Takoyaki is a ball-shaped Japanese snack made of a wheat flour-based batter and cooked in a special takoyaki pan. It is typically filled with minced or diced octopus, tempura scraps, pickled ginger, and green onion. Takoyaki are brushed with takoyaki sauce and mayonnaise, and then sprinkled with green laver and shavings of dried bonito.
A street vendor by the name of Tomekichi Endo found himself sampling an “akashiyaki” treat in Hyogo Prefecture in 1935, came up with the idea to improve upon the dumpling and make a fortune. And he did. He still used octopus as an ingredient, but he changed the “akashiyaki” recipe from an egg-laced batter to that of a wheat-flour based batter. And takoyaki was born.
Takoyaki is a comfort food for many Japanese people. Children love it, people eat it at festivals and with friends, and it’s even served at rest areas off of the highway. These days many households have electric takoyaki molds for making the snacks at home.
If you’d like to try making it yourself, this recipe below has been used many times, of course, you’ll need a takoyaki pan, though some have used a cake pop maker, and said it works well.
- 2 cups (480ml) Dashi
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 2-3 green onions, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp Benishoga (pickled red ginger), chopped
- 5-6 oz octopus, cut into 1/2″ cubes
- Takoyaki sauce or Okonomiyaki sauce
- Aonori (green dried seaweed)
- Katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)
- In a large bowl, mix well Dashi, eggs, soy sauce, salt, and flour with a whisk.
- Heat a Takoyaki pan with oil to very hot, just until the oil begins to smoke. Use enough oil to coat the pan using a paper towel so that the batter won’t stick. Then pour batter to fill the holes of the pan.
- Drop octopus pieces in the batter in each hole, and sprinkle chopped green onions and ginger all over the pan.
Cook at medium heat for 1-2 minutes and turn over using a Takoyaki turner (you can use a chopstick too). It can be a little tricky at first, so watch the video to see the technique. Cook another 3-4 minutes, turning constantly.
- Place the cooked Takoyaki on a plate and pour Takoyaki sauce and mayo over them (to taste).
- Finish the dish by sprinkling the Takoyaki with Aonori (green dried seaweed) and Katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes).
(Recipe source: http://www.japanesecooking101.com/takoyaki-recipe/)