Ordinary takoyaki are great, but if you’re making them at home it is a great opportunity to mix things up a bit. The first time we made these they were an instant hit – strangely more with the adults than the kids (who prefer the regular takoyaki). They’re a must-have now for any takoyaki party we have.


Makes about 50 takoyaki


250g beef mince (cheaper mince, preferably – see tips below)

¼ tsp salt

2 tbsp oil, for greasing the pans

1 cup tenkasu (tempura batter bits, see page XX)

¼ cup dill pickles, finely diced

½ red onion, finely diced



½ cup shredded American cheese

¼ cup spring onions, finely sliced

¼ cup Otafuku takoyaki sauce, to serve

¼ cup tomato ketchup, to serve

¼ cup American-style mustard, to serve

½ cup Japanese mayonnaise, to serve

2 tbsp aonori (dried bright green laver), to serve

1 tsp toasted sesame seeds, to serve

a handful of bonito flakes, to serve


Bonito stock (optional)

a good handful of bonito flakes


Takoyaki batter

250g plain flour

1L bonito stock (see above), other stock, or water

2 eggs, beaten

½ tsp soy sauce

¼ tsp salt



Season the beef mince with salt and mix well. Mold into small balls around the size of a large marble (but make sure they will fit inside your takoyaki pan). Heat a frying pan over medium heat and fry the balls on both sides, pressing down on them to flatten them into patties. They will cook in just a few minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.

To make the bonito stock, bring just over a litre of water to a simmer and add the bonito flakes. Boil for a few seconds then turn off the heat and allow the pot to stand for 10 minutes. Strain to remove the bonito flakes.

To make the batter, combine all the ingredients with a whisk and whisk to a very thin, watery batter.

Arrange the fillings and toppings near your takoyaki grill and heat the grill (or ableskiver pan) until it is hot. Brush with oil, then ladle in the batter, completely filling the holes in the pan as well as the surrounds. Drop a beef patty into each hole, and scatter the whole of the pan liberally with tenkasu, pickles, red onion and cheese. As the batter starts to firm, draw lines between the holes with a skewer, as if marking out a grid. Insert the skewer to the base of each whole and roll over the ball to create a sphere. Cook for a further 5 minutes or so, rolling the balls over periodically until they are firm and crisp on the outside.

Remove the balls from the pan and arrange on a plate. Drizzle liberally with Otafuku sauce, ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise, and scatter over the aonori, spring onion, sesame seeds and bonito flakes.

Tips for Cheeseburger Takoyaki

  • Cheap beef mince tends to have a much higher fat content than more expensive lean mince. This makes it great for making things like burgers and dumplings.
  • For a recipe for making regular takoyaki, check out this post.