Closely related to Okonomiyaki (a flour-based batter savory pancake), Takoyaki is another popular street snack available widely in Japan. Hailed from Osaka, they both use similar ingredients. However, unlike Okonomiyaki which resembles a giant pancake, Takoyaki is grilled on a special iron plate with small round wells. Hence, their signature shape is in the form of little round balls.
Since I’ve gotten a few requests for Takoyaki, I got into the kitchen and made these deeply flavored grilled octopus balls over the weekend. Oh, it helped that my Takoyaki grill pan arrived timely as well.
What you get in every Takoyaki ball are pieces of chewy octopus and melt-in-your-mouth batter. Making them at home means you can get to add in extra ingredients to your heart content. If you are not a fan of octopus, feel free to substitute with shrimp or other type of seafood or even meat.
100 g cake flour / plain flour
1 tsp soy sauce
1/8 tsp salt
½ tsp dashi powder + 340 ml cold water
1 egg – beaten
80 g boiled octopus – cut into small bite size pieces (if unavailable, substitute with shrimp)
2 tbsp bonito powder (optional)
2 tbsp pickled ginger (beni shoga)
2 stalks spring onion – chopped finely
4 tbsp fried tempura flour (Otafuku Ikaten Ri Tenkasu)
Aonori flakes (green seaweed flakes)
Makes 24 takoyaki balls
Recipe adapted from: Cooking with Dog
Mix dashi powder with water and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, dashi water and mix well.
Add in soy sauce, beaten egg and whisk until combined.
Generously grease the takoyaki pan and set it on the gas stove on medium low heat.
Pour the batter into the holes fully. If you like large takoyaki, fill the pan fully with the batter.
Distribute octopus, bonito powder, pickled ginger, tempura flour and spring onions into each batter.
Using two bamboo skewers, flip the takoyaki balls and shape them into balls. Fill with more batter if necessary.
Cook until golden brown.
Remove the balls and place onto a plate.
Drizzle with okonomiyaki sauce, mayonnaise, seaweed flakes and bonito flakes.