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This is the Best Dinner Party Food Ever: an Easy Authentic Takoyaki Recipe to Make with Friends and Family

Posted June 21, 2019 by Stephanie

Takoyaki is THE PERFECT SNACK. I don’t know how many times Mike and I have stumbled home from a night out in Tokyo only to see the warm welcoming yellow lights and bright red awning of Gindado, Japan’s premier street side takoyaki stand. They’re the only ones open at 3 in the morning (okay, there are other places open, but for the purpose of this story, just pretend) and they are the ultimate drunk food. Crispy pan fried balls of savory seasoned batter filled with tender chunks of octopus, crispy tempura bits, and topped off with takoyaki sauce and seaweed. This is street food at its best: a la minute, fast, friendly, so bad for you, but oh-so-good.

And the best thing about takoyaki is that they aren’t just drunk food! Takoyaki feature prominently in Japanese street festivals and as home cooking. You can’t go to any street fair in Japan without seeing a takoyaki vendor. I love having takoyaki in the streets, but I almost kind of sort of like making it at home even more? It seems like Japanese people agree with me because if you ever take a look on the appliances floor of any major electronics store in Japan, you’ll see at-home takoyaki machines. They’re little portable machines that plug in, heat up, and have the perfect little half spherical depressions for making takoyaki. I did an informal poll of my friends living in Japan and almost all of them have one for the express purpose of making takoyaki at home.

Throw a Japanese takoyaki dinner party with this takoyaki, the ultimate Japanese street food at the table with friends and family. Interactive, fun, and delicious! Authentic takoyaki recipe #japanesefood #recipes #takoyaki #streetfood #japan #tokyo #howto

There’s something so fun and cozy about having a takoyaki party with family or friends. You pop a takoyaki machine in the middle of the table, get all the ingredients ready, then make takoyaki and eat and chat the day and night away. You can keep it interesting by having all different kinds of fillings and toppings so everyone can customize. You can even have a takoyaki-off where everyone creates their own and have a taste test to choose the winner.

If you’ve never made them before, it takes a little finesse, but that’s part of the fun. Sometimes Mike and I will have a takoyaki date, just the two of us and it’s kind of the. best because unlike the street vendors, you can put in whatever you like. I love tako (octopus) but we’ve also done chicken, shrimp, pork, beef, and even hot dogs. One variation we both love is taco takoyaki: seasoned ground beef, cheese, tomatoes – you know, all the good stuff from hard shell tacos, but inside a little takoyaki ball. I especially love cheese in takoyaki. It’s melty in the middle and gets crispy on the outside edges. Takoyaki heaven!

Takoyaki Tips

  1. Make the batter before hand. It can hangout in the fridge overnight even and all you need to do is give it a good stir every time you fill the takoyaki holes.
  2. Don’t skimp out on the oil. You need it to help crisp up the outside layer and make it easier to flip the balls.
  3. Use a lot of batter and top it up. When you watch professional takoyaki vendors, you’ll notice that they almost over fill the little holes, let the batter cook, then break everything up with skewers and stuff the excess back into the takoyaki ball. This makes the balls nice and round. You can also fill the holes halfway, put the fillings in, then, after the first turn, add a bit more batter to fill the ball out.
  4. Move the balls around. After all the balls are form and lightly grilled, feel free to move them around the pan. Home takoyaki pans tend to be uneven, so switching up the positions of the balls helps with even browning and crisping.

Happy takoyaki-ing!

PS – If you want to be super authentic, you can just go ahead and buy the packaged takoyaki flour. You just add eggs and water and personally it’s what we buy when we’re in Tokyo and I see lots of other families buying it too.

Throw a Japanese takoyaki dinner party with this takoyaki, the ultimate Japanese street food at the table with friends and family. Interactive, fun, and delicious! Authentic takoyaki recipe #japanesefood #recipes #takoyaki #streetfood #japan #tokyo #howto

Throw a Japanese takoyaki dinner party with this takoyaki, the ultimate Japanese street food at the table with friends and family. Interactive, fun, and delicious! Authentic takoyaki recipe #japanesefood #recipes #takoyaki #streetfood #japan #tokyo #howto

Throw a Japanese takoyaki dinner party with this takoyaki, the ultimate Japanese street food at the table with friends and family. Interactive, fun, and delicious! Authentic takoyaki recipe #japanesefood #recipes #takoyaki #streetfood #japan #tokyo #howto

