Japanese Soul Cooking
Takoyaki are a fun variation of savoury Japanese pancakes, little balls of batter filled with pieces of tasty octopus and griddled. These pillowy morsels are then topped with the usual okonomiyaki toppings and eaten by the mound-full (no, you can- not eat just one). Use cocktail sticks to spear these suckers and pop them into your mouth. To cook takoyaki, you’ll need to use a special metal takoyaki mould (usually non-stick), which are available in Asian grocery shops. Also, yamaimo (also called nagaimo) in the ingredients is a type of yam with a slippery, sticky consistency when grated raw that helps add springiness to the takoyaki. You can find yamaimo in Asian grocery shops, but if it’s not available, just follow the recipe without it. (The takoyaki will come out a little fluffier than springier, but will still be delicious.)
MAKES ABOUT 28 TAKOYAKI
© 2023 Tadashi Ono / Jacqui Small · Reproduced with permission. · Recipe from Japanese Soul Cooking by Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat, published by Jacqui Small www.jacquismallpub.com.'
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Make the batter by whisking together the flour, yamaimo, eggs and dashi until smooth.
Dip a wad of kitchen paper into the sesame oil and wipe the insides of the takoyaki pan to coat the entire surface, then place the pan over a low heat. Preheat for about 2 minutes. When the pan is ready, pour batter into each mould to fill it three-quarters full. To each mould, add about 2 pieces of octopus and a pinch of spring onion. Add more batter to each mould until they are full. Make sure not to overflow the moulds.
Cook for about 3 minutes. Carefully flip each takoyaki using chopsticks or a skewer. Cook for3moreminutes.Atthispoint,thetakoyaki should be nicely browned all over and feel springy and pillowy.
Use chopsticks or a skewer to transfer the takoyaki to a plate. Squeeze some of the okonomiyaki sauce over the takoyaki in ribbons, sprinkle on the aonori and dried, shaved bonito and serve.