RECIPE: Takoyaki

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TAKOYAKI

Takoyaki is a very popular Japanese fast food snack which is made from grilled balls of batter with a small piece of octopus inside. Admittedly, “octopus balls” doesn’t sound amazingly appetizing, but once you try these, you will finally found what has been missing in your life… they really taste that good!

Originating from Osaka, takoyaki is one of the most common foods you will see there, as well as at festivals and special events all over the Japan.

Now you don’t have to wander down the backstreets of Osaka next time you fancy some authentic takoyaki, simply follow our recipe and make yourself this delicious snack at any time.


INGREDIENTS

• Fresh Boiled Octopus
Benishoga Red Pickled Ginger
• Chopped Negi Spring Onion
Tenkasu Tempura Flakes
Aonori Green Seaweed Sprinkles
Katsuobushi Fish Flakes
Takoyaki Sauce
Mayonnaise
Dashi Stock (for the batter mix)
• Flour, Eggs, Water (for the batter mix)
Okonomiyaki Powder (for the batter mix if you cheat and don’t want to make your own)
Takoyaki Grill Plate

HOW TO PREPARE

1. Start by creating the batter. Grab a large bowl and mix together 2 eggs, 200g of flour, 450ml of water and a little dashi stock. Set this aside while we prepare for the fun bit.

2. You will need a special Takoyaki grill plate for this! Place your takoyaki plate on the hob and heat up a small amount of oil in each hole.

takoyaki

3. Cut up your octopus into small pieces, but try to get one of those little suckers on each piece for authenticity! :) Place a piece of octopus in each of the semi circle holes and then fill up to the top of the hole with your batter mix. You can even overflow the batter out of the hole to make it easier to flip them later.

4. Now you can add the chopped spring onion, red pickled ginger and tempura flakes to each hole. The amount you add is up to you, but only a small amount of each will give enough flavour.

5. Once the takoyaki are about half cooked, you will need to flip them over. The best way to do this is to use a small wooden skewer to poke the outside of the batter and flip is over within the hole. This takes a bit of practice to get done smoothly so keep trying if you are making a mess!

6. You can usually only flip each takoyaki about three quarters of the way round so allow it to cook a little more before flipping it again. By now, all your takoyaki should be round so keep rotating them in the holes to make sure that they cook evenly on all sides.

7. When your takoyaki are a nice golden colour they are finished cooking.

8. Place a few takoyaki on a plate and smother them with loads of takoyaki sauce and Japanese mayonnaise. Then sprinkle a bit of aonori seaweed and and some katsuobushi flakes on top and enjoy. Be warned, don’t burn your mouth by eating them too soon though as takoyaki are HOT!

OTHER TIPS AND INFORMATION

- Try experimenting with different toppings. The image above shows takoyaki with just the takoyaki sauce and aonori, but adding mayonnaise and katsuobushi is very popular and makes it taste great. You can even use a citrus based soy sauce called ponzu for a sharp taste if you like.

- Takoyaki sauce is very similar to both Okonomiyaki sauce and Yakisoba sauce so you can use either of those with no problem if you can’t find takoyaki sauce.

- If you don’t like octopus, you can try making takoyaki with different ingredients such as chicken. Vegetarians can replace the octopus with vegetables like shiitake mushrooms. You can even make a sweet takoyaki with chocolate, but it might be recommended to use a different topping than mayonnaise for these! :)