Imagawayaki, Ikayaki, and Takoyaki, what do the three of them have in common? Besides the fact that the three of them are popular Japanese street foods that have inspired variants all across the globe, they (along with several other street foods) have the suffix ‘yaki.’
What does yaki mean? Yaki refers to a method of cooking food either by frying or grilling it. With regards to frying it, street food is usually thought to be fried in piping hot oil.
However, ever since street food has found its way into households with frozen variants, people have been looking towards incorporating ways of making street food more homey and healthy. One way is by frying them in an air fryer.
In this post we'll cover:
What is Takoyaki?
In English, Takoyaki translates to octopus balls. This summer festival favorite was first introduced in 1935 by a street food vendor, Tomokechi Endo. Tomodachi didn’t in fact create a revolutionary dish of his own, but he took on a more simplistic and flavorful take of Choboyaki. Soon enough, all of Japan was raving over Osaka’s popular Takoyaki.
In its simplest forms, Takoyaki consists of baby octopus at its center and dough all around it, sort of a dumpling. Other ingredients are added as per taste, commonly used ingredients include spring onions, ginger, and Takoyaki flour.
Today, Takoyaki is found all over Japan in convenience stores, festivals, and fine dining restaurants. The street food has found its way as a household staple with frozen variants and inspired cuisines, such as Filipino variants, European variants, and many more.
Can You Make Takoyaki in an Air Fryer?
The short answer: yes. Takoyaki isn’t just a street food anymore, it’s a common household staple that’s found its way into households all across Japan (as well as the world). Brands have now introduced frozen variants of octopus balls.
Now, the question is: How would you make them in an air fryer? Most people are pretty skeptical when it comes to cooking octopus meat all the way through in an air fryer.
Home cooks and experts alike will tell you the same thing, an air fryer isn’t a superficial fryer. It’s more of a healthy alternative to bathing something in oil all over. Admittedly, it might take longer.
Check out all of these specialty takoyaki makers we wrote about a while back
Commonly Asked Questions
Does an air fryer cook the octopus meat all the way through?
Yes, all you’ll have to do is adjust its temperature between 60-80 degrees Centigrade. Check the dumpling with a toothpick and it’s dough consistency to make sure it’s properly cooked. Alternatively, if you’re using bread crumbs, you can assess based on how brown the bread crumbs turn.
Also read: is Takoyaki supposed to be gooey inside?
Isn’t Takoyaki prepared in a designated Takoyaki pan?
Yes, Takoyaki is traditionally prepared in a pan known as the Takoyaki pan. The pan consists of circular molds which makes it easier to shape the dumpling when it’s semi-cooked.
However, it isn’t a necessity, although it is a convenience for sure. You could just as easily mold them without the pan till it’s firm enough and place it in an air fryer.
Is the taste any different?
It isn’t and that’s the best part! Using an air fryer can cut down on the calories without compromising on its taste. Although the dough might appear a bit less firm than if you had deep fried it, but not enough to make it taste any less delicious.
Takoyaki also known as octopus balls is popular Japanese street food loved and adored all across the globe. Frozen variants of the dish are produced by leading brands. Takoyaki can be made in an air fryer just as easily as it could be in a deep fryer with fewer calories and the same flavor!
Also read: this is how you make takoyaki at home