Takoyaki are bite-sized balls made of flour batter, seasoned with dashi stock and with a bit of octopus (tako) meat in the center. Red pickled ginger, long onion, sakura shrimp and other ingredients may also be added. When served, takoyaki are sprinkled with a savory sauce and dried bonito flakes, then topped with green nori seaweed flakes.
In 1935, the octopus-filled takoyaki we know today was created in Osaka, but previously, balls stuffed with konjak and beef were enjoyed there. The idea of putting tako inside the ball may have been influenced by a recipe for baked egg stuffed with octopus, made in nearby Akashi, a city famous for its octopus. Today’s sauce-covered takoyaki grew popular during the 1950s, and the number of toppings gradually increased. Today in Osaka, takoyaki may be purchased almost anywhere, but they are also made and enjoyed at home using a special takoyaki mold.