Featured image: my visit to Gindaco takoyaki across from Harajuku station in Tokyo, Japan.
If you want a mouthful of octopus balls, you have come to the right place because I have the easiest ways to make all your takoyaki fantasies come true (plus a ton of pics of takoyaki pans, makers, mix, to picks, to visualize everything you need).
Thank you alien being aka the octopus for sacrificing your eight arms to be chopped up into tiny bits to be enclosed into hot balls of goodness. Except, before your mouth is filled with octopus balls, you have to decide on either:
- The Easy Way (requires an oven to a microwave): frozen takoyaki just requires a way to heat it up (well, a freezer too, but I shouldn’t have to tell you that).
- The Hard Way (requires specialized equipment): not only is it the hard way, but also the most rewarding way because you are making it
allpartially from scratch.
What You Need for Frozen Takoyaki (Easy)
- An Oven, Deep-fryer, to a Microwave: surprise, surprise.
- Toppings: negi (green onions), katsuobushi (bonito flakes), Kewpie (Japanese mayonnaise), ao nori (green seaweed flakes), kizami beni shoga (pickled ginger), to takoyaki sauce (Otafuku is a popular and common brand).
Where to Buy (Beyond Just Amazon)
Like my many other posts, I try to support all the other businesses out there because I try not to be an Amazon affiliate ho’bag -one reason why that is, is because I do not make a single cent directly from any of my content, and my sole objective is to provide information that I would utilize.
Frozen Takoykai Octopus Balls 40 pcs, 28.2oz – $10.80 (MTC Kitchen)
MTC Frozen Takoyaki Octopus Balls, 40pcs, 1.2kg – $18.60 (MTC Kitchen)
I’m a huge fan of MTC from a restaurant customer to a retail customer, and they are the ideal Amazon alternative.
Otafuku Takoyaki Sauce, 10.6oz – $5.50 (Umami Insider)
Otafuku Takoyaki Sauce, 300g – $9.90 (Japanese Taste)
Otafuku Takoyaki Sauce, 10.6oz – $5.95 (Yummy Bazaar)
Otafuku Takoyaki Sauce, 10.6oz – $7.99 (Walmart)
Otakfuku Takoyaki Sauce, 10.6oz – $7.90 (Amazon)
What You Need to Make it From Scratch (Hard)
- The Batter: you can make it from scratch, but why bother, buy a bag of pre-mixed batter (I said “harder,” not the hardest way).
- Octopus: super easy to find if you are in Los Angeles or in a coastal city because you can purchase it from any number of Japanese markets to Asian markets.
- Toppings: green onions (negi), bonito flakes (katsuobushi), Kewpie (Japanese mayonnaise), ao nori (green seaweed flakes), kizami beni shoga (pickled ginger), to takoyaki sauce (Otafuku is a popular and common brand).
- A Takoyaki Pan/Grill: I will be listing the brands and types of takoyaki pans below.
- Additional Tools (Optional): if you want to go as pro as possible, a takoyaki pick is a must, along with an optional oil brush.
Otafuku Takoyaki Flour Mix (16oz/453.59g) – $5.70 (MTC Kitchen)
Otafuku Japanese Takoyaki Set 4 Servings – $12.99 (Japanese Taste)
Otafuku Flour (453.59g) – $9.99 (Yamibuy)
Otafuku Takoyaki Mix (ball-shaped Japanese snack) 16oz – $7.99 (Walmart)
Otafuku Takoyaki Mix (ball-shaped Japanese snack) flour, 16oz – $9.49 (Amazon)
Types of Takoyaki Pans and Grills
Two configurations from pans to an all-in-one electric grills.
Cast Iron and Aluminum “Half-Sphere” Pans
Iwatani Non-Stick Aluminum Alloy Takoyaki Pan – $29.50 (MTC Kitchen)
I have high-praise for Iwatani products, so I lean towards this pan because it’s also made for butane burners which I would want the Iwatani brand (I use a Iwatani torch for torching my chashu), except unlike my $15-$25 burner, Iwatani has one that is upwards of $90 (they have more affordable models, but this one has got to be the Cadillac of butane stoves? I have always had the cheapest ones, so one day I will have the Caddy of butane burners… wait till the ladies see me cooking on that one).
I know how this works, but if you are so smart, why don’t you tell me how it works (since I already know, FYI).
All-in-One Electric Grills
I have included three models by Yamazen because they seem to be THE brand to buy in Japan and the world if you’re looking for a takoyaki specific maker/grill.
The one downside even to these takoyaki specific makers by Yamazen, is that you will have some users touting “instances of uneven cooking.” Although out of 986 reviews, they have a 4.1 out of a 5 (most of the negative reviews are by Japanese consumers complaining about irrelevant silly things such as the packaging method).
Yamazen Takoyaki Grill (24pc) – $40.00 (OMGJapan.com)
Yamazen Takoyaki (24pc) – $48.90 (Amazon)
Zojirushi Gourmet Sizzler Electric, EA-BDC10 – $115.99 (Amazon) + Takoyaki Plate EA-YBC01, For use with Zojirushi Gourmet Sizzler Electric Griddle EA-BDC10 only – $55.06 (Amazon)
Why Zojirushi? Power, that’s why. It might not matter much for takoyaki, but after doing several restaurant pop-ups where I initially utilized propane, I ended up switching to electric power. That move had a ton of pros and cons, but the cons were a host of issues that involved breakers popping to finding out 1,800 watts is not a whole lot of power to heat a 10-30qt stockpot which is why wattage matters (the model below is 1,500w, the above is 1,300w). I point out wattage because these two products are grills (high heat cooking), so power does matter if you have a nice thick steak you want to grill up, unlike the takoyaki specific makers, which do not require a whole lot of power, although do you only want to do takoyaki?
Zojirushi Indoor Electric Grill – $124.99 (Crate & Barrel)
Zojirushi Indoor Electric Grill – $101.24 (Amazon)
Except good luck trying to find just the takoyaki plate for the EB-DLC10, and you probably have to spend uupwards of $500 for A-GV35-TD
You probably were not expecting Crate & Barrel on this list, but that is why I do these resources (why would you want to limit yourself to just Amazon, and I want to welcome you to the world of Volvo’s, Dockers and the penny loafer crowd and where they shop).
Takoyaki Tools You Should Get Cuz You Want to Get Down
Enjoy your balls!