How to Make Takoyaki
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Takoyaki is a popular Japanese snack, commonly referred to as “octopus balls.” The snack consists of minced or diced octopus dipped in a wheat flour-based batter and cooked in a special moulded pan. Its soft texture is very moist and melts in the mouth. This quintessential Japanese street food is not only tasty but can also be fun to make.
Originating in the city of Osaka, Takoyaki is small, round balls of batter that are slightly crispy on the outside and soft and gooey on the inside. Inside, there is a small piece of octopus and bits of tempura and green onion. Takoyaki is often served in little wooden boats and brushed with a Takoyaki sauce. Bonito flakes and seaweed are sprinkled on top and the dish is drizzled with Japanese kewpie mayo.
While the dish is most commonly associated with octopus, you can also use substitutions like chicken, ground beef, shrimp, ground pork, bacon, sausage, tofu, and other pieces of diced meat or vegetables. Takoyaki should be bite-sized and served hot.
To Make Takoyaki
- 2 g katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)
- 1 spring onion
- 8g pickled red ginger (Kizami Shoga)
- 60g cooked octopus
- 15g neutral-flavoured oil
- 7g Tenkasu/Agedama (tempura scraps)
To Make Takoyaki Batter
- 60g all-purpose flour
- 3g baking powder
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 large egg
- 1g soy sauce
- 180ml dashi
To Make Toppings
- 60ml Tonkatsu sauce
- Japanese mayonnaise (drizzle)
- Aonori powder (dried green seaweed) (sprinkle on top)
- Katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) (sprinkle on top)
1. Grind the katsuobushi into a fine powder and top with extra bonito flakes. Set aside.
2. Cut the spring onion into thin slices. Mince the red pickled ginger.
3. Cut the octopus into 1.5 cm bite-size pieces.
4. In a large mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour with baking powder and kosher salt. Use a whisk to combine.
5. Add eggs, soy sauce, and dashi to the bowl. Whisk well to combine. Transfer the batter to a measuring cup or another container with a spout for easy pouring.
6. Heat the Takoyaki pan to 200 °C (400 °F) over medium heat. Apply a generous coating of oil to the Takoyaki pan using a brush. Once preheated, pour the batter to fill the holes in the pan.
7. Add one to three octopus pieces into each hole. Sprinkle the top with the grounded katsuobushi powder. Then sprinkle the onion, tenkasu, and pickled red ginger.
8. Cook for three minutes then rotate each ball 90 degrees using skewers, stuffing in any edges that overflowed onto the pan. Cook for four more minutes. Continue to turn the balls to create a rounded shape.
9. Transfer the balls onto a plate. Top with Tonkatsu sauce, mayonnaise, and a sprinkling of powder seaweed and katsuobushi. Serve immediately.
Tip: Make a tasty Takoyaki sauce by adding a small dash of liquid dashi to your Tonkatsu sauce.