Takoyaki is a ball-shaped snack made of wheat flour-based batter and octopus. It originated in Osaka and spread across Japan. You can now find it in street markets, convenience stores, and restaurants all over the country.
Takoyaki is crispy on the outside, a little moist on the inside; it’s light and savory, but very filling. Making it starts with a better that’s poured into a takoyaki maker. This is a cooking tool that kind of looks like a cross between a pan and an egg carton. While the bottom of the takoyaki cooks, you put octopus (plus other mix-ins of choice) into the takoyaki. The takoyaki is then flipped to form a sphere. Once done, it’s transferred to a container and topped with sauces and garnishes.
If it’s not yet obvious, this takoyaki recipe is not authentic. Aside from the shape, there are certain ingredients that make takoyaki what it is. And a lot of it isn’t accessible locally. That said, this recipe produces the same flavor using ingredients that you can easily find online or in a nearby supermarket.
- 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp white sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ cup chicken stock or dashi
- ½ tbsp vinegar
- ½ cup + 2 tbsp soda water, cold
- 1 large egg
- neutral oil, for frying
- 2 tbsp ginger, grated
- ⅓ cup spring onions
- ¼ cup cooked baby shrimp
- ¼ cup crab meat
- ¼ cup cooked squid, cut into ½-inch pieces
- Kewpie mayonnaise
- takoyaki sauce
- bonito flakes
- aonori (dried seaweed)
Make pancake batter: Combine all-purpose flour, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder in a bowl. Slowly mix in chicken stock, vinegar, and egg. Add soda water and continue mixing until lump-free. Fold in the ginger, spring onions, baby shrimp, crab meat, and squid. Chill batter in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Cook pancakes: Heat oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Once oil is hot, scoop about 2 tablespoons of batter onto the pan to make mini-sized pancakes. Once bubbles start to appear on the wet batter, flip the pancake to cook the other side. Repeat with the rest of the batter, transferring to a plate once done.
Garnish and serve: Drizzle pancakes with mayonnaise and takoyaki sauce on top. Garnish with bonito flakes and aonori before serving.