For those of you who are unfamiliar with takoyaki (たこ焼き), it’s a type of festival (祭り) food made by cooking octopus in gum ball-shaped dumplings. Takoyaki literally means ‘fried (yaki) octopus (octopus).’
The basic recipe is as follows, although there are many variations. Takoyaki is cooked in a cast iron pan riddled with half-spherical depressions. From a distance, the pan looks like an oddly formed muffin tin. The dumpling batter has a similar texture and flavour to that of waffles. Inside the dumplings are small pieces of octopus, tempura flakes, green onion and ginger. Many different toppings can be put on takoyaki, including a black, molasses-like sauce, dried fish flakes (かつお節), green laver (青海苔) and mayonnaise. If you’re in Vancouver, hit up the Richmond Night Market to try some for yourself. Takoyaki is delicious!
Now that you’re familiar with takoyaki, it’s time to introduce you to takoyaki the candy! I found this novel confectionary in our local supermarket.
Inside the takoyaki candy kit were four packages, a plastic takoyaki pan, a mixing bowl and a takoyaki turning spoon.
I placed the contents of the red package in the mixing bowl and added some water. As I stirred, the mixture it began to congeal. There was a faint aroma of “Fuzzy Peaches” wafting from the bowl. Once it was thick enough, I poured some of the solution into the takoyaki pan until each indent was approximately half-full. I then placed cute little tako gummies in each of the six indents. The remaining gelatine was then poured over the tako gummies until the indents were full.
After they set for three minutes, I began to roll the takoyaki dumplings in the indents to round them out. This process wasn’t terribly successful as I used a little too much water when making the gelatine batter.
After carefully rolling the dumplings, I removed them from the tray and added some succulent carmel sauce and candy sprinkles.
The takoyaki candies had a fruity flavour; a mix of peach and strawberry. The sweet carmel sauce was a nice accent to the takoyaki flavour. They were chewy, which is the only similarity they share with authentic takoyaki. Personally, I prefer the real thing.
Although they were quite tasty and fun to make, I will likely never make candy takoyaki again. The payoff wasn’t as good as I expected and I suspect that I would be severely reprimanded if I ever attempted to make them at work. Definitely not a quick sugar fix candy. Regardless, they were delicious!