Takoyaki, also known as octopus balls, is a Japanese dish consisting of minced octopus meat (tako), tempura scraps (tenkasu), pickled ginger (benishoga), and green onion (negi) in a wheat flour-based batter. It is then cooked in a unique molded pan in the shape of balls.
The cooked balls are then coated with takoyaki sauce and mayonnaise. Finally, green laver (aonori) and shavings of dried bonito (katsuobushi) are spread on top. Yaki derives from the word yaku, which refers to one of the cooking procedures in Japanese cuisine meaning “to grill”.
Origin & Cultural Significance
Takoyaki was first prepared by a street vendor in Osaka named Tomekichi Endo in 1935 and was inspired by the delicacy akashiyaki which is a small round dumpling prepared using an egg-rich batter and octopus. Takoyaki was originally famous in the Kansai area, and later expanded to the Kantō region and other regions of Japan.
The takoyaki that they originally prepared comprised of beef and konjac. It was later on that Endo substituted the fillings with the now traditional octopus. More recently, takoyaki is prepared with a greater variety of toppings and flavors due to its adoption in other countries around the world where it is continually evolving.
- 3 large eggs lightly beaten
- Instant dashi - 2 tsp
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- 4.25 cups cold water
- Soy sauce - 2 tsp
- All-purpose flour - 300g
- Boiled octopus (cubed) - 1/2 lb
- Green onions (sliced) - 1 bunch
- Benishoga/pickled ginger (if preferred)
- Tempura bits or rice krispies - 1 cup
- Shredded or cubed cheese (if preferred)
- Bonito flakes
- Takoyaki sauce
- Aonori or seaweed strips
- Begin by beating the eggs and adding water and stock granules to them. Combine the egg-water-dashi mixture with the flour and salt. Mix all the ingredients properly. Take the Takoyaki pan and heat it up. Brush the individual sections with oil or use a paper towel dipped in oil.
- Once the pan is hot, transfer the batter into the individual section sall the way to the top. It is completely fine if the batter overflows a little.
- Add green onions, protein, tempura bits or rice krispies, ginger, and shredded cheese (if preferred).
- After some time, the base of the takoyaki will be cooked completely. At this stage, you can flip them over 90 degrees using a skewer or two. If you’re not able to turn the takoyakis easily, it means they are not cooked properly and need to be kept a little longer to cook. If required, pour some more batter onto the balls to fill them up. Allow it to cook for about a minute and then turn it over again at 90 degrees. Keep in mind that you can easily turn the balls when they’re properly cooked.
- Once the takoyakis turn lightly brown and crispy on the outside, it means that they’re done. You can also flip them easily in their holes. Per batch, it can take you around 10-15 minutes.
- Transfer the takoyaki to a plate and spread Japanese mayonnaise and takoyaki sauce on top. Finish by topping it all off with some
bonito flakes and aonori, and voila!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 301Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 119mgSodium: 662mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 19g