Takoyaki (Octopus Balls)

Takoyaki (たこ焼き) is one of the Japanese’s best known stress food. It’s Japanese snack in ball shape contains pieces of octopus. Some people may call it “Octopus Balls” or “Octopus Dumplings”. It is usually served with takoyaki sauce, which goes well with beer and other alcoholic drinks. Guess that’s why many Izakaya restaurants serve takoyaki on the menu.

There are so many variations of takoyaki throughout Japan. For example, the original Osaka-style does not include any cabbage, but many regional variations (Kyoto, Kobe, Tokyo areas) do. Apart from using traditional octopus filling, sometime I use cheese, sausage, mochi, lettuce or even kimchi to replace it. Try it on, I promise it won’t disappointed you.

img_7693

For vegetable lovers/ heather version, I would suggest you try with the combination with green onion, pickled red ginger, finest chopped lettuce, and finest chopped carrot. Let’s cook~

img_7690

Tips:

  • Fill the hole with the batter when you see smoke coming out of the grill. Don’t worry if you overflows. Entire grill plate should be covered with batter after adding the fillings in the hole. And this is one of the trick to form a perfect ball shape. If you use a bigger chunk of octopus pieces/ fillings, you might want to pour just enough to cover the top of the holes.  As soon as the filling goes in, it overflow naturally.
  • I was using a rectangular pan, so I break the connected batter by drawing a “+” on my pan to ensure individual ball have enough extra batter to create a full and around balls.
  • Break the extra batter (the overflow batter) around the holes with skewers/ takoyaki picks and stuff it into the hole is another trick to create a perfect ball shape. Once the bottom of takoyaki balls once it’s firmed, rotate/ flip the balls 90 degrees to let the uncooked batter pour out into the hole. Start stuffing and pushing the extra batter inside the balls. Once the balls are firmed, rotate another 90 degrees to give a better shape. Keep rotating the balls once it’s shaped to ensure they are browned evenly.
  • Some of the recipes may suggested rotate the ball once the bottom of the balls are crispy, this is not wrong at all and I think it’s better for people who first try to make takoyaki. The reason why I said rotate it once you can because I found it can create a softer texture of the inner part. When you keep rotating the balls after you shaped the balls, it can give you a crisper texture of the outer side which give you a crispy and soft balls texture.
  • Brush enough oil for each hole to bring the super crispy butter shell of the balls.

img_7694

Ingredients: (around 50 takoyaki)

  • 2 tbsp Pickled red ginger
  • 30g Tempura scraps
  • 1/2 cup Green onions
  • 1/3 cup Lettuce (optional)
  • 250g Cooked/ boiled octopus
  • 2 cups All-purpose flour
  • 4 tsp Baking powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 Soy sauce
  • 720ml Dashi
  • 7g Katsuobushi powder (if you are using Katsuobushi, grind it into fine powder.)
  • Oil for brushing the grill

Toppings:

  • Takoyaki sauce (sometime I use Okonomi sauce which gives a pretty good flavour as well)
  • Japanese mayonnaise (Kewipe mayonnaise)
  • Katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)
  • Aonori (dried green seaweed powder/flake)

Directions:

  1. Cut the lettuce (if you are using), red ginger, and green onion into finest small pieces.
  2. Chop the cooked octopus into small chucks/ bite size.
  3. Add the flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl and give a goos stir to combine all together.
  4. Add the eggs, dashi, and soy sauce in the bowl. Whisk all together until well-blended.
  5. Transfer the batter to a measuring cup or any other pitcher with a spout for easy pouring. (If you don’t have any of these, use a large spoon to pour the batter to the grill pan)
  6. Heat the takoyaki pan over medium heat. Generously brush the oil on the whole takoyaki pan, for both holes and flat areas. When you see smoke coming from the pan, pour the batter to fill the holes and slightly overflow the holes.
  7. Add 1-2 octopus pieces in each hole depending on its size and sprinkle dried bonito flakes powder on top. Then sprinkle the green onion, red ginger, lettuce, and tempura scraps.
  8. Once you add all the fillings, see if the flat areas of the pan is covered with batter or not. If not, pour a little more just about to cover the whole pan, but not too much/ too thick layer.
  9. After 1-2 minutes later, or when the bottom of the balls have hardened and firmed slightly, break the connected batter between each ball with skewers/ takoyaki picks. Then turn each ball a 90 degrees, and start stuffing the edges/ extra batter as you are turing.
  10. The uncooked batter should now flow out from the inside of each takoyaki ball and creates the other side of the ball. Wait until the bottom parts are set again, turn the ball again. Repeat the turn and stuff process until all the batter is stuffed to form a ball shape. The key to create a nice round shape is to keep turning constantly.
  11. Once it’s rounded and browned, transfer the takoyaki balls onto a serving plate and pour the takoyaki sauce, then mayonnaise. Finish off with sprinkling dried bonito flakes (not powder form) and dried green seaweed powder. Serve immediately, enjoy.

One Comment Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s