Japanese Octopus Dumplings: Takoyaki

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This particular posting is dedicated to Lou Ginocchio who had the occasion to sample this food served by Japanese residents in Paraguay!

Please note that this is a very basic recipe. Especially concerning the sauce, there are so many ways to prepare it that it becomes very well-guarded professional secrets in Japan!
As for the contents, octopus is always there, but as for other additions, it varies from region to region, and from home to home!
Its existence dates back to the 1930’s and it is most popular in Osaka City presently, although many people aver that it originated from the Toyo area.
There is a similarly named dish called ikayaki but it is a broiled whole squid and bears no resemblance

INGREDIENTS: for 35~40 dumplings
-Boiled Octopus: 1 tentacle
-Flour: 1 cup/200 ml=110g
-Baking powder: 1 quarter of a teaspoon
-Salt: 1 pinch
-Egg: 1
-Dashi Stock (seaweed or fish): 300 cc
-Dry seaweed powder, green laver (“aonon”) (to taste)
-Katsuo Bushi/Dry bonito shavings (to taste)
-Worcester sauce (to taste)
-Ketchup (to taste)
(or okonomiyaki sauce instead of two above)
-Tempura scraps (“tenkasu”) : 1 handful
-Red pickled ginger (“beni shoga”): (to taste)
-Chopped thin leeks (to taste)
-Mayonnaise (to taste)

UTENSILS:
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Takoyaki Hot Plate (1 or up to 4)

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Pick to turn (flip) takoyaki around. If unavailable, use a long toothpick.

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Sauce Brush

RECIPE:

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Cut boiled octopus into 5~7 mm cubes/bits. If you prefer to have only one bigger bit in the middle of the dumplings, cut accordingly.

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In a bowl break the egg, add dashi, chopped pickled red ginger (Omit if you serve to children), and salt. Mix well.

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Add flour and baking powder. Mix wel a if to attain a pancake batter.

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Heat the takoyaki hot plate and oil well.
Pour in takoyaki batter inside holes from center to outring (important).
Do not worry about spilling batter between holes as it will be folded inside the holes later!
Put octopus bits (2~3 small bits or 1 large bits) in the middle of each hole.

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With the pick drag excess batter over each hole and flip every bowl around inside its hole.

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Keep flipping dumplings over until they attain a beautiful uniform light brown colour.

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Transfer to serving plate and brush an equal amount of Worcester sauce and ketchup (you may mix both beforehand or use an okonomiyaki sauce) over each dumpling.
Do not be afraid to brush plenty of it!

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Sprinkle plenty of dry seaweed and dry bonito shavings all over them.

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For a final touch (and if you like it so!), add chopped thin leeks, tempura scraps and mayonnaise!

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