|Takoyaki classes at Chef's Armoury, Botany Road, Rosebery|
We're familiar with takoyaki in Sydney often in its frozen form, which is widely available at sushi trains and casual Japanese restaurants. But the real-deal, freshly cooked stuff is a little harder to procure, save from the occasional markets stalls.
|Necessary ingredients for takoyaki|
Chef’s Armoury sits inconspicuously on a commercial strip of Botany Road in Rosebery. Those who venture within are rewarded with a trove of Japanese knives and accessories, Japanese foodstuffs as well as a collection of goodies for those inclined towards molecular gastronomy (yes, you can buy a water bath here).
|Takoyaki mise en place|
|Sifting flour, Leigh Hudson of Chef's Armoury|
We get straight into the batter for the takoyaki: a simple mixture of plain flour, eggs, kuzu or potato starch and soy sauce (more starch means crunchier takoyaki). Dashi stock is then added, easiest made up from a non-MSG dashi powder, and whisked till a thin cream consistency.
The fillings of diced cabbage and shallots are added for a base to the more feature fillings later, like octopus and in more modern fashion, cheese and what the Japanese call ‘wiener’ sausage. The batter then rests a while in the fridge, although this is not a completely necessary step for those super hungry for takoyaki.
|Half filling the takoyaki pan with batter|
|Adding chopped octopus|
|Flooding the takoyaki pan|
|Separating the batter|
|Flipping the first couple of takoyaki|
The beauty is that is you stuff one up and break it or something similar, you can leave it for a minute or so and then retry, as the batter fixes most errors itself.
|They start to take shape...|
|... the perfectly round takoyaki|
|Liberally applying takoyaki sauce|
|Liberally applying Japanese mayonnaise|
|Liberally adding katsuobushi|
|The finished product - takoyaki|
|Takoyaki with cheese and weiner sausage|
|Surprisingly easy to flip and turn|
I would highly recommend the takoyaki class for anyone who’s a fan of the octopus balls – it’s fun and yum, completely do-able at home and hard to balls-up.
|Perfect takoyaki balls (almost) every time|