Take is the Japanese word octopus - it's not an extremely popular seafood in the UK, but it really should be! If we had Takoyaki vendors lining the streets of the UK they'd do so well making this popular and addictive snack. Takoyaki is one of the most popular fast food options in Japan, but it's a far flung idea from a greasy burger - Takoyaki features tender octopus encased in a savory dough, which is baked to crisp perfection and topped with delicious sauces and tasty bonito flakes!
Takoyaki may look daunting to make, especially since the best seem to form perfect spheres due to a special pan design - however, you can make takoyaki at home too, and it's just as delicious even when it's not perfectly formed.
Even if you've never tried octopus before, takoyaki is a great place to start as the seafood is mixed into the tasty dough making it quite a mild flavour.
Let's get going!
Here's what you'll need:
How to make Takoyaki:
To make the batter, mix together the dashi, eggs, soy sauce, salt and flour. Whisk together to ensure there aren't any lumps.
Now, if you don't have a takoyaki pan you can use a muffin tin or a yorkshire pudding tray - your takoyaki won't have the traditional shape, but they'll taste great all the same! Use a piece of kitchen roll to coat each hole in your tray with vegetable oil, and add a little to the bottom of each hole too - maybe just a millimeter deep. Place the oiled tray in the oven to ensure the oil is piping hot before you add the batter.
Next mix the octopus and spring onions into the batter - you can coat them lightly in flour if you don't want them to all fall to the bottom of the pan. Fill each hole in your hot tray carefully with the finished batter mix, then sprinkle the red pickled ginger on top.
Place in the oven for 3-5 minutes, but watch it carefully. check regularly, and when the takoyaki are starting to brown on the bottom, turn them over using a pair of chopsticks to cook the other side.
Cook for a further 5-10 minutes. Takoyaki are not traditionally cooked in the oven, but this method is more suited for the everyday cook!
When done, top with Nori flakes, bonito flakes and okonomiyaki sauce, and maybe even some Japanese mayo!