While it is nice to have a regular meal, anybody that loves to eat will always want to expand their palate.
It never hurts to mix things up and try something outside of your comfort zone, whether it’s food that’s from another state or even another continent.
One plate that would definitely be worth a try would be some nice hot Takoyaki.
Takoyaki, also known as octopus balls, is a ball-shaped Japanese cuisine. It has a soft texture and is very moist on the inside.
Takoyaki is a prevalent dish in Osaka and is associated with street food stalls.
Due to Takoyaki being so unique, they’re usually made with a special Takoyaki pan made of cast iron with hemispherical molds that evenly heats the Takoyaki.
However, since this is a cuisine from another country we’re talking about, it’s unlikely that you’ll find a specific Takoyaki pan at a market near you.
Still, you shouldn’t let that stop you from enjoying some international cuisine! As such, here is a way to bring a little bit of Japan into your kitchen!
In this post we'll cover:
How to make takoyaki without a pan
Now we come to the part where you would place the dough in the Takoyaki pan and let it heat up.
But since you likely won’t have one on hand, as an alternative, you can take the batter you made and place them in ice trays, where you would then let them sit in the freezer for a few hours until they are frozen solid.
When they’re hard, you place them in the boiling oil. Let them fry until they’re brown, but also be sure to make sure they don’t melt.
As the ingredients, like octopus, are usually precooked, the only thing you need to worry about when frying the frozen takoyaki is the crisp outside.
Takoyaki is essentially broken down into the following ingredients:
- Baking Soda
- Dashi stock powder
- Pickled ginger
- Green onion
- Tempura flakes
- Takoyaki sauce
- Powdered seaweed
- Bonito flakes
Be sure to also have a fryer or a large pot full of oil at hand.
Getting the Fillings Ready
Naturally, if you’re going to be enjoying some fried octopus, the first thing you’ll need is well… the octopus. Take some octopus and boil them for 25-30 minutes. After that, you wash and clean your octopi’s outer skin and chop it into little pieces.
For the stock, you will need Dashi; a Japanese powder used to make the stock that goes on the Takoyaki. If you don’t have this, chicken stock would be a good substitute.
Mix some flour with the dashi stock, add soy sauce, two eggs, and some baking soda. You’ll want to make sure the batter is nice and gooey. From there, you’ll add green onion, chopped scallions, and pickled Japanese ginger.
Next, you’ll use some fried tempura flakes, add the octopus, and mix it all together.
Once they’re done, you add the Takoyaki sauce. You can find the Takoyaki sauce at a Japanese grocery store, but it can also be made at your home. All you’ll need is:
- 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp mentsuyu
- ¾ tsp sugar
- ½ tsp ketchup
Just mix all of these ingredients in a small bowl, and you’ll have your Takoyaki sauce! Next, you add some mayonnaise like this one from Japan, sprinkle some seaweed, and finally, the bonito flakes.
Can you bake takoyaki?
Takoyaki is meant to be fried in special made pans and can’t be baked in the oven, because they wouldn’t become round, but frozen takoyaki can be baked just like any other frozen food item in the oven. Spread them out on a sheet, for example, a cookie sheet.
A tip, if you are not one to clean up after you make dinner, then it is suggested to wrap them in foil for less hassle afterward and for a quick and easy clean.
If you haven’t overflown your baking sheet with takoyaki, then you should bake them at about 375 degrees, for 10 to 15 minutes.
If you have perhaps put a few right next to each other, aim for 15-20 minutes of baking. Once you’ve done this, you can add some seasoning to really make it up to standard.
Add the accompanied takoyaki sauce on top, with a taste that’s close to BBQ sauce or steak sauce, some Japanese mayo, and bonito flakes.
You will have the true Japanese summer experience in your mouth and you won’t want to turn back from it.
You can also put these tasty balls into the microwave, if you are in a rush and you don’t really feel like actually cooking anything.
Even though microwaves generally are designed to be the easiest kitchen tool ever, you should be a bit careful how you use it when it comes to takoyaki.
It is important to start off with low heat, and then possibly work your way up if you like them to be boiling hot.
If you put them in and set the microwave on high heat immediately, they will most likely burst, and you will have a much bigger mess to clean up than if you were to use an oven.
If you are looking for an even quicker and easier way to warm them up, it is possible to put them in a toaster.
This doesn’t mean that the texture and the taste will be equally as mesmerizing as if you had put them in the oven or microwave, but it is definitely good to note down that this too is an option.
Takoyaki is very diverse and can be played with all sorts of ingredients to really bring out some creativity.
If you don’t have any tempura around, you can use any pickled vegetables, or you could get creative and use some nachos, potato chips, really anything that’s crunchy.
You could also use shrimp or hot dog sausage for the filling if you want to mix it up. Takoyaki is already a unique and creative dish, so there’s nothing wrong with making it as creative as you want!
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Also read: try one of these easy electric takoyaki pans