2 years ago, we went to Japan for 18 days with a 3 day stopover in Osaka where takoyaki was popularized. Throughout Dontombori street, we saw numerous takoyaki vendors selling freshly made takoyaki on demand and they were absolutely delicious! What were we to do but buy a takoyaki maker when we got back to Canada so we can make our own?
The great thing about having your own takoyaki maker is this:
- There’s no need to pay $10 for just half a dozen of mediocre takoyaki balls with barely any octopus in it
- You can control the amount and quality of the ingredients that go in there
- It’s always fresh!
- They’re super fun to make 🙂
One of the key ingredients you’ll need for takoyaki is of course, the tako (or octopus in English). Let’s take a moment to admire the beauty of this octopus tentacle we got at our local Japanese town (J-Town).Ohhh yess. The other beauty about making your own takoyaki is that although the cost of the actual octopus tentacle can be quite high, you can make 3x the amount of takoyaki you would normally order at a restaurant given the same price! I’m not sure why we’re not selling these to be honest because I think these would sell fast at a night market.
The takoyaki isn’t hard to make. In fact the ingredients are fairly simple – I would say the hardest ingredient to readily have on hand is the dashi stock but you can make that ahead of time. It does take some time for the dough to cook thoroughly so don’t expect it to be ready right away. My favourite part about making the takoyaki is turning it when one of their sides is cooked and slowly forming the takoyaki ball. You’ll know they’re ready when you take a skewer and scrape around the side of the takoyaki mold and they turn 90 degrees easily. This is such a fun dish to make, everyone should try it 😀
Makes ~30 pieces. Total cook & prep time ~20 mins.
- 2 cups Dashi stock
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp of all purpose flour
- 1-2 long green onions, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced pickled red ginger
- 5oz octopus, cubed
- Takoyaki/Okonomiyaki Sauce
- Japanese mayo (comes in a squeeze bottle)
- Green dried seaweed & Bonito Flakes for garnish
- 2 wooden skewers to turn and tuck the takoyaki batter
1. Combine dashi, eggs, soy sauce, salt, and flour into a bowl and whisk to combine. Pour the batter into a glass pyrex measuring cup or something with a spout so that it’s easy to pour the batter into the takoyaki molds later.
2. Using a paper towel or a pastry brush, oil the takoyaki maker to prevent the batter from sticking. Then, pre-heat the takoyaki maker. You’ll know it is ready when you add a drop of takoyaki batter to the maker and it starts cooking right away.
3. Once the maker is hot enough, pour the the batter into the individual takoyaki molds. It’s okay if it spills over a little bit because you can either tuck it in or pull it off later with the skewers. Then, quickly drop a piece of octopus into each mold and sprinkle each one with a bit of pickled red ginger and green onions.
4. Once you see the sides cooked, take your skewer and try to turn the takoyaki by scraping the sides of the mold (as if you were trying to remove it). If it turns easily, it’s ready to be rotated 90 degrees so that it looks like half the ball is standing. If it’s still stuck, give it more time to cook. Use this time to remove the excess batter around the mold or tuck it in to the takoyaki itself.
5. Once the takoyaki is rotated, fill in the rest of the mold with more batter and allow to cook. Repeat steps 4 & 5 until all sides of the takoyaki are cooked. You’ll know the takoyaki is ready when you poke the takoyaki and there’s a light bounce/resistance to the touch.
6. Take the takoyaki out and place it on a plate or paper boat to serve. Squeeze or brush some takoyaki or okonomiyaki sauce over the fresh takoyaki and sprinkle on the dried seaweed and bonito flakes while it’s still hot to see the flakes move.
7. Take a picture and enjoy!