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:
I am listing everything you need for takoyaki either THE EASY WAY (frozen/microwavable) or THE HARD WAY (flour mix, octopus, and electric takoyaki grill).The octopus icon denotes summaries if you are looking for a quick read.
The Easy or the Hard Way
- 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.
Where to Buy (Beyond Just Amazon)
To keep this site going, I have added affiliate links (“Otafuku Buy Direct”) that will help support this website, although I have also included links of competing vendors where I do not make a cent.Updated on February 5th, 2022: only 4 are affiliate links of the 2-1/2 dozen links.
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 I do that is because I do not make a single cent directly from 98% of my content, and my sole objective is to provide information that I would utilize (if I am self-serving d’bag, it is useless).
What You Need for Frozen Takoyaki (The Easy Way)
- A Bag of Frozen Takoyaki Balls: if you have ever been to a restaurant that offered it, most likely they were serving up this brand and this bag of frozen takoyaki balls.
- 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).
This might be obvious, but frozen takoyaki is a perishable product, so this post has been updated to reflect the lack of an online purchase option (2/6/22). You will have to rely on local Japanese markets.
I’m a huge fan of MTC from a restaurant customer to a retail customer, and they are the ideal Amazon alternative.
|Frozen Takoykai |
40 pcs, 28.2oz
|$8.64 – $10.80 |
|MTC Frozen |
Otafuku is a leading brand for takoyaki products from takoyaki mix/batter to sauce.
What You Need to Make it From Scratch (The Hard Way)
If you have ever been to a restaurant that did a million items, along with takoyaki, then they most likely used this product. Only a specialized spot like Karl’s Balls in NYC or Tanota Takoyaki in Los Angeles are preparing it the hard way, from scratch.
- 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.
Takoyaki Flour Mix
Takoyaki Flour Mix
|Otafuku Value Pack |
Set 4 Servings
snack flour 16oz)
snack flour, 16oz)
Octopus Bro (Where to Buy Octopus Online), You Need It
Once again, if you are in an area where the most exotic it gets is a hot pocket, this list will help you to get everything you need to do it like they do it in Japan.
Like with any frozen product, you will have to pay for overnight shipping in most, if not all cases ($$).
Tentacles from Spain
4lbs of octopus
(you have to go hard
if you go this route)
A whole octopus
Yup, tentacles again
Product of Thailand
|Wild Fork Foods|
Types of Takoyaki Pans and Grills
Two configurations from pans to an all-in-one electric grills.
Cast Iron and Aluminum “Half-Sphere” Pans
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).
Out of them all, this is the product that Karl, of Karl’s Balls (Takoyaki) recommends which is the Iwatani gas takoyaki grill (CB-ETK-1).
|Iwatani Cassette |
All-in-One Electric Grills
One of the main issues/criteria when selecting any of these grills is even cooking (with no hot spots).
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).
|Takoyaki Plate |
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?
Indoor Electric Grill
(Crate & Barrel)
|Zojirushi (EB-DLC10) |
Indoor Electric Grill
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
Just like your kicks or your purse, accessories do matter.
Out of all those links, only 4 were affiliate links although if you care to support this website, and you are looking to buy takoyaki flour, sauce, to tonkatsu and okonomi sauce, click the link below.