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Takoyaki

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While visiting Japan a few summers ago, I fell in love with the street food there. Amidst the sausages-on-a-stick and okonomiyaki, these little balls filled with octopus, green onion, and beni shoga caught my eye.

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For a while, I was content with ordering takoyaki while eating out. But on my most recent trip to my local asian market, I came across a cute little takoyaki pan and knew it was time to try this thing at home.

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I’m the kind of person who deals with culinary frustration by throwing my hands up, plopping down on the bed, and deciding that this just isn’t going to work out. I can’t even begin to deal with the mess I made in the kitchen right now. And then 10 minutes later, after some sulking, I’ll change my mind and try again. More times than none the second round comes out much better and my faith in myself and my amateur cooking skills is reinstilled (sp?).

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It took me about three tries to get the takoyaki process down. The first balls were oddly small, undercooked, and I forgot to add the bonito flakes at the end. By my third try, the takoyaki was looking and tasting just as it should. Don’t be discouraged if your first batch isn’t too appealing. The next one will be better, I promise!

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Takoyaki

I N G R E D I E N T S :
0.3 lb octopus tentacle
1 1/2 cups cold water
1/2 tsp dashi powder
1/2 cup cake flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp soy sauce
1 egg
beni shoga (pickled ginger)
green onions
takoyaki sauce
kewpie mayo
bonito flakes

I N S T R U C T I O N S :
1. Bring a pot with several inches of salted water to a simmer. Place the octopus inside and simmer for 20 minutes.
2. Heat the takoyaki pan over the stove on medium-high heat.
3. Thinly slice the green onions. Once the octopus is done, cut it into small chunks.
4. Fill a medium sized bowl with the cold water. Mix in the dashi powder.
5. Sift the cake flour and salt into the water mixture. Add the soy sauce.
6. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg. Add to the flour and water mixture and mix until thoroughly combined and there are no lumps.
7. Grease the takoyaki pan (use a small drop of batter to test if the pan is ready) and fill the holes with the batter. Make sure to fill until the batter overflows around the surface of the pan.
8. Drop a chunk of octopus, green onions, and beni shoga in each hole.
9. After a few minutes, use skewers to flip the takoyaki 90 degrees. After another couple of minutes, flip the takoyaki completely over to form a ball shape.
10. Keep flipping the takoyaki as needed until it turns golden brown.
11. Serve with a drizzling of takoyaki sauce and kewpie mayo, and a sprinkling of ____ and lots of bonito flakes.

P.s. Takoyaki is best eaten as soon as it is finished cooking. Grab your chopsticks and dig in!

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About Courtney C.

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