Takoyaki is one of the most popular street foods in the Kansai region of Japan. Traditionally these balls are filled with octopus (tako) but in recent times ingredients such as prawn, crab, sausage, mochi and cheese have invaded the takoyaki menu.
The best takoyaki pans are made heavy cast iron, as these are best for even heat distribution. The pan must be properly seasoned before first use and whenever the pan starts to stick.
Serves: 60 balls
Preparation time: 5 mins + resting time for batter
Cooking time: 5 mins
Ingredients for batter
- 300g plain flour
- 3 eggs
- 1 heaped tablespoon kuzu or other starch
- 1 litre pre made dashi stock
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp Japanese soy sauce
- 1 ½ cups finely diced cabbage
- 1 ½ cups finely sliced shallots – green part only
Ingredients for topping
- Kezuribushi – bonito flakes – choose the thin small variety
- Mayo – Japanese preferably
- Takoyaki sauce
- Powdered nori – optional
- Double sift flour into bowl.
- Add kuzu, eggs, soy sauce and mix.
- Slowly add the stock and whisk well until the mixture is smooth. It should have the consistency of thin cream.
- Add shallots and cabbage, mix and let the batter rest for an hour in the fridge. You can use the batter straight away but a rested batter produces better results.
- After the batter has rested, heat the pan on high and oil well with rice bran oil or vegetable oil.
- Mix the batter and pour into the takoyaki pan half way up each takoyaki mould. Add a piece of octopus or alternate ingredients in each of the moulds and cover with more batter until overflowing.
- When the batter starts to set a little scrape the excess with a skewer back into each ball.
- As the bottom of each mould browns , spin with a turning spike with the uncooked side down. Keep turning until the balls are formed and are a nice crisp brown all the way round yet still a little gooey in the middle.
- Serve with a splash of takoyaki sauce, Japanese mayo, some nori and some kezuribushi flakes.
- Some parts of each grill may be hotter than others so keep swapping the balls around to cook evenly.
- Stir the batter between each batch so you get an even amount of shallots and cabbage in each ball.
- Try and use fresh octopus. To cook octopus, just put in salted boiling water for about 4 minutes and let cool down naturally. Do not shocking ice water otherwise it will become tough.
- Oil the pan between batches.
Do you like your takoyaki more crispy or soggy?
© 2010 Chef’s Armoury Japanese Knives