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Grilled Savory Pancake Bites With Octopus (Takoyaki)

Takoyaki is a popular Japanese snack food or street food. It is made with a savory pancake batter. Shaped into round balls and filled with cooked octopus. In fact, takoyaki, which is generally eaten as a snack, can be a meal in itself.

The batter is often seasoned with sliced green onion and red ginger (benishoga). The toppings are traditionally a sweet and savory okonomiyaki or takoyaki sauce, along with dried shaved bonito flakes (katsuobushi) and green dried seaweed powder Aonori. Creative optional toppings include mayonnaise, cheese, scrambled egg, alternative sauces such as teriyaki sauce or tempura sauce, and chopped green onions.

Prep Time

        Prep time: 30 minutes
        Cook time: 10 minutes
        Yield: Serves 4


        1/2 pound octopus, boiled and cut into bite-sized pieces

For the Batter:

    •    2 large eggs
    •    2 1/2 cups dash broth
    •    1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
    •    1 to 2 tbsps canola or vegetable oil
    •    1/4 cup finely chopped green onion
    •    1/4 cup small red shrimp sakura ebi (Optional)
    •    1/4 cup finely chopped pickled red ginger benishoga (Optional)

For Traditional Toppings for Each Serving:

    •    1 tbsp mayonnaise
    •    seaweed powder Aomori
    •    dried bonito flakes katsuobushi
    •    Prepared okonomiyaki sauce, Worchestershire sauce, takoyaki sauce, or tonkatsu sauce


  1. Make sure you've pre-cooked the octopus and cut it into bite-sized pieces.
  2. In a large bowl, make the takoyaki batter by combining flour, dashi broth, and eggs. Mix until well incorporated. Note, the thickness of the batter should be similar to a cream soup and is on the thinner side.
  3. Preheat a takoyaki pan and coat each of the round molds in the pan with canola oil.
  4. Pour batter into the molds so that it is about 3/4 full.
  5. Put octopus, red ginger, green onion, and dried red shrimp in each mold.
  6. Grill takoyaki balls, allowing it to cook about 3 to 4 minutes before flipping the ball over using a takoyaki pick.
  7. Grill the other side of the takoyaki another 3 minutes until golden brown.
  8. When browned, remove takoyaki from the pan and place on a plate.
  9. Garnish the takoyaki with okonomiyaki sauce (or substitute sauce). Then add mayonnaise, and sprinkle with dried bonito flakes and green aonori seaweed.
  10. Serve immediately.

This great family recipe is thanks to The Spruce Eats at


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