This is the Best Dinner Party Food Ever: an Easy Authentic Takoyaki Recipe to Make with Friends and Family · i am a food blog (2024)

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Takoyaki is THE PERFECT SNACK. I don’t know how many times Mike and I have stumbled home from a night out in Tokyo only to see the warm welcoming yellow lights and bright red awning of Gindado, Japan’s premier street side takoyaki stand. They’re the only ones open at 3 in the morning (okay, there are other places open, but for the purpose of this story, just pretend) and they are the ultimate drunk food. Crispy pan fried balls of savory seasoned batter filled with tender chunks of octopus, crispy tempura bits, and topped off with takoyaki sauce and seaweed. This is street food at its best: a la minute, fast, friendly, so bad for you, but oh-so-good.

And the best thing about takoyaki is that they aren’t just drunk food! Takoyaki feature prominently in Japanese street festivals and as home cooking. You can’t go to any street fair in Japan without seeing a takoyaki vendor. I love having takoyaki in the streets, but I almost kind of sort of like making it at home even more? It seems like Japanese people agree with me because if you ever take a look on the appliances floor of any major electronics store in Japan, you’ll see at-home takoyaki machines. They’re little portable machines that plug in, heat up, and have the perfect little half spherical depressions for making takoyaki. I did an informal poll of my friends living in Japan and almost all of them have one for the express purpose of making takoyaki at home.

This is the Best Dinner Party Food Ever: an Easy Authentic Takoyaki Recipe to Make with Friends and Family · i am a food blog (1)

There’s something so fun and cozy about having a takoyaki party with family or friends. You pop a takoyaki machine in the middle of the table, get all the ingredients ready, then make takoyaki and eat and chat the day and night away. You can keep it interesting by having all different kinds of fillings and toppings so everyone can customize. You can even have a takoyaki-off where everyone creates their own and have a taste test to choose the winner.

If you’ve never made them before, it takes a little finesse, but that’s part of the fun. Sometimes Mike and I will have a takoyaki date, just the two of us and it’s kind of the. best because unlike the street vendors, you can put in whatever you like. I love tako (octopus) but we’ve also done chicken, shrimp, pork, beef, and even hot dogs. One variation we both love is taco takoyaki: seasoned ground beef, cheese, tomatoes – you know, all the good stuff from hard shell tacos, but inside a little takoyaki ball. I especially love cheese in takoyaki. It’s melty in the middle and gets crispy on the outside edges. Takoyaki heaven!

Takoyaki Tips

  1. Make the batter before hand. It can hangout in the fridge overnight even and all you need to do is give it a good stir every time you fill the takoyaki holes.
  2. Don’t skimp out on the oil. You need it to help crisp up the outside layer and make it easier to flip the balls.
  3. Use a lot of batter and top it up. When you watch professional takoyaki vendors, you’ll notice that they almost over fill the little holes, let the batter cook, then break everything up with skewers and stuff the excess back into the takoyaki ball. This makes the balls nice and round. You can also fill the holes halfway, put the fillings in, then, after the first turn, add a bit more batter to fill the ball out.
  4. Move the balls around. After all the balls are form and lightly grilled, feel free to move them around the pan. Home takoyaki pans tend to be uneven, so switching up the positions of the balls helps with even browning and crisping.

Happy takoyaki-ing!

PS – If you want to be super authentic, you can just go ahead and buy the packaged takoyaki flour. You just add eggs and water and personally it’s what we buy when we’re in Tokyo and I see lots of other families buying it too.

This is the Best Dinner Party Food Ever: an Easy Authentic Takoyaki Recipe to Make with Friends and Family · i am a food blog (2)

This is the Best Dinner Party Food Ever: an Easy Authentic Takoyaki Recipe to Make with Friends and Family · i am a food blog (3)

This is the Best Dinner Party Food Ever: an Easy Authentic Takoyaki Recipe to Make with Friends and Family · i am a food blog (4)

This is the Best Dinner Party Food Ever: an Easy Authentic Takoyaki Recipe to Make with Friends and Family · i am a food blog (5)

This is the Best Dinner Party Food Ever: an Easy Authentic Takoyaki Recipe to Make with Friends and Family · i am a food blog (6)

This is the Best Dinner Party Food Ever: an Easy Authentic Takoyaki Recipe to Make with Friends and Family · i am a food blog (7)

