How to Flip Takoyaki: make the perfect round ball with these tips

by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  November 15, 2020

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One of the most popular and authentic street foods in Japan are the savory delicious takoyaki balls. You may have seen Japanese cooks flip a takoyaki so perfectly and fast as if there’s no tomorrow.

Whether you plan to make your own dish of Octopus balls at home or for a small business, check out this quick beginner’s guide on how to flip your takoyaki.

How to flip a takoyaki ball

Tools You Must Have

A takoyaki can only be perfected with the right tools and equipment. You can’t flip a takoyaki if you don’t have the right gear, so start checking out on Amazon for the tools that you need.

You can start off with an electric takoyaki maker with a non-stick smooth surface, that is portable, and can make lots of takoyaki all at once.

A good tip for a round and perfectly brown takoyaki is a smooth and even application of cooking oil on your grill pan. You will also need a takoyaki oil brush to do this flawlessly.

Last but not the least, you have to get a pair of takoyaki picks to flip those octopus balls. If your grill pan is uncoated, you can opt for stainless steel picks.

Best Way to Flip a Takoyaki

Once your takoyaki batter is ready, it’s time to turn on your cooking machine. Evenly coat the pan with oil for an easy flip, and make sure to fill each octopus whole generously with the batter.

Drop in the octopus bits on each compartment as soon as you put the batter.

Wait for at least 1-2 minutes or until the bottom half begins to crisp and becomes firm and golden brown, then flip the takoyaki by poking on the outside surface rotating at 90 degrees.

Once that side is beginning to firm up, slowly rotate again and keep flipping at 90 degrees until a round takoyaki is formed.

You’ll know when the takoyaki balls are ready when they feel lighter as you poke through them and when they’re crispy on the outside.

Do not flip the octopus balls too early or else it will crumble!

Does Takoyaki Flipping Need Practice?

As the saying goes, “practice makes perfect.”  If you are just starting to master the art, you can start practicing 8 or 10 octopus balls each time.

The challenge then is to learn how to gauge the time to start flipping and turning. Once you’ve mastered 8 takoyaki balls, you can increase to 10 to 14 per batch or more.

Remember to always take a deep breath and relax as you flip. Patience and practice are key to become a takoyaki master.

Also read: try these delicious takoyaki recipes out yourself

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.