Takoyaki: Decadent Japanese Street Food with Foie Gras and Caviar
Takoyaki, a very popular Japanese street food, is a spherical dumpling with grilled octopus. What's fun about cooking is that you don't always need to follow the classic recipe for things. I wanted to take this humble snack and turn it into something a little more decadent. Mine includes scallop, foie gras, dried mushrooms, and caviar. Here's what you'll need:
This will make about 30 takoyaki balls:
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 cup dashi (Japanese broth steeped from bonito flakes)
- 1 cup concentrated mushroom broth
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 5-6 pieces of large scallop (chopped)
- 2 tablespoons of thinly chopped scallion
- 3 tablespoons of pickled ginger or pickled radishes (choose whichever one you like better)
- 1/4 cup takoyaki sauce (can be bought at most japanese supermarkets)
- 1/4 cup truffle oil
- 1 slice of foie gras
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 small jar of caviar (whatever you can afford)
- 1 cup mixture of dried mushrooms (morel, shitake, chanterelle, porcini and black trumpet)
This is a blend of dried European mushrooms, including my favorite dried mushroom, morels. I could have easily just used the morels alone, but I decided to include the full mix. You can buy this mix at Whole Foods in the fresh vegetable and fruit section.
For the foie gras, I'm using the brand "Rougie" with 3% black truffle. For both the caviar and foie gras, use whatever you can easily find and what's affordable. Cheap caviar and foie gras still tastes good.
Okay, now that we've got the ingredients covered, the next step is the most important. There are two major broths for this takoyaki: the DASHI (bonito flavored broth) and the mushroom broth. I boiled the dried mushrooms until the broth was very concentrated and dark. For the bonito flakes, all I did was measure 2 cups and let them sit in very hot water for about 30-40 minutes. Then I filtered out the flakes.
Flavor this mushroom broth with some salt, and filter it the same way I did with the Dashi.
The mixture for the takoyaki comes together fairly quickly. Remember those mushrooms you boiled before? Process it until it is finely chopped, and add it into the flour with the eggs, 1 cup of dashi, 1 cup of the mushroom broth, and the chopped scallops. You can see the chopped scallops in the last photo on the bottom right hand corner.
Prep your takoyaki pan. I have a cast iron one that you have to heat on the stove, but I linked to the electric one. I think the electric one is better for certain things like even cooking, but the cast iron pan is better for a crisper crust. Generously coat each crevice with both Pam spray and olive oil or vegetable oil. You don't want these to stick.
Fill the crevices with the mixture HALFWAY, and then place pieces of your foie gras in the middle. You want to push it in so it's not just sitting on top. This will help secure it in place. You want the foie gras to melt into the balls a little while it's cooking.
The balls will rise a bit. Also add the pickled ginger—I added pickled radish but you can take your pick.
You want to seal the takoyaki with another dollop of the mixture, and then flip them when they're nice and brown.
We're not done yet, you want to now prep the sauce for these balls. You'll need the truffle oil and takoyaki sauce.
Fill each pipette with both the truffle oil and the takoyaki sauce. You can buy the pipettes here.
Stick each pipette into the takoyaki balls.
For the last step, add a little caviar on top.
Don't forget the sauce.