Thursday, January 28, 2010

Vegan Takoyaki

Previously, I have made Tofu Takoyaki. Very delicious, but not authentic. Well that's going to change! If you want to get super technical, this is called "Konnyakuyaki".
This is a very specific recipe, needing out-of-the-ordinary equipment and ingredients. I have tried to offer replacements where possible.

Takoyaki pan
toothpick or skewer
canola oil for greasing

2 C Vegan takoyaki powder mix
2 Cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1 C cold dashi stock (water soaked with konbu OR mixed with instant konbu granules)
2 Tbsp oil
extra cold water (if needed)

Konnyaku* block (not noodles), cut into squares (or mushrooms halves)
Red pickled ginger, chopped
Green onions, chopped
Tempura bits (tenkasu), optional

Takoyaki/okonomiyaki/tonkatsu sauce (whichever you can find vegan will do)
Vegan mayo
Nori powder (fine cut seaweed)

Preheat the takoyaki pan. Traditionally, over the stove, or turn on the electric type.

1. Stir all the batter ingredients together. It should be a runny medium batter, if not, add the cold water little by little.

2. Grease the takoyaki pan with a paper towel dipped in oil.

3. Spoon in the batter to overfill the cups.

4. Place a square of konnyaku in the center of each cup.

5. As is starts to cook, sprinkle the ginger and onions and tempura bits on top.

6. Now comes the tricky part. Turning. After a minute, using your skewer/toothpick, you grab the edge of the takoyaki ball and flip it over half way so the other side can start to cook. Pick up the spilled over filling and shove it in there too. Keep continuously rotating them until they are completely round and golden brown.

Here is a video, it shows all of these cooking steps.

7. Once they are golden and firm, place them on your plate. Drizzle your sauce and mayo on top, with a sprinkling of nori flakes. You are ready to eat!

*My host family told my konnyaku is a "sea potato". This..... is not true. Even though it is often called a "yam", it isn't that either! This "potato" is made into flour and has hijiki added to it for the color. It has a jiggly texture a lot of people don't like at first, and the taste can be too "fishy" sometimes. But it is a perfect replacement for octopus legs in this recipe!