Tako means octopus in Japanese, and takoyaki are known as octopus balls. I’ve been told that takoyaki street venders are very popular in Japan. The first time I had takoyaki was a couple years ago, when I went to visit some friends who were from Osaka. They served these crispy battered balls with mystery meat and scallions inside. The outside was crunchy, the inside springy with a delicious filling. The flavor was of a savory crepe, but shaped like a round ball. To make takoyaki, they used a grill pan with at least a dozen small cups in which to pour the batter. The easy way to make these is by using a pre-mixed takoyaki flour sold at Japanese markets. Its basically wheat flour, dashi and egg and you add water. The one I found used MSG, so I made my own with gluten free flours. - edamame2003 —edamame2003
Test Kitchen Notes
You must make these as soon as possible. I am not kidding. I cannot remember the last time I cooked something so wonderful, so different and so much fun! Admittedly, my Asian cooking skills are minimal, and you could probably develop a sitcom pilot based on my search for the utensils and the ingredients (in the end I realized I made it much more difficult than need be), but once assembled, it couldn't have been easier. Making the dashi from the kelp and the dried bonita flakes was a snap, and Edamame2003's mix of gluten-free flours results in a springy batter that crisps up beautifully on the outside and is the perfect cradle for the filling of diced calamari and green onions. The simple dipping sauce of mayonnaise and Worchestershire was a delightful accompaniment; we also offered some soy sauce with pickled ginger. I am looking forward to making these again! —wssmom
- Makes 2 takoyaki pans (28)
brown rice flour
sweet rice flour
2 1/2 cups
dashi broth (instant dashi without MSG at the Japanese market OR the broth of dried seaweed and bonito flakes)
boiled octopus or calamari (the more sustainable choice), diced
roasted seaweed for topping
mayo & worcestershire mix for dipping
takoyaki pan (mine makes 14 at a time)
- Mix flour, dashi broth and eggs in a bowl to make the batter. The consistency is like a crepe batter or potato leek soup.
- I used a napkin dipped in a tiny bit of oil to non-stick the takoyaki pan. Pour batter into the cups to the top--don’t worry if batter spills over the half circles.
- Put octopus and green onion in each half circle.
- Grill takoyaki balls, turning with a skewer. (Let it set at the bottom, and turn them on their side, at 90 degree angles until a full circle has formed).
- When takoyaki becomes round and brown, remove them from the pan and place in a plate. It took almost 20 minutes for each pan of 14 balls. This recipe makes 2 pans. Top with seaweed and serve with sauces.