This is the Best Dinner Party Food Ever: an Easy Authentic Takoyaki Recipe to Make with Friends and Family · i am a food blog (8)

This is the Best Dinner Party Food Ever: an Easy Authentic Takoyaki Recipe to Make with Friends and Family · i am a food blog (9)

Authentic Takoyaki Recipe
makes about 60 balls


  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 1/4 cups cold water
  • 2 teaspoons dashi stock granules
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, about 300g


  • cubes of boiled octopus
  • sliced green onions
  • tempura bits or rice krispies
  • shredded or cubed cheese, if desired


  • Japanese kewpie mayonaise
  • Takoyaki sauce (you can buy this in a bottle at most Asian groceries, it usually has a picture of takoyaki on the front)
  • bonito flakes
  • aonori (powdered seaweed) or seaweed strips

Beat the eggs and add the water, and stock granules. Add the egg-water mixture to the flour and salt and mix well.

Heat up your pan and oil the individual compartments with a oil brush or use a paper towel dipped in oil.

When the pan is hot, pour the batter into the individual compartments up to the top. Don’t worry if the batter over flows a bit. Add green onions, your protein, tempura bits or rice krispies, and shredded cheese (is using).

After a while, the bottom of the takoyakis will be cooked through. At this point, you can use a skewer to turn them over 90 degrees. If you can’t turn the takoyaki easily, it probably needs to cook for a bit longer. If needed, add a bit more batter to the balls to fill them up. Let cook for a minute or so and then do another 90 degree turn. The balls will become easier to turn the more they cook.

The takoyaki are done when they’re lightly brown and crispy on the outside and they turn easily in their holes. Overall I’d say it takes about 10-15 minutes per batch, from start to finish, depending on how crispy or soft you like your takoyaki.

To serve, place the takoyaki on a plate and drizzle with Japanese mayonnaise and takoyaki sauce. Genrously sprinkle on the bonito flakes and aonori. Enjoy, but be careful, the insides are hot!


  1. Sabrina says:

    June 22, 2019 at 7:57 pm

    love all of the Japanese dishes you’ve been featuring, this takoyaki dish too, fun for entertaining too, thank you


  2. Z says:

    June 29, 2019 at 7:43 pm

    Do you this could work in a waffle iron? I know it changes the texture but I don’t want to get another one trick kitchen appliance!

    1. Stephanie says:

      July 1, 2019 at 10:10 am

      hmm…i’m not sure. i think maybe he batter would work, but i don’t know about putting the octopus in? i totally get the reluctance to getting a single use appliance but i really use mine all the time – i make pancake balls and egg balls and rice balls, essentially all the ball things LOL.

      you can totally do a deconstructed pancake with the same flavors though. or maybe do an okonomiyaki type thing?


      1. Z says:

        July 4, 2019 at 6:25 pm

        Thanks for the advice! I’ll give it a shot or else maybe do some appliance purging and get one lol.


  3. Libby says:

    July 23, 2019 at 7:58 pm

    Hi there! first time visitor – LOVE that you’re featuring takoyaki! We make it a lot at home here, but have recently been having trouble finding aonori ANYWHERE – Marukai, Amazon, etc, etc. Do you blitz nori in your food processor, or have you found aonori elsewhere online? Thanks!


    1. Stephanie says:

      July 24, 2019 at 8:56 am

      hi libby!
      yay to takoyaki at home! we usually get ours from the local asian grocery store, but here’s an amazon link:
      it is absurdly expensive…you can definitely blitz regular nori in the food processor but i find that aonori has a bit of a different flavor (a better one for takoyaki and okonomiyaki :)) hope that helps a bit!


  4. Pep says:

    April 25, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    I suggest you add Beni-shoga (red pickled ginger bits) and Konnyaku, both very finely chopped, to the list of fillings. Especially Beni shoga – it will make a world of difference.


    1. Stephanie says:

      April 26, 2020 at 10:53 am

      i love benishoga with takoyaki! i haven’t tried with konnyaku, but that sounds amazing too!


Leave a Reply

This is the Best Dinner Party Food Ever: an Easy Authentic Takoyaki Recipe to Make with Friends and Family · i am a food blog (2024)


Can you eat takoyaki for dinner? ›

The snack is commonly sold from street vendors and small shops as a street food throughout Japan, but it's mostly people from Osaka who make takoyaki at home and eat it not as a snack, but as a meal.

