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TokyoTreat Japanese Snacks BlogHow to Use a Takoyaki Pan

How to Use a Takoyaki Pan

Karina IkedoKarina Ikedo
Published Time
Posted on 
May 31, 2023
A person cooking food in a takoyaki pan.

Takoyaki (octopus balls) is Osaka’s comfort street food. The ooey-gooey, delectable, steaming spherical orbs of octopus enrobed in savory pancake batter are a must-try! Some fall so deeply in love with it that they even buy a takoyaki pan to bring home to give it a go themselves!

What is a takoyaki pan?

A takoyaki pan is a hot plate with round indents in it. It’s a griddle made of cast iron that evenly heats the takoyaki. With this, you can make authentic takoyaki, crispy and soft on the inside!

A close up of octopus balls.
They’re available at any supermarket! Image via Shutterstock

Mastering filling and flipping takoyaki is fun. You can make 16 to 18 balls at a time, depending on how many indents or holes your takoyaki pan has. Since takoyaki are best eaten hot and fresh, everyone will love eating them as they come off the pan!

Best Types of Takoyaki Pan

If you want to make this food at home, you’ll need the right pan. Here are some of the best and most popular types of takoyaki pans available, designed specifically for creating those perfectly round and fluffy octopus balls that everyone loves.

Stovetop Takoyaki Pan

The stovetop pans are a good choice because they can fit on a typical gas burner. They’re also easy to clean. Some are even dishwasher-safe! This pan is super popular since you can cook takoyaki at the table with a portable butane burner. 

A stovetop takoyaki pan.
You can do really creative things with a stovetop pan! Image via Shutterstock

Stovetop takoyaki pans come in cast iron or aluminum. Cast iron pans are heavier than aluminum ones and will take longer to get hot, but they retain heat better. Aluminum takoyaki pans are less expensive, lighter in weight, and respond more quickly to changes in temperature.

Because you can control the heat, start with an intense fire until the skin of the takoyaki is nicely browned. Then switch to a weaker flame so the insides retain a springy texture.

Electric Takoyaki Pan

These pans are super convenient, like countertop griddles that plug into an electrical socket. One issue is that most models only have an on-off switch, so the heat can’t be adjusted.

An electronic octopus balls griddle.
Electronic pans are easier to clean. Image via Shutterstock

An electric pan is a fun option if you want to cook at the dinner table but don’t have a portable butane burner. When shopping for an electric model, get one with a removable cooking surface to make clean-up easier.

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What do I need to use with the takoyaki pan?

A few tools, many of which you might already have, will help you get the best results when cooking with any style of takoyaki pan.

Wooden Picks

Never use forks or other metal utensils on the pan’s coating, as they’ll scratch the surface. Instead, use wooden picks to turn the takoyaki or remove them from the pan. 

Chopsticks

Japanese chopsticks are suitable for removing cooked takoyaki from the pan. They can also be used for carefully placing filling pieces into the takoyaki as they cook.

Seasoned batter in a griddle with multiple indents.
Takoyaki batter has lots of seasoning! Image via Shutterstock

Tiny Ladle

The cups in each pan hold about one-and-a-half tablespoons. A small spoon that holds about half an ounce is perfect for scooping and pouring thin batters into the pan. You can find these ladles at restaurant supply stores or kitchen specialty stores.

Silicone Gripper

Who says takoyaki cooking can’t be fun and safe? While many takoyaki pans lack heatproof handles, we’ve got a clever solution for you! Introducing the ultimate kitchen accessory: a pair of silicone gripper mitts.

These playful mitts are not only the perfect size to grasp those hot pan handles, but they also come in vibrant colors and patterns to add a touch of excitement to your culinary adventures. With these mitts in hand, you can flip and turn your takoyaki with ease, all while keeping your fingers cool and stylish!

A takoyaki pan with octopus balls in it.
Takoyaki is a very convenient snack! Image via Shutterstock

Pastry Brush

Takoyaki chefs use a round, soft-bristled brush that fits perfectly into the takoyaki pan to oil the cups. These special brushes are hard to come by outside of Japan, but a pastry brush will do the trick. 

How to Use a Takoyaki Pan

Before and after use, wash it well with lukewarm water. Heat it on the stove before and after each use! By heating well, it makes it easier for the oil to blend in, preventing the dough from sticking.

Once heated on the stove, pour plenty of oil over its surface. We recommend cooking scraps of vegetables first. The polyphenols in the vegetables will also help prevent the dough from sticking to it.

Takoyaki covered in white sauce.
Takoyaki is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Image via Shutterstock

When storing, dry it well, apply a thin layer of oil, and wrap them in a newspaper or other paper. In that way, it will protect them from moisture and prevents rust.

Takoyaki is one of Japan’s most famous soul foods. You can find takoyaki everywhere, from restaurants to Japanese street food stalls. Making takoyaki at home has become trendy recently in Japan. The takoyaki pan is perfect for parties and cooking for many people, especially in small spaces. Take good care of it so that you get to enjoy making and eating delicious takoyaki!

Have you used a takoyaki pan before? Are you looking into buying one? Let us know in the comments below!

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