takoyaki is so popular and they are often cooked at home so many households have a Takoyaki Pan . Because there is demand and a market for the pan, you can purchase it in Japan. However, it is not really sold in other places outside of Japan. If you are unable to find a takoyaki pan in your country, you can try online, or you can use a dutch pancake pan instead. They are a little bit shallower than a Japanese takoyaki pan but it will at least make round shape and will look like takoyaki.
Other tools and skills you need to make takoyaki
Have you ever seen how takoyaki is made? You don’t need to be a chef to make this but there is some skill and practice required. The most important part is to flip the takoyaki while the batter is half cooked so that the batter can run down to the bottom of the pan when the ball is flipped to create a sphere shape. That way all the fillings will go into the middle of the ball and not sit at the top of one side. You need a bamboo skewer to do this job.
What are the sauce and toppings ?
Takoyaki is usually dressed with special Takoyaki Sauce which is similar to Okonomiyaki sauce. It has a sweet fruity flavour but is mellower than Okonomiyaki sauce. It is also often dressed with Japanese mayonnaise then topped with bonito flakes and sea weed flakes. They are all readily available in Japan and at asian or Japanese grocery stores. You can eat without those toppings but I always feel like something is missing and the taste and flavour is incomplete when I run out of those toppings.
My embarrasing childhood memory with Takoyaki.
I love Takoyaki and it was my favourite Saturday lunch. We had so much fun to make it all together flipping takoyaki with my family. It was so much fun and delicious. One time I ate too much and could not go to school the following day. The school principal made a special announcement at the school assembly that you need to be careful not to eat too much takoyaki even though they are so yummy because I got sick from eating too much of it. Lmao. Anyway, it’s worth it to overeat and get sick anyway. I hope you enjoy this as much as I always do.
Here is my recipe for Takoyaki and If you liked it, please rate it and leave a comment below. Also, don’t forget to follow me on Youtube, Pinterest, Facebook , Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date with all the latest happenings on Chopstick Chronicles. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #ChopstickChronicles so I can see your wonderful creations!
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how to make Japanese street food Takoyaki at home
- 100 g flour
- 1 egg
- 300 ml dashi stock
- 50 g cooked octopus
- 1/4 cup of finely chopped scallions
- 1/4 cup Tenkasu
- 2 tbsp red pickled ginger
- takoyaki sauce
- Japanese mayonnaise
- seaweed flake to top
- bonito flake to top
Combine water, egg and dashi stock together in a bowl and mix well until frothy.
Sift the plain flour into a large bowl and add half of the water mixture over the flour.
Whisk them together well until all the dry flour is completely mixed in.
Add the remaining water and blend well.
Heat the takoyaki pan and oil the holes.
Pour the batter into the pan holes so they are approximately half-full then add the octopus, green onion, tempura crisps and pickled ginger then add more of the batter until it's just overflowing.
Cook for approximately 1 & 1/2 minutes, then trim off the excess batter and flip them over.
Keep flipping them around until the takoyaki are a golden-brown color.
Serve them on a plate and coat with the Takoyaki sauce and Japanese mayonaise then sprinkle with aonori and bonito flakes.
Nutritional value is per one octopus ball.
If you don't have Takoyaki sauce, you can use my Yakisoba sauce recipe and add 1 tbsp of honey.
If you are unable to find bonito flakes and seaweed flakes, you can eat without.
I used special flour made for making Takoyaki. It is a little bit like pre mixed flour which contains dashi stock powder. That's why in the photos and the recipe video, I used water instead of dashi stock. It is usually difficult to find these kind of special flour. If you used plain flour, use dashi stock to mix.