What type of food is takoyaki? ›

Takoyaki is a round, fried food made from batter, small pieces of tender octopus and other ingredients, like green onions and ginger. They are considered a Japanese street food are popular at festivals, often prepared from food stands right in front of the prospective customers.

What does takoyaki mean in Japanese? ›

Takoyaki (たこ焼き, literally “grilled octopus”) is a dish made of wheat batter and filling, usually octopus or a similar type of seafood.

Why is takoyaki so delicious? ›

Takoyaki is pleasantly soft. The batter on the outside has a delicate crispiness, but on the inside, it is soft and moist. The tender octopus meat serves to give a variance in texture, but it's still easy to chew and makes for an overall enjoyable mouth feel. The texture itself is part of what makes takoyaki iconic.

What is a takoyaki party? ›

“Tako-pa” is short for Takoyaki Party, where friends can gather and cook those luscious, tongue-burning little octopus-filled dough balls. It is the quintessential street food from Osaka, and you can make them yourself at home if you have a takoyaki hot plate.

What do you serve with takoyaki? ›

Takoyaki is served with Worcestershire sauce-like “takoyaki sauce”, followed by some squirt of Japanese mayo. You can: Buy a store-bought takoyaki sauce.

How healthy is takoyaki? ›

Takoyaki or “octopus balls”, are not an especially healthy snack compared to other snacks of the region. They are generally high in carbs and deep-fried, causing a dual dietary dilemma to healthy eaters everywhere.

Why is bonito flakes moving? ›

They are known to move or dance when used as a topping on foods such as okonomiyaki and takoyaki. It can be an odd sight upon first viewing if moving food makes you squeamish. However, it is nothing to be alarmed about. The bonito flakes move due to their thin and light structure upon the hot food and are not alive.

How do you eat takoyaki without burning it? ›

To safely eat hot Takoyaki, wait three to five minutes. Or if eating when it's hot sounds better, and rightly so, make a small hole in the side using the skewer or a pair of chopsticks and let the steam escape first.

Why is my takoyaki moving? ›

The movement of takoyaki is caused by the hot surface of the balls, which makes the bonito flakes on top visually appear as if they're alive. The movement of bonito flakes is actually a natural reaction to the heat. You see, bonito flakes are thin shavings of dehydrated fish.

Should takoyaki be gooey? ›

It's a savoury dish of grilled balls of batter made with flour and eggs filled with a little nugget of octopus and other ingredients like green onions, pickled ginger and tempura bits. The outside is slightly crispy, and the inside batter is seasoned, fluffy, and has a gooey consistency that melts in your mouth.

What does Tako mean in Japanese? ›

Tako is a masculine name of Japanese origin that is positively swimming with potential. Meaning “octopus,” this name is an ideal choice for your newest little squid.

What is the brown thing in takoyaki? ›

Katsuobushi (Japanese: 鰹節) is simmered, smoked and fermented skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis, sometimes referred to as bonito). It is also known as bonito flakes or broadly as okaka (おかか).

What is octopus balls called? ›

Takoyaki are a kind of dumpling, made from grilled puffs of seasoned batter with a small piece of octopus meat in the middle, with sauces and seasonings scattered along the top. Serve these bite-size pieces of heaven at parties or enjoy them as warming snacks.

Can I eat onigiri for dinner? ›

Made from one of the most consumed foods in Japanese culture (rice) onigiri can be consumed for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Onigiri is suitable for everyone, from children, students, and housewives to busy workers.

Is takoyaki high in calories? ›

The typical portion of Takoyaki is 6 fried balls! That means, for only 240g of food you will consume 420 calories! That's quite alot of calories per gram.

Is takoyaki a comfort food? ›

Greasy and comforting, these tiny takoyaki balls are surprisingly filling. Now available everywhere in Japan, they are usually served soft in Osaka and slightly crunchy in Tokyo. Takoyaki is also known as a typical festival food with specialty shops offering experimental toppings.

Can I keep takoyaki overnight? ›

In terms of storage duration, takoyaki is best consumed within 2-3 days of preparation. While it may still be safe to eat after that, the texture and taste may deteriorate. If you need to store it for longer, you can freeze the takoyaki in an airtight container or freezer bag.

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