Let’s make the takoyaki batter. Add the salt to the cake flour in a bowl. And thoroughly mix the powder with a balloon whisk.
Gradually pour in the cold dashi stock. Mix in the flour from the center to the outside to help avoid pockets of dry flour. Using the cold dashi stock will help avoid developing the gluten and create a soft and light texture. Add the soy sauce.
Thoroughly beat the egg in a bowl and add it to the batter. Mix to combine.
Pour the batter into a pitcher.
Let’s prepare the fillings. Cut the boiled octopus into 1cm (0.4”) pieces. Squid or scallops can also be used but then it would not be called takoyaki since tako means octopus.
Cut the shrimp in half. These shrimp are already peeled and deveined. If you’re interested in how to clean shrimp, heck out our ebi chili video.
Heat a takoyaki pan to about 240°C (464°F). Pour in a generous amount of oil. Make sure to distribute the oil outside of the holes too. Stir the batter and drop in a bit to check if the pan is hot enough. Then, pour the batter into the holes.
Immediately place the octopus and shrimp into each hole.
Sprinkle on the chopped cabbage leaves, bonito powder, spring onion leaves and the beni shoga also known as pickled ginger.
When the batter around the edges of the holes begins to cook, separate each takoyaki from the pan with bamboo sticks and tilt it 90 degrees.
When all the takoyaki are tilted, fill the holes with the batter again.
Turn the takoyaki a little at a time and shape them into balls.
Now, the takoyaki are golden brown and turn smoothly with a light flick. Place each takoyaki onto a plate as soon as it is ready.
Brush them with the okonomiyaki sauce. And sprinkle on the aonori seaweed. Finally, garnish with the bonito flakes. You can also top with mayonnaise to taste.
You can also use mochi, cheese, kimchi, sausage, or bacon for fillings and enjoy a variety of flavors.
There is a much heated debate whether cabbage leaves can be used in takoyaki. If your guests are Japanese, make sure to get permission so that nobody gets upset.
Let's make tartar sauce. Slice the hard-boiled egg crosswise with an egg slicer. Remove and slice it lengthwise across the initial slices. Rotate it by 90 degrees and slice it lengthwise again. Put the finely chopped boiled egg into a bowl.
Slice the onion, stack the slices on top of each other and mince well. Put the chopped onion in another bowl and rub with a bit of salt. Rinse the onion with cold water and drain with a mesh strainer. Squeeze out the water, put them on a paper towel and remove the excess moisture. Add the onion to the chopped egg.
Pinch the parsley, chop into fine pieces and add it to the egg. Slice the pickled cucumber, stack them on top of each other and chop into fine pieces. Add it to the egg mixture. Add the mayonnaise and salt to the mixture.
Cut the lemon in half. Slice the lemon half into wedges. Squeeze the other half and add the lemon juice to the mixture. Mix evenly and the tartar sauce is ready to serve.
Let's prepare the side vegetables. Use a vegetable slicer and shred the cabbage into ice water. Let it sit in the water for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the cabbage shreds with a salad spinner. Serve it on a plate. Garnish with the parsley, small tomamos and lemon wedges. Put the tartar sauce in a small cup and place it on the plate.
Let's prepare the black tiger prawns. Remove the sharp pointed shell from the tails. Peel the prawns but leave the last sections of the shell above the tails. Pierce the back of the prawns with a bamboo skewer and remove the sand veins.
Put the prawns in a bowl. Add a pinch of salt, potato starch and a little water to it. Gently rub the prawns with the salt and starch. Take the bowl to the sink and rinse them with running water to remove the dirt and fishy smell.
Place the prawns on a paper towel. Cover with another paper towel and press them to remove the excess moisture.
Cut the tips off the tails with a kitchen shears and remove the moist inside. Make cuts diagonally along the prawn stomachs. Press the prawns on their back and break the stringy parts. This process will prevent the prawns from curling up when heated. Finally, lightly sprinkle on salt.
Let's coat the prawns with batter. Crack the egg into a bowl. Add some water and beat the egg thoroughly with a whisk. First, dip the prawns into flour. Lightly coat and dust off the excess flour.
Second, dip them into the beaten egg.
Finally, coat the prawns with moist breadcrumbs. If they appear patchy, dip them into the egg again and reapply the breadcrumbs.
Let's deep-fry the prawns. Drop the breadcrumbs in the heated oil to check the oil temperature is around 175 °C (347 °F). Less than 2cm (0.8") depth of frying oil is good enough for this recipe. Dust off the breadcrumbs from the tails. Hold the prawn tails and gently put them into the oil one by one.
Let the prawns sit still in the oil for few seconds. Flip them over as the surface gets crispy. When the surface gets golden brown, place them on a paper towel and let them drain out the excess oil.
Serve the ebi fry on the plate along with the side vegetables and tartar sauce.
If the soft breadcrumbs are not available, mist dried breadcrumbs with water so that the ebi fry become crispy.
This tartar sauce uses less amount of mayonnaise. Adding extra mayo or a bit of mustard to the sauce also brings out the flavor.