Grilled Savory Pancake Bites With Octopus (Takoyaki)

Takoyaki (Grilled Octopus Ball with Sauce, Bonito Flake, Seaweed)
Joseph Lerma/EyeEm/EyeEm/Getty Images
Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 8 mins
Total: 38 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
433 Calories
15g Fat
44g Carbs
29g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 433
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Cholesterol 151mg 50%
Sodium 601mg 26%
Total Carbohydrate 44g 16%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 29g
Vitamin C 6mg 32%
Calcium 96mg 7%
Iron 9mg 48%
Potassium 712mg 15%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Takoyaki is a popular Japanese snack food or street food. It is made with a savory pancake batter, similar to its cousin okonomiyaki (savory pancake with vegetables and/or meat) but 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 term takoyaki comes from "tako", meaning octopus, and "yaki", which means grilled. In some translations, takoyaki is referred to as grilled octopus bites. Takoyaki has a very thin, and almost crip grilled exterior with a very soft, almost liquid center, with a tender or slightly chewy bite of cooked octopus.

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.


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

For the Batter

  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 1/2 cups dashi broth

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pickled red ginger (benishoga), optional

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onion

  • 1/4 cup small red shrimp (sakura ebi), optional

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil

For Traditional Toppings for Each Serving

  • Prepared okonomiyaki sauce, Worchestershire sauce, takoyaki sauce, or tonkatsu sauce

  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise

  • Dried bonito flakes (katsuobushi)

  • Seaweed powder (aonori)

Steps to Make It

  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.