Welcome to the February Pinterest Challenge and a delicious takoyaki recipe that I often make as snacks for my teens.
If this is your first time visiting the Pinterest Challenge Blog Hop, it’s all about encouraging and motivating the participants of this hop (and you too) to not just pin, but to make it happen! You can visit my other Pinterest Challenge posts and see what pins inspired me at the end of the post, so make sure to check those out too!
Takoyaki Recipe – tako (octopus) yaki (grilled/fried over direct heat)
Growing up, my dad would catch octopus (tako) and my mom would boil it for eating. Nothing fancy since most of the ingredients to make takoyaki weren’t readily available at the time. Now, there are lots of Asian markets and the ingredients are easy to buy, so I make this whenever I can!
Takoyaki (grilled/fried octopus balls) originated in Osaka in the 1930’s. It’s now a popular street food in Japan with regional/city variations. Takoyaki is basically cut octopus inside a battered fried ball, which is then topped with a taykoyaki sauce, mayo, and bonito (shaved fish flakes). For the recipe, I was inspired by this pin —>>> Takoyaki Recipe Pin.
Takoyaki Ingredients & Supplies
If you’ve never bought takoyaki ingredients, I’m including pictures so you have an idea what to look for at your local Asian market. In the picture, aonori (seaweed topping), kastuoboshi or bonito flakes (dried, shaved fish flakes), benishouga (pickled red ginger), takoyaki sauce, and Japanese mayo. Buy the Kewpie brand, not the one in the picture. The Kewpie brand has a big baby on the package and comes with a flip lid that makes it easier to garnish the takoyaki balls. Also, you will need a takoyaki pan (I have the gas stove version) and picks.
Takoyaki cooks up really fast, so there are a few things that should be prepped before beginning. Having the batter mixed and the green onions, pickled red ginger (beni shouga), and octopus cut will make cooking takoyaki a lot easier.
Note: Takoyaki batter is very thin. When poured into a takoyaki pan, it will produce a slightly crisp outside and a soft, creamy inside.
Cooking Takoyaki & Tips
Heat up the takoyaki pan on medium heat and add oil. Most recipes will say to brush the pan with oil, but I cheat and use vegetable oil spray. Make sure to spray the entire takoyaki pan.
Drop a piece of octopus into each hole and fill with batter, letting a bit of batter spill out. Then, quickly sprinkle chopped pickled ginger and green onions over the entire pan.
Note: The original recipe calls for tenkasu (fried flour bits) and ground bonito flakes, but this can be omitted entirely from the recipe. For me, ground bonito flakes inside the takoyaki can make it too salty and the tenkasu doesn’t really add any flavor. Instead, I prefer to use bonito flakes and tenkasu (adds crunch) as toppings.
When the spilled batter begins to cook (think pancakes), use a bamboo skewer or takoyaki picks to gather and move the batter into the takoyaki ‘holes’. Don’t worry about it looking messy, it will become round when the balls are flipped. Next, instead of a 180 degree turn, I only do a half turn (personal preference). The uncooked batter will spill out into the hole and begin to fill the circle and form a ball. When all the balls are turned, turn it again to form a full round ball. Lower the heat to medium low and continue to cook for another 5-6 minutes or until the balls do not cave when picked up. Rotate the balls if needed.
Tip: If the takoyaki are cooking too fast, lower the heat (medium low) to prevent burning.
Tip: To turn the takoyaki the first turn, insert the pick/skewer into the edge of the takoyaki ball and push down and towards whatever side you wish to turn the ball.
Once all the takoyaki balls are cooked, place on a plate or bowl. Cover with takoyaki sauce, Japanese mayo, bonito flakes, and aonori. This is best served and eaten immediately while still warm. A warning though, the insides will be HOT! So let it cool slightly before shoving this into your mouth.
To grab the original recipe, click here —>>> PIN & RECIPE LINK.
- 1 cup AP flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/2 tsp. hondashi
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp. soy sauce
- 24 - 26 cut pieces octopus (tako)
- 1 Tbsp. chopped pickled red ginger (beni shouga)
- 2-3 stalks chopped green onions
- takoyaki sauce (store bought Otafuku brand)
- Japanese mayonnaise (Kewpie brand)
- bonito flakes
- aonori (dried laver/seaweed)
- Oil cooking spray or oil to brush onto pan
- Prep - chop the green onions and pickled red ginger. Set aside. Cut 24-26 pieces of octopus about 1/2" pieces. Set aside. In a bowl, mix together the flour and baking soda. In a separate bowl with a pour spout, mix together the remaining ingredients. Add the flour mix into the wet and mix until there are no lumps. Set aside.
- Heat up the takoyaki pan over medium heat. Spray with a generous amount of cooking spray. Place a piece of octopus into each hole. Pour batter into each hole, letting a bit of the batter spill out. Sprinkle pickled ginger and green onions over the entire pan.
- After about 2 minutes or when the batter between the holes begins to set, use a skewer to break up the connecting batter and move/push into the holes. If the batter is cooking too fast, lower the heat to medium low.
- Use a skewer and turn the balls a half turn. The batter will spill out to begin to form a ball. Cook for 1 minute and turn again to form a complete ball. Continue to cook for about 5-6 minutes, making sure to continue to rotate the balls. If the balls easily collapse when trying to pick up, continue to cook for a bit longer.
- Once cooked, remove the balls and top with takoyaki sauce, Japanese mayo, aonori, and bonito flakes.
- Cook time may vary and may have to be adjusted depending on the stove.
- Octopus can be substituted with shrimp.
- Recipe makes about 24-26 takoyaki or enough to feed 4-5 people.
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