Thursday, 25 December 2014

Takoyaki (Japanese Octopus Balls) ♥

Hi, guys! This month there will be a theme going around on the blog. December is cooking month! So from now on, every week, I'm going to introduce a recipe to all of you. As you know, I'm not much of a cook so this is something totally new to me. Some of the recipes might be quite traditional and some of them are just cooking-hacks as opposed to recipes. Either way, I hope you enjoy them! 

I believe most of you already know of this tasty dish. If you don't, where have you been living?! It's the tastiest snack of all time! Okay, let me just explain. takoyaki is an essential snack in Japanese summer festivals. It's a dough ball filled with octopus, traditionally. They also come with surimi (crab sticks), chicken or whatever else you want to substitute the octopus with. The octopus is yummy, though! Yes, that makes this delicacy typical for summer and not, you know, Christmas. But before I went to Germany, I used to make this almost everyday and I can't wait to share the recipe with you.

Before you start, make sure you have this kind of pan + a skewer or some satay sticks
Ingredients 
  • 200 gr all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. yeast
  • 1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 500 ml warm milk
  • 30 gr butter, melted
  • 100 gr octopus
  • 10 gr pickled red ginger
  • 3 leeks
  • Mayonaise, to taste
  • Tonkatsu sauce, to taste
  • Katsuobushi or Hana Katsuo (bonito flakes), to taste
  • Aonori (green laver), to taste

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl well. Then make a hole in the middle and crack the eggs into the hole.
  2. Add the warm milk little by little while mixing all the ingredients well
  3. Add the melted butter into the mixture and mix well
  4. Let the mixture sit for 15-20 minutes
  5. Dice the octopus and leeks (1cm thick) and slice the red ginger
  6. After you let the mixture sit, heat the pan and line the holes with butter
  7. Stir the mixture before pouring it into the hole. Make sure you fill only 2/3 of each hole.
  8. Add the octopus, ginger and leeks into each hole
  9. Feel the edges of the mixture in each hole with a skewer or bamboo sticks and turn each dough over. Make sure you do this before the bottom part is fully cooked
  10. Let the dough sit on the pan for a while before turning them over again and they turn golden and hard on the outside
  11. After removing the octopus balls from the pan, line them up on a plate and squirt the mayonaise and tonkatsu sauce over them
  12. Sprinkle the aonori on top of the sauce and add the katsuobushi on top of that
  13. Devour with tooth picks and enjoy!

Tips: Do not forget to warm the milk, cold milk could prevent the dough from rising. I wouldn't recommend using white ginger, the taste is significantly different. I should stress that you'd need bamboo sticks or maybe skewers. Do not attempt to do this with forks or knives! It wouldn't work! Plus, it's so much easier with bamboo sticks. If you don't have or can't find aonori, you can just cut up regular nori (this is what I did), they are basically the same, just different in size. The same goes with katsuobushi and hana katsuo, they're only size-wise different. But cutting wouldn't be of any help to you here. Lass euch schmecken!

That's the end of my recipe this month. It has been such a fun month! I don't think I've ever creatively cooked so much. Thank you so much for all the responses. I hope you get to try one of these sometime. If you do, please let me know! See you next year!

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