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Original Flavor Takoyaki Sauce Recipe

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Eating takoyaki won’t be complete without its topping sauce!

Takoyaki is usually glazed with Worcestershire-like sauce which is just plainly called takoyaki sauce.

It’s similar to the okonomiyaki soy-based sauce that takes the already flavorful takoyaki to new heights.

Takoyaki sauce

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What are the two sauces on top of takoyaki?

Takoyaki has two sauces drenched on top of it, takoyaki sauce and Japanese mayo. The takoyaki sauce provides a sweet and umami rich flavor and has a dark brown color. The Japanese mayonnaise adds acidity and richness and is light yellow.

Make your own takoyaki sauce

To make basic Takoyaki sauce, mix Worcestershire sauce (usutah so-su), mentsuyu (noodle soup base), ketchup, and sugar. The sauce gives off a sweet fruity flavor to the bite, although it’s not as strong as the okonomiyaki sauce (recipe here).

These sauces are all readily available in Japan and in most Asian or Japanese grocery stores (of course, you can always buy a takoyaki sauce and other ingredients, tips on that here).

So, all you need to make this recipe is 4 ingredients:

  1. Worcestershire sauce
  2. Mentsuyu (Japanese soup base)
  3. Ketchup
  4. Sugar

The Worcestershire sauce is the main part of the sauce. Add a few teaspoons of each other ingredient and only a little bit of sugar. 

In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients and stir them until the sauce blends well. 

Takoyaki sauce

Original Flavor Takoyaki Sauce Recipe

Joost Nusselder
To make basic Takoyaki sauce, mix Worcestershire sauce (usutah so-su), mentsuyu (noodle soup base), ketchup, and sugar. The sauce gives off a sweet fruity flavor to the bite, although it's not as strong as the okonomiyaki sauce.
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 4 people


  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Mentsuyu
  • ¾ tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp ketchup


  • Making the sauce doesn't involve any cooking. You can just combine the ingredients in a large bowl and mix them together with a whisk. Make sure all the sugar has been dissolved before serving.


Keyword Takoyaki
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

What is Takoyaki sauce?

Takoyaki sauce is a type of Japanese sauce that is often used as a condiment or dipping sauce for Takoyaki, a popular Japanese dish made of grilled balls of dough filled with octopus.

The sauce is also commonly used on other dishes such as yakisoba and okonomiyaki, although that is a slight sauce variation.

What’s the origin of Takoyaki sauce?

The origins of Takoyaki sauce are unclear, but it is thought to have originated in Osaka, Japan. The sauce is said to have been created in the 1930s by a man named Tomekichi Endo, who owned a small restaurant in Osaka.

It is said that he created the sauce as well, maybe many years later.

What does Takoyaki sauce taste like?

Takoyaki sauce has a sweet and savory flavor with a slightly tangy taste. The sauce is also slightly thick in consistency.

What’s the difference between Takoyaki sauce and Worcestershire sauce?

Worcestershire sauce is one of the main ingredients in Takoyaki sauce, so the two sauces share a similar flavor profile.

However, Worcestershire sauce is also made with vinegar, anchovies, and other spices, which gives it a more complex flavor than Takoyaki sauce.

Other takoyaki sauce variations

Other known variations of takoyaki include:

  • Goma-dare, which is a sesame and vinegar-based sauce
  • the ponzu version, which is soy sauce with some extra dashi and added citrus

But you can get creative and come up with your own version of a takoyaki recipe!

How much Takoyaki sauce do you use?

The amount of Takoyaki sauce you use will depend on your personal preference. If you are using the sauce as a condiment, you may want to start with a small amount and add more to taste.

I personally am not a HUGE sauce fan, so the takoyaki for me is usually too saucy. The Japanese love to pour a lot on theirs so if you want the authentic flavor, be sure to try it with lots of sauce, and then add some more :)

Remember that there also needs to be a little room for the Japanese mayo.

Can I Use Okonomiyaki Sauce for Takoyaki?

Use okonomiyaki sauce for takoyaki

Okonomiyaki sauce is used for savory pancakes known as okonomiyaki. While there are a few differences between okonomiyaki and takoyaki, the sweet and mellow taste of the okonomiyaki sauce goes great with takoyaki!

If you need a substitute for any reason, okonomiyaki sauce is a great option to drizzle onto your takoyaki.

It also works the other way around mind you, with takoyaki sauce as an okonomiyaki sauce alternative.

Are there any noticeable differences between okonomiyaki and takoyaki sauce?

Yes, and this is the only drawback to using okonomiyaki sauce as a substitute for takoyaki sauce. One of the big differences is that okonomiyaki sauce is a thicker consistency than takoyaki sauce.

Takoyaki sauce has a much thinner consistency to it. While this is a noticeable difference, it isn’t one that is necessarily a dealbreaker when it comes to using okonomiyaki as a substitute for takoyaki sauce.

Another difference, and one that you will quickly notice, is that the two sauces taste different. As mentioned above, okonomiyaki sauce has a sweeter taste to it.

On the other hand, takoyaki sauce is much more savory since it is made with soy sauce. Not only that, but takoyaki sauce often has a little bit of a spicy kick to it.

As you can see there are a few differences, but okonomiyaki sauce makes a great alternative to put on your takoyaki. It is certainly helpful to have a good substitute on hand!

Also read: this is the number one authentic takoyaki recipe


Try takoyaki sauce and you won’t be disappointed. The only drawback is, you can only use it for takoyaki, so it might sit in the cupboard for a while before your next use.

Check out our new cookbook

Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

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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.