- 200g chopped boiled octopus
- cooking oil
- benishoga (pickled ginger) (to taste)
- chopped negi (or scallions) (to taste)
- tenkasu (or rice crispies) (to taste)
- 450cc water
- 1 piece konbu (kelp), 10cm square
- 15g powdered katsuo-bushi (shaved dried bonito)
- 200g flour
- 2 eggs
- commercial takoyaki sauce
- or worcestershire sauce
- or bulldog sauce
- or mayonnaise (Best Foods or Hellman's)
Cooking time: 10-20 minutes
Servings: 50-60 pieces (4-5 persons)
Takoyaki ("octopus balls") are usually served at street stands, but they can also be made at home. However, it will help if you have a takoyaki grill, or a similar device with 3-centimeter-diameter cups.
Directions - batter
1. Clean the konbu by wiping it lightly with a cloth.
2. Cut the konbu into 2-centimeter-wide partial strips against the grain, but don't cut all the way to the edge -- see illustration.
3. Add the water and konbu to a pot, and cook uncovered over a slow fire.
4. Just before the water starts to boil, remove the konbu from the pot. The liquid should be a light yellowish or greenish color.
5. Add shaved katsuobushi to the water as it starts to boil.
6. After the liquid has been boiling a minute or two, turn off the heat.
7. Quickly remove the shaved katsuobushi from the liquid with a filter or strainer or cloth. Try to remove the katsuobushi while it's still floating on the surface, before it has a chance to sink.
8. Allow the liquid to cool, then add the liquid, flour and eggs to a bowl and mix.
Directions - takoyaki
Make a small test batch of 4 or 5 takoyaki at first, to check the consistency of the batter. Add more flour or water as needed.
1. Oil the takoyaki pan.
2. Add pieces of chopped octopus to each cup.
3. Pour in the batter.
4. Add benishoga, negi and tenkasu to taste.
5. Cook the takoyaki pieces until they achieve the desired degree of firmness, turning them over frequently.
6. Remove from the pan and serve with sauce and/or mayonnaise.
Set of five super cute figurines in the popular Japanese series of Sushi Cats, or Neko Zushi.
These collector's items are sold in gumball machines in Japan, but you never know which character you have until you open the plastic case. Our set of five includes Toromi with pink randoseru school backpack, Margo with yellow blanket, Wasabi with two cucumbers, Nyadai with lobster and leek, and Shakebu in striped tie.
According to the manufacturer, Tange & Nakimushi Peanuts, the Sushi Cats are creatures from another universe who have been visiting Earth for millennia - images of alien cats can be found in ancient Egyptian wall paintings and even the Nazca lines.
Each piece depicts a friendly cat lounging on a cushion of rice wrapped with a ribbon of seaweed.
Each figure is approx. 4 x 3 x 1.5cm.
Perfect for cat lovers, anime fans, and kawaii maniacs.
[US$ 29.50, €28, free shipping]
Pack your lunch in an old-fashioned Japanese kura storehouse.
This adorable bento lunchbox is shaped like a Japanese kura storehouse. The design is based on the traditional architecture of tiled roof, white walls on the upper story, and black-slate patterned lower level.
The two-story building and separate roof compartment are big enough to fit a hearty lunch for a hungry student or office worker. Use the two box compartments for main and side dishes, sandwich and salad, or rice and toppings, and pop some candy or a snack in the roof. [US$29, €26]