Most helpful critical review
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2008
Beggars can't be choosers, and that seems to be true for takoyaki in the US. The delightful Osaka treat is rare enough even at Japanese restaurants, and the necessary implements for making it at home are even more so.
The absolute best set up is a round takoyaki pan, either on a gas or electric portable grill. Much of the fun of takoyaki comes from everyone sitting around the table and cooking together, putting in your favorite ingredients and popping the little balls out then eating them hot and fresh. That is how it is done in Japan, and home-cooking takoyaki isn't meant to be the province of a lone cook standing over a stove while everyone waits patiently for the food. It is a communal experience.
However, true takoyaki cookers are