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

Takoyaki Recipe ingredients

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 Prep

Takoyaki chopped ingredients

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 takoyaki pan

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. 

Cooking takoyaki batter

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.Flipping takoyaki

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

round takoyaki balls

Takoyaki Recipe

Yield: 24-26 pieces
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

How to make takoyaki Recipe or Octopus balls



  • 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
  • Topping
  • 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


    1. Takoyaki ingredients 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.
    2. Takoyaki batter and fillings 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. 
    3. Turning the takoyaki 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. 
    4. round takoyaki ballsUse 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. 
    5. takoyaki balls 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.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

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    1. Hello Erlene! I just wanted to ask one question. Is it really okay to use Tonkatsu sauce instead of Takoyaki sauce? I can’t find takoyaki sauce available in our stores so I only have Tonkatsu as an option. Does the taste similar? Thank you in advance and thank you for sharing this great recipe with us!

      1. You could, but the taste will be different since Tonkatsu sauce has oyster sauce in it and Takoyaki sauce doesn’t. You can try making Takoyaki sauce since it’s only sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and Japanese soup base sauce.

    2. I haven’t had the chance to try Japanese food, but I wouldn’t mind trying this. Your special pan reminds me of one I have to make ebelskivers, a puffed pancake type pastry my grandmother and aunt always made for us growing up.

    3. We love seafood, but have never tried octopus before! Your recipe looks easy and delicious. I might need to surprise my family and give it a try! Pinned!

    4. Thank you for an excellent tutorial! We love sea food, but don’t know that we’ve ever had octopus. Reading thru the comments, it sounds like there is quite a bit of flexibility for the ingredients. I’m not sure what’s available here in Arkansas, but now I want to see what can be found. We love trying new-to-us things. -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

    5. I have never heard of this and you made me want to try something different. Thanks for sharing and for hosting our challenge. I really enjoyed being part of the group!

    6. I tasted octopus many years ago at my son’s multi-cultural school festival and I think I thought it was an acquired taste – at least for me. But your recipe seems delicious and I like that you can substitute shrimp for the octopus.

    7. I’m not familiar with takoyaki, but I love trying new foods! This has my mouth watering. Thanks for sharing, and thanks especially for coordinating this fun blog hop!

    8. I’d lick the screen because I love octopus! We have a typical dish called “pulpo a la gallega” and it’s amazing. I’ve never heard about takoyaki and we don’t have to many Asian shops around here but I’ll pin it because you never know!

    9. I had never heard of Takoyaki but I used to loved calamari; does octopus have a similar texture to squid? It does look yummy. Pinned.

    10. I’ve never had octopus, but my daughter in law who is Japanese has mentioned having it. I asked her once to describe its taste and she just said it’s unique. Your recipe makes a pretty presentation!

      1. I think if you’ve never had it, the texture of this could be interesting. Octopus texture is similar to squid, but the inside of takoyaki is kind of creamy and one might think it’s under cooked. I’m used to it, so I love it 🙂

    11. You do such a nice job explaining how to make this. I feel like you are writing to me (someone who has no background on authentic Asian cuisine). And the tips make it even better! Would really like to try this…will need to buy the pan first.