How Do You Make Takoyaki Without A Takoyaki Pan?

by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  June 2, 2022

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While it is nice to have a regular meal, anybody that loves to eat will always want to expand their palate.

One plate that would definitely be worth a try would be some nice hot Takoyaki.

But if you’re done ordering it with your sushi, it’s time to start wondering….can I make these myself without one of those special pans?

How to make takoyaki without a pan
Favorite Asian Recipes
Favorite Asian Recipes

One of the hardest things about making takoyaki is that they’re ball-shaped with a soft texture and are very moist on the inside.

It’s possible to make takoyaki without a pan, but it isn’t recommended. The balls won’t keep their round shape, and they won’t look exactly like true takoyaki. 

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! Here is a way to bring a little bit of Japan into your kitchen!

How to make takoyaki without a pan

How do you make takoyaki without a pam
Takoyaki-balls-Japanese-streetfood

Takoyaki without a pan recipe

Joost Nusselder
If you don’t have a mold, make the takoyaki dough and mix with the ingredients until the dough is malleable. Be sure to also have a fryer or a large pot full of oil at hand.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Snack
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 4 people
Calories 463 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

Takoyaki batter

  • 10 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 1/4 cups water (1 liter)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp kombu dashi stock you can use granules
  • 1/2 tsp katsuobushi dashi stock you can use granules
  • 2 tsp soy sauce

Filling

  • 15 ounces boiled octopus in cubes or you can use any other type of protein as a filling, although it wouldn't really be takoyaki
  • 2 green onions sliced
  • 2 tbsp tenkasu tempura bits (or use rice krispies)
  • 3 ounces shredded cheese

Toppings

  • 1 bottle Japanese mayonnaise add to taste
  • 1 bottle Takoyaki sauce (you can buy it bottled at a lot of the Asian groceries, you can't miss it with the picture of takoyaki on the front)
  • 1 tbsp bonito flakes
  • 1 tbsp Aonori or seaweed strips (Aonori is a type of powdered seaweed)

Instructions
 

  • Crack the eggs in a small mixing bowl and add the water as well as the stock granules, then beat the mix manually or with an egg beater. Pour the egg-water-stock granules mixture into the flour, then add salt and mix well (with an egg beater or manually) until you’ve successfully created the batter. If you don’t have a mold, make the takoyaki dough and mix with the ingredients until the dough is malleable.
  • Next, extend your dough to a thickness of about 2 cm. Cut it into pieces that are approximately 3×3 cm.
  • Take each piece and add a piece of octopus in the middle. Wrap it with the dough. Mold it into a round ball and use flour on your hands so it doesn’t stick.
  • Fry the balls a few at a time in a pot of hot oil.
  • 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, so make sure to fry them a little longer until golden brown, but they should be done in around 5 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 463kcalCarbohydrates: 58gProtein: 33gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 191mgSodium: 905mgPotassium: 540mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 606IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 207mgIron: 10mg
Keyword Takoyaki
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Takoyaki Ingredients

Takoyaki is essentially broken down into the following ingredients:

  • Batter
  • Flour
  • Baking Soda
  • Eggs
  • Water
  • Dashi stock powder
  • Filling
  • Octopus
  • Pickled ginger
  • Scallions
  • Green onion
  • Tempura flakes
  • Topping
  • Takoyaki sauce
  • Mayonnaise
  • Powdered seaweed
  • Bonito flakes

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.

The Stock

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.

The Batter

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.

Takoyaki sauce

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?

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 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 that this is an option.

Conclusion

Takoyaki is very diverse and can be played with all sorts of ingredients to 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 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!

Also read: try one of these easy electric takoyaki pans

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.