A must try Takoyaki Recipe if you are a lover of Japanese street food! Takoyaki is a Japanese street food that originated in Osaka city. However, due to its popularity amongst the Japanese population, Takoyaki can be found pretty much anywhere in Japan.
Takoyaki is usually served as a street food and the most common place to buy it, is from a street vendor at a local park or at one of the many Japanese seasonal festivals. Street vendors will set up small pop up food stalls to sell their delicious Takoyaki balls. You may also find Takoyaki listed on menus at Japanese Izakaya restaurants.
And what is Takoyaki’s best friend (according to my husband)? Beer or course, and Japanese Whiskey Highballs. If you visit Tokyo, you will for sure see a standing bar with people enjoying beer, highballs, and Takoyaki. These are food shops which specialize in Takoyaki. Gindaco is a very famous and well known Takoyaki shop and can be found throughout Japan.
Takoyaki has also started to become popular, even outside of Japan. Gindaco has recently expanded in overseas markets, such as Hong Kong and the United States. One of the US locations I’m familiar with, is in the city of Gardena, which is a city with a large Japanese population in Los Angeles. If you live in or around the Los Angeles area, you should definitely check it out and experience this popular Japanese street food!
I have experience working at Takoyaki shops in Japan with many hours of experience making Takoyaki. This is an authentic recipe I created based on my experience working in Takoyaki shops. I’ve added some steps and tips to make the result better.
What’s inside these Takoyaki balls?
The contents inside Takoyaki can vary from shop to shop but usually consists of octopus, Tenkasu (tempura flakes), Negi (spring onion), Benishoga (pickled red ginger). But you can also substitute different ingredients in place of octopus if you want. For example shrimp or scallops.
This recipe uses Japanese mayonnaise as one of the ingredients. If you can’t get Japanese mayonnaise, you can easily make it yourself with this recipe:
Organic Japanese Mayonnaise
I hope you enjoy making Takoyaki with my recipe!
Authentic Takoyaki Recipe (Japanese Octopus Balls)
- Takoyaki Pan
- Oil Brush
- Cooking Chopsticks
- Measuring Cup with Spout
- Mixing Bowl (Large)
- Olive Oil Extra virgin
- Cut the octopus into roughly 1/2 inch cube size.
- Chop the spring onion into small pieces.
- Chop the red pickled ginger into small pieces.
- Beat the egg in a large mixing bowl.
- Add water and Tsuyu-no-moto to your large bowl and mix well.
- Add flour and dashi powder into the bowl and mix well until no dried (clumped) flour remains.
- Place some batter into the measuring cup to get ready to pour it. Set this aside.
- Place the takoyaki grill pan on the stove on medium heat.
- Place a small amount of oil in the individual holes with the oiling brush and also coat the other surfaces of the pan with some oil as well.
- When the pan is heated, pour the batter into each hole about half way full (we will add more later).
- Place a piece of octopus into each hole.
- And some tempura flakes, spring onion, and red pickled ginger into each hole.
- Fill up each hole with the batter and let it overflow out of the hole. But be sure not to pour too much, that it overflows from the pan. The goal is to cover the entire top portion of the pan without overflowing onto the counter/grill top.
- Flip the Takoyaki Balls:Once the batter outside the holes starts to look like it's not liquid anymore, it's time to flip those half balls over within the hole. This is where the skill comes into play. To do this you will be testing your chopstick skills. Use one of the chopsticks to hook the outside cooked part of the half ball on the opposite side from you. Hook from the inside of the ball angle and try to flip it by dragging the point in the direction towards you. For example: in a circular motion, swipe the ball around to flip it over.Then, use your chopsticks to push some of the half cooked batter around the hole on the surface of the pan, into the hole that you just flipped.Repeat this process for each Takoyaki ball.This process might take a little practice to be able to do it smoothly but don't worry, you will get there eventually 🙂 I will also create a video showing how to do this, as it's quite difficult to explain in text.Please Note: If you can’t turn the Takoyaki easily, it probably needs to cook for a bit longer. Let it cook longer and try again. This is often the mistake most people make. Practice makes perfect!* The picture is an example image.
- You can usually only flip each ball about 2/3 of the way around, so allow it to cook a bit more before flipping it again. The balls will become easier to turn the more they cook.
- Once all the balls start to look like actual balls (refer to picture), then add more oil outside of the holes onto the pan evenly to let it seep into each hole to make the outside of the balls get a crunchy texture by lightly deep frying in the oil. Note: Don't put too much oil.
- Keep rotating them in the holes until they turn a golden brown color on all sides. Make sure they are cooked evenly.
- Congratulations! Now you successfully made the Takoyaki balls! Now move on to dress them 🙂
- Place Takoyaki on a plate and drizzle with Takoyaki sauce and Japanese Mayonnaise. Then sprinkle some Aonori and some Katsuobushi on top of them. They are gonna have the best look if you follow this order 😉
- Time to eat! But be careful not to burn your mouth, the insides are really hot! Allow them to cool a little, but definitely enjoy them while they are still hot. The trick is to bite into the side of the ball and let the steam release, blow to cool down and then enjoy the goodness!Ita-daki-masu! (Japanese greeting word to say right before you eat. It means "thank you for the food!")
If you want to try with a different taste…
Alternative Version 1: Dashi soy sauce with spring onion (My favorite way to have Takoyaki <3)
- You can swap Takoyaki sauce with special Dashi soy sauce and add some chopped spring onion with the rest of the toppings.
- Mix Tsuyu-no-moto with water. (Ratio 3:1)
- Add Dashi powder to it and mix well, and this becomes the Dashi soy sauce.
- Chop the spring onion into small pieces.
- Pour the Dashi sauce onto your Takoyaki, then cover them with the chopped onion.
- Drizzle with Japanese Mayonnaise, then sprinkle some Aonori and some Katsuobushi on top of them. Hmmmm, yum!
Alternative Version 2: Ponzu
- You can swap Takoyaki sauce with Ponzu and put the rest of the same toppings on top of it as you desire.
Alternative Version 3: Mayonnaise Seafood-yaki (This goes well with both Takoyaki sauce and Dashi soy sauce.)
- Instead of octopus, add shrimp/scallop with a drop of Japanese mayonnaise. (The rest of the instructions stays the same.)
Alternative Version 4: Bacon Cheese-yaki (This goes well with both Takoyaki sauce and Dashi soy sauce as well.)
- Instead of octopus, add small diced bacon with some shredded cheese. (The rest of the instructions stays the same.)
If you need any of the ingredients listed above, I made this Takoyaki shopping list for you.
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