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Osaka Food: How to Make Takoyaki Octopus Balls in 3 Easy Steps!

Osaka Food: How to Make Takoyaki Octopus Balls in 3 Easy Steps!

Date published: 3 April 2020
Last updated: 6 October 2020

In Japan's de facto gourmet town, Osaka, the most well-known gourmet food is the "Takoyaki"! With shops all over the city, and each ball being bite-sized, it’s recommended that visitors try it at least once. But how to make takoyaki?

In fact, there are many shops in Osaka where you can make and eat your own takoyaki, and many tourists appreciate this as a unique experience. In this article, we’ll introduce takoyaki-making and the three steps to making the perfect fried batter. Why not read up before your next trip to Osaka?

Table of Contents
  1. Takonotetsu: The standard fare of DIY takoyaki workshops
  2. Step 1: Add crispy dough bits and red ginger to the batter
  3. Step 2: Gather the batter into the indents and turn it around!
  4. Step 3: Customize the taste with your own mix of favorite condiments and sauces
  5. DIY Takoyaki, where playing with your food is the whole point!
  6. Related Articles
  7. Book an unforgettable experience in Osaka!

Takonotetsu: The standard fare of DIY takoyaki workshops

Takonotetsu: The standard fare of DIY takoyaki workshops

In our case, we visited one of the oldest DIY takoyaki shops boasting over 40 years of business operations, the “Takonotetsu Marubiru Store”. With a direct underground path from Osaka station, the convenience and accessibility make it a mainstay among foreign tourists.

A wide and spacious working space for customers to make the place ideal for any type of visitor, from families, couples to large groups of friends. At the center of the table, an iron hotplate with depressions for takoyaki is ready for use. Without further ado, let’s see how to make takoyaki!

Step 1: Add crispy dough bits and red ginger to the batter

Step 1: Add crispy dough bits and red ginger to the batter

To start things off, the staff will help with the preparations, so sit back and enjoy the view.

First, the octopus and other main ingredients are poured into the indents, followed by sliced leeks as toppings.

Next, the iron plate is filled to the brim with the soup used as the base for the batter, which marks the end of the preparation! A professionally done authentic preparation for your DIY session.

By the way, the iron plate gets extremely hot the second the switch is turned on, so please avoid touching it as much as you can.

Your first task is to garnish the batter with the small crisps and red ginger. The crisps add depth to the taste, while the red ginger’s spice accentuates it, which makes them both absolutely essential as subtle seasonings for takoyaki.

You can put as much as you like from the container on the table, but be careful of putting too much, lest the taste becomes too strong. About 5 spoons of crisps and 2 spoons of red ginger is a good amount. It's also better if you make sure to spread them evenly across the batter.

The red ginger tends to stick to the soup too much, so when that happens to use the pick meant for takoyaki flipping to separate them.

Once you’re done, you simply need to wait a short while for the batter to finish cooking. Also, if you fiddle with the battle too much, it won’t be cooked enough so be careful!

Step 2: Gather the batter into the indents and turn it around!

Step 2: Gather the batter into the indents and turn it around!

After a 10-minute wait, the batter will finish solidifying, which means it’s time for stage 2. With the steel pick, peel the batter off the corners of the iron plate and gather them into the 12 indents.

By adding some small incisions in the batter according to the indents, you’ll be able to spread the batter evenly and cook it better.

Once the parts of the batter in contact with the iron plate start becoming firm, use the pick to flip the batter in the indent around!

It’s one of the most difficult parts of how to make takoyaki, so it might be prudent to ask the staff to demonstrate it on two or three pieces for you to learn from.

Try doing it with the image of “pushing” the parts you want touching the iron plate toward the indents to rotate the dough spheres.

Flip the batter around a few times and you’ll get a nice round shape! The goal is to get a golden-brown exterior. Place the takoyaki onto a bowl by skewering them with the picks.

Step 3: Customize the taste with your own mix of favorite condiments and sauces

Step 3: Customize the taste with your own mix of favorite condiments and sauces

The takoyaki isn’t complete until you add the toppings. From the sweet sauce, lightly flavored special sauce, strongly flavored sticky sauce, to the sesame-soy sauce mix that’s prepared daily, there are 6 different sauces to choose from.

The freedom of mix and matching the various tastes to your heart’s content is one of the unforgettable experiences exclusive to Takonotetsu.

The standard sauce is the basic and most recommended. Once you’ve decided what sauces you want to use, add seaweed, dried bonito flakes, mayonnaise, and you’re done!

DIY Takoyaki, where playing with your food is the whole point!

DIY Takoyaki, where playing with your food is the whole point!

Takonotetsu has earned a reputation with how one can enjoy eating tasty takoyaki even through DIY. One of the reasons why it’s so good is the attention they pay to their ingredients, from their inhouse custom takoyaki batter to the condiments.

The octopus in particular is extremely fresh, with not a single one kept overnight in the freezer and sliced in chunks that are ideal for takoyaki. Generally, the octopuses are three times the size of regular takoyaki, so you can fully enjoy the chewy texture of the octopus here.

The standard takoyaki (12 pieces per pax) costs 670-yen, but you can choose alternative ingredients to use instead of octopus as well. The octopus-prawn-beef combo costs 740-yen, while the octopus-perilla-cheese combo is another popular choice at 740-yen as well.

They also have an impressive lineup of alcohol that matches with takoyaki. The Takonotetsu Sour (M), their original lime and Blue Curacao cocktail at 480-yen is our recommendation. The refreshing taste matches perfectly with the strong flavors of takoyaki. As an added bonus it also is extremely photogenic!

They also have an impressive lineup of alcohol that matches with takoyaki. The Takonotetsu Sour (M), their original lime, and Blue Curacao cocktail at 480-yen is our recommendation. The refreshing taste matches perfectly with the strong flavors of takoyaki. As an added bonus it also is extremely photogenic!

Mr. Morita, the Marubiru Store’s manager greets enthusiastically, “If there’s anything you don’t understand, we’ll be more than happy to help!”

Other than having their instructions written in English as well, the staff will also politely assist you in how to make takoyaki. DIY takoyaki can be enjoyed by anyone, even those without prior experience. Why not try it out the next time you visit Osaka?

  • Takonotetsu Marubiru Store
    蛸之徹 マルビル店
    • Address Oosakamaru Bld. B2F, 1-9-20, Umeda, Osaka Shi Kita Ku, Osaka Fu, 530-0001, Japan
    • Phone Number 06-6345-0301
    • Business hours: 11:00-23:00 (Last order at 22:15) * Sundays and holidays 11:00-22:30 (Last order at 21:50) Lunch (weekdays only) 11:00-15:00
      Regular holiday: Open daily

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Text by: K.K. Bikoo Kobo

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*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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