Throw a Japanese takoyaki dinner party with this takoyaki, the ultimate Japanese street food at the table with friends and family. Interactive, fun, and delicious! Authentic takoyaki recipe #japanesefood #recipes #takoyaki #streetfood #japan #tokyo #howto

Throw a Japanese takoyaki dinner party with this takoyaki, the ultimate Japanese street food at the table with friends and family. Interactive, fun, and delicious! Authentic takoyaki recipe #japanesefood #recipes #takoyaki #streetfood #japan #tokyo #howto

Throw a Japanese takoyaki dinner party with this takoyaki, the ultimate Japanese street food at the table with friends and family. Interactive, fun, and delicious! Authentic takoyaki recipe #japanesefood #recipes #takoyaki #streetfood #japan #tokyo #howto

Throw a Japanese takoyaki dinner party with this takoyaki, the ultimate Japanese street food at the table with friends and family. Interactive, fun, and delicious! Authentic takoyaki recipe #japanesefood #recipes #takoyaki #streetfood #japan #tokyo #howto

Throw a Japanese takoyaki dinner party with this takoyaki, the ultimate Japanese street food at the table with friends and family. Interactive, fun, and delicious! Authentic takoyaki recipe #japanesefood #recipes #takoyaki #streetfood #japan #tokyo #howto

Authentic Takoyaki Recipe
makes about 60 balls


Batter

  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 1/4 cups cold water
  • 2 teaspoons dashi stock granules
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, about 300g

Filling

  • cubes of boiled octopus
  • sliced green onions
  • tempura bits or rice krispies
  • shredded or cubed cheese, if desired

Toppings

  • Japanese kewpie mayonaise
  • Takoyaki sauce (you can buy this in a bottle at most Asian groceries, it usually has a picture of takoyaki on the front)
  • bonito flakes
  • aonori (powdered seaweed) or seaweed strips

Beat the eggs and add the water, and stock granules. Add the egg-water mixture to the flour and salt and mix well.

Heat up your pan and oil the individual compartments with a oil brush or use a paper towel dipped in oil.

When the pan is hot, pour the batter into the individual compartments up to the top. Don’t worry if the batter over flows a bit. Add green onions, your protein, tempura bits or rice krispies, and shredded cheese (is using).

After a while, the bottom of the takoyakis will be cooked through. At this point, you can use a skewer to turn them over 90 degrees. If you can’t turn the takoyaki easily, it probably needs to cook for a bit longer. If needed, add a bit more batter to the balls to fill them up. Let cook for a minute or so and then do another 90 degree turn. The balls will become easier to turn the more they cook.

The takoyaki are done when they’re lightly brown and crispy on the outside and they turn easily in their holes. Overall I’d say it takes about 10-15 minutes per batch, from start to finish, depending on how crispy or soft you like your takoyaki.

To serve, place the takoyaki on a plate and drizzle with Japanese mayonnaise and takoyaki sauce. Genrously sprinkle on the bonito flakes and aonori. Enjoy, but be careful, the insides are hot!

6 Comments

  1. Sabrina says:

    love all of the Japanese dishes you’ve been featuring, this takoyaki dish too, fun for entertaining too, thank you

  2. Z says:

    Do you this could work in a waffle iron? I know it changes the texture but I don’t want to get another one trick kitchen appliance!

    1. Stephanie says:

      hmm…i’m not sure. i think maybe he batter would work, but i don’t know about putting the octopus in? i totally get the reluctance to getting a single use appliance but i really use mine all the time – i make pancake balls and egg balls and rice balls, essentially all the ball things LOL.

      you can totally do a deconstructed pancake with the same flavors though. or maybe do an okonomiyaki type thing?

      1. Z says:

        Thanks for the advice! I’ll give it a shot or else maybe do some appliance purging and get one lol.

  3. Libby says:

    Hi there! first time visitor – LOVE that you’re featuring takoyaki! We make it a lot at home here, but have recently been having trouble finding aonori ANYWHERE – Marukai, Amazon, etc, etc. Do you blitz nori in your food processor, or have you found aonori elsewhere online? Thanks!

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi libby!
      yay to takoyaki at home! we usually get ours from the local asian grocery store, but here’s an amazon link: https://amzn.to/2JUpifO
      it is absurdly expensive…you can definitely blitz regular nori in the food processor but i find that aonori has a bit of a different flavor (a better one for takoyaki and okonomiyaki :)) hope that helps a bit!

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