Making takoyaki, a traditional Japanese street food, at parties and with friends has become really trendy recently in Japan. The takoyaki maker (basically a hot plate with round indents in it) is perfect for parties and cooking for lots of people, especially in small apartment (and dorm) spaces. Throwing a “Tako-pa” (short for “Takoyaki Party”) is now super popular and people are finding awesome alternative ways to use the takoyaki maker to make the parties even more fun. A cookbook was even published last week in Japan exclusively on takoyaki maker recipes.
Spoon’s rounded up the most inspired takoyaki maker creations found in the Japanese realm of Instagram and Twitter to introduce to you the wonders of this machine. If we succeed in convincing you, don’t worry. It’s available on amazon for just $26 – a total steal if you split the cost with roommates.
Tako (octopus) yaki (grilled) is a street food made popular in Osaka, Japan. Octopus is thrown into the indents filled with batter and a wide variety of ingredients depending on the variation. The ball is then flipped around and cooked to perfection, and topped with lots of mayo and a special, sweet sauce. The takoyaki maker makes it super easy and fun to make this at home with friends.
Shumai (Chinese Pork Dumpling)
Everyone loves a good, steamy Chinese dumpling in Japan, so someone figured out how to make it using a takoyaki maker. Steaming hot, simple, home-made dumplings? Yes, please.
Mini Crispy Pizzas
— ノノ@全賃貸物件を喫煙可と不可に分けて〜 (@u_u_non_non_s2) November 21, 2015
For when people at the party don’t all dumplings, Japanese people resourcefully use the same dumpling skins to make yummy mini party pizzas.
Anything “al ajillo”
#アヒージョ A photo posted by PEANUTSBUTTERBAGEL:9 (@peanutsbutterbagel) on Aug 4, 2015 at 7:55am PDT
You can even make fancy tapas dishes easily with this thing. Someone figured out how to cook things “al ajillo” (with garlic, literally, but also involves lots of olive oil) super easily at home, and now “ajillo” has taken over takoyaki-parties across Japan. How fancy (and easy) does this look?
たこ焼きプレートでケーキポップ☻ – 2015年のキッチンのトレンドワードを表彰する「#クックパッドアワード2015」で、「たこ焼き器」が2位を受賞！ BRUNOコンパクトホットプレートもブームの火付け役としてご紹介いただきました。 ケーキポップは、たこ焼きプレートで作るアヒージョと並んで、発売した2年半前からずっと人気の鉄板レシピです☻ #BRUNO #ブルーノ #ブルーノ研究部 #ホットプレート #たこ焼き器 A photo posted by BRUNO (@bruno_enjoy) on Nov 30, 2015 at 3:06am PST
Yes, you can make desert in a takoyaki maker too — aren’t these the cutest? You can melt chocolate in a heat-safe bowl right on top of the takoyaki maker, making this a treat that Tokyo-ites can easily make, even in a small apartment in the city.
Grilled Rice Ball (Yakionigiri)
今日のお昼ごはん たこ焼き器で焼きおにぎり pic.twitter.com/I5CCRRwx1c
— ＼ミオでーす／（ポコーン！） (@miotome29) January 26, 2015
A popular rendition of the traditional rice ball (onigiri) is the grilled version (yaki-onigiri) that’s usually coated thinly with soy sauce. All you need is some cooked rice balls, soy sauce, and oil and you have the quickest, yummiest Japanese snack thanks to this amazing appliance.
— レシピと料理がひらめく SnapDish (@SnapDishJP) June 18, 2015
Japanese people love American breakfast too, and figured out how to cook hash browns with this thing, too.
Omlette or Om-rice
20150.8.05 今日は短大の友人宅で持ち寄りランチ〜 以前娘さんがミニオムライスを凄く喜んでよく食べてくれたので今日は沢山持って行くことにしました(^ ^) 今日も喜んでくれるといいな♡ #持ち寄りランチ#持ち寄りパティー#ミニオムライス#サンドイッチ#たこ焼き器#お弁当#遅刻 A photo posted by Mariko Akimoto (@mon_922) on Aug 4, 2015 at 7:04pm PDT
Making Japanese/American fusion breakfast has been very popular too. In Japan, om-rice — rice cooked inside an omlette with ketchup — is a super popular dish, whether for breakfast or otherwise. Yup, you guessed it, you can make this easily with this appliance too.
ちっちゃいハンバーガーが出来た♡ #たこ焼き器 #役に立つ #こんなん作ってる場合ちゃう 笑 A photo posted by yas_una (@yas_una) on Dec 18, 2014 at 2:27am PST
Look at these adorable mini-burgers. The most adorable party snack ever. Just toast the “buns” (pretty much just pancake batter with some sesame seeds) and sandwich some fillers cut to a small size.
— つんこ (@tunco1016) March 27, 2012
Because you know, in most tiny Japanese apartments, fireplaces really aren’t a thing. You can put the marshmallows directly in the indents, or you can roast them above the takoyaki maker while you cook other food.
— ちん (@CHINdaDOPENESS) December 28, 2014
People have also started using the heat of the takoyaki maker to melt cheese or chocolate for dipping deliciousness.
OL killerでたっぷり充電した日の朝ごはんは、いつもなら即却下の「アメリカンドッグ」のリクエストにも、華麗？に対応〜。たこ焼き器+ホットケーキミックス+ウインナー。本当はギョニソがよかったけど。 pic.twitter.com/VoXuVXIwVt
— shoudaman (@shoudaman) November 28, 2015
People call these “American Dogs” in Japan (lol). But how cute of a party snack would these be?
昨日の#おやつ 雨だったので、#たこ焼き器 で#ベビーカステラ を#2歳 と一緒に#手作り パクパク食べてくれました #甘党男子 #カスタード 入りで#美味しかった #food#sweets#twoyearsold A photo posted by Mariko (@marhumba) on Sep 10, 2015 at 10:58pm PDT
Castella is a kind of sponge cake originated in the Castilla region of modern-day Spain, even though now it’s exclusively eaten popularly in Japan.
◯ ・ ・ #たこ焼き器 #ごま団子 #食後の #別腹 #床がゴマまみれ ・ ・ ぐんないっ? A photo posted by arinco.ico (@arinco.ico) on Oct 29, 2015 at 5:03am PDT
This handy appliance even makes making sesame balls, a Chinese treat, super easy.
There are honestly endless uses of the takoyaki maker and definitely so many more left to be discovered. Most of the recipes available online are in Japanese, which means there is time left to experiment and go viral. If you decide to get one and come up with something good, be sure to take photos and tag us at #spoonfeed.