I love this local snack of Osaka. You can get it quite easily everywhere in Osaka, so there’s actually no need to make it at home if you just want it for a snack (or a meal..)
However, a “tako-pa” (short for takoyaki party) is a fun social event where you make the takoyaki with a bunch of friends (or family) at home and experiment with different fillings as well as the standard “tako”
Here’s a recipe I recently sent to Linda, a friend of mine in Australia:
roughly 1 part flour to 3 parts water
(i.e. 100g flour to 300mL to 320mL water or dashi/broth)
egg (at a ratio of 2 eggs to 300g flour)
finely chopped pickled ginger (red not pink)
chopped spring onion
tako – cut to small chucks (about 1.5cm or smaller… depending on how you like it really…)
fried rice bubble like stuff (it’s called ten-kasu, but you don’t really need it… or just use rice bubbles.. hehe)
“sauce”/soy sauce/ponsu/yuzu salt
ao-nori (little green flakes)
What to do:
1. Put the flour and egg in a bowl large enough for mixing/whisking without making a mess.
2. Start mixing.
3. Add really really cold water to the flour slowly, while mixing. Using chilled dashi/broth gives it more flavor.
The consistency might seem a little thin to you but, it’s ok. It should somewhat resemble drinking yogurt, and can be poured easily.
From the takoyaki I’ve tried in Melbourne (except the ones from Shimmy’s restaurant, they’re usually too hard and bouncy.)
4. Add a pinch of salt if you like.
5. It’s said that it’s better to let the batter stand for a few hours, but it’s probably not such a good idea in summer because of the egg.
6. Heat up the takoyaki pan-thing, and brush oil all over it when you think it’s really hot.
7. Let it heat up a bit more with the oil, then brush it with oil again. (Note, you don’t actually want to see drops of oil, so use a sponge instead if the brush is making it too oily.)
8. Pour the takoyaki batter into the pan (it might not look as neat, but it doesn’t matter if it’s a little over the half circles.)
9. Put the tako, ginger, spring onion (and rice bubble things)
10. When the outside of the half circle is kinda cooked (roughly a 3 to 4mm outer layer, so that you can prick it near the rim with the takoyaki stick (or a bamboo skewer) and pull it up and over.
11. Let the new underside cook for a minute or so, then start rotating/twirling the takoyaki around and cook until you get a golden brownish colour all round.
12. Poke one of the takoyaki through with the takoyaki stick or a skewer, if it comes out clean then the takoyaki is fully cooked.
13. Serve with a combination of topping of choice. (I like to go with the standard sauce+mayo+ao-nori+bonito)
- for pizza takoyaki, put a bit of ham, some cheese and a little squirt of pizza sauce instead of the normal tako stuff)
- Paul likes cherry tomatoes in lieu of the tako
- kimchi is another popular filling, (if you can be bothered, a bit of grilled beef and a bit of kimchi)
- mochi and cheese are other popular fillings (it’s a bit rich though, I guess I prefer cheese AND tomato together)
- if you don’t find it too strange, try putting corn kernels in it
- you can do sweet ones too, just don’t use broth and don’t add salt in the batter… use a piece of chocolate, or a bit of jam, or fresh fruit (I personally don’t really like it) for the filling instead of the tako stuff