Takoyaki | Japan

Takoyaki is a Japanese based Street food that when prepared well can bring extreme flavors together that are sure to delight your tastebuds. This Japanese originated snack is more or less an octopus meat filled dumpling soft and crispy and rolled in one.

The soft meat in the center makes for a delicious and flavorful meat filled treat. But you don’t have to make this an octopus centered treat (pun intended). You can certainly use other substitutes in place of octopus meat, especially if you are not a fan of octopus.

So, in this recipe we will be sharing with you all how to make  an alternative to this octopus based snack.

Tools You Will Need

Takoyaki Pan (or an Æbleskiver Pan), we love this cast iron Æbleskiver Pan pictured below

A teaspoon

wooden skewer or knitting needle (if you have neither you can use a fork)

First, your batter ingredients:

1 1/3 cup all purpose flour

2 cups or 1 pint of water

2  medium eggs

1/8 tsp Dashi stock powder (fish stock cube or powder maybe substituted, but will lend a different flavor)

A pinch of onion powder

A pinch of ginger powder

1/2 tsp finely chopped spring onion mixed into batter

2 to 3 Tbsps Oil for frying or cooking Takoyaki

Second, your filling ingredients:

3/4 cup Calamari (squid meat) or shrimp – cooked & chopped (Chicken and for the vegans out there, shiitake mushrooms can be used as well)

1/2 Tbsp pickled ginger (minced)

1/2 shallot

3 Tbsps Tempura Flakes

2 Tbsps Panko

1 spring onion chopped

Prepping the filling:

1. Cook your choice of meat until tender or to desired softness.

2. We like to mix the meat and other ingredients together, so in a small bowl combine filling ingredients and add in your chopped cooked meat (shrimp and or calamari)- cooked accordingly until nice and tender – chop meat in medium to small chunks.

If you want to keep the meat dead on the center, then we suggest mixing your other filling ingredients separate from the meat and spoon them into the center of cooking batter then add a chunk of chopped meat into the center.

Third, the directions:

1. Preheat you Takoyaki pan on medium heat and add a few drop of oil in each well, then scoop about 2 tablespoons of batter into the preheated wells of your Takoyaki pan.

2. Using a teaspoon, spoon your filling mixture into the center of your batter already cooking in the well of your pan. Add your meat chunk into center of mix if you choose to scoop it in separate from the filling mixture.

3. Scoop about 1/2 a tablespoon to a tablespoon worth of batter on top and let mixture cook in wells until the batter around the edges of the wells start to darken and pull away slightly…now it’s time to turn.

Depending on how hot your pan is this will take about 1 min per side in order to cook to doneness or simply cook until medium brown.

You can choose to turn 4 times (left, then right, then top, and the bottom) if you want a perfectly rounded ball or you can simply flip over and cook top side of takoyaki and you will end up with a more flattened looking or compacted ball.

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It is best to use a wooden skewer to pick at the inner edge of the cooking Takoyaki, “hooking” it onto the skewer or a knitting needle and then pulling in desired direction quickly in order to turn. The batter will ooze out into the well creating a somewhat hollowed ball.

4. Keep rotating each Takoyaki ball to keep them from burning and to ensure each side is golden brown. Your total cooking time Will be about 4 minutes, especially, if cooking rounder Takoyaki.

5. Place freshly cooked Takoyaki on cooling rack and let them cool off slightly and serve them will warm! Dip the in your favorite sauce with a sprinkle of bonito flakes and or some seaweed powder.

You can serve these snack treats with your choice of or a mixture of any of these:

  • Takoyaki Sauce
  • Katsuobushi Bonito Flakes (dried, shaved pieces of Bonito Fish)
  • Seaweed powder (Aosa Nori or Seaweed is great for milder seaweed flavor)

Lastly, time to enjoy the fruits of your labor….

For your enjoyment always! TAKOYAKI! ??

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