How to make Takoyaki

Takoyaki are ball-shaped dumplings that are made of a wheat flour-based batter and filled with diced octopus, thus the name "baked octopus".  It was first popularized in Osaka, however, it's popularity gradually reached Kantō area and later rest of the country. It is often sold as a street food and you can always find a stall selling takoyaki when there's a festival. There are also some restaurants specialized in takoyaki, but you can find it also in supermarkets or convenience stores. If you were to bake it yourself, here are some simple instructions.
You will need:
  • takoyaki-ko (たこ焼き粉)  - dashi-flavored batter,
  • eggs,
  • boiled octopus,
  • beni shōga (紅しょうが) - pickled red ginger,
  • green onion
  • tenkatsu (天かす) - tempura scraps
  • takoyaki sauce - similar to Worcestershire sauce,
  • mayonnaise,
  • katsuobushi (鰹節) - bonito flakes.

You will also need pan molded into several half-balls. Prepare the batter according to instructions on the packing but usually, you just put eggs and water and mix it thoroughly with takoyaki-ko. Pour the batter up to the very top of the pan and add dices of octopus to each half-ball. Scatter some onion and bits of red ginger all over the pan.

After about 7 minutes of baking, divide each half-ball using a skewer. If the batter seems baked at the bottom of the pan, try to turn it around with the skewer. Shove all of the batter that falls from the ball and form it into nice balls.
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Once it is baked properly from each side (and still quite soft in the middle), you can put them on a plate. Some takoyaki places tend to serve it in a boat-shaped plate. Put some takoyaki sauce, mayonnaise and bonito flakes. The heat should make the flakes entertain you with little dance-like movements.
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Simon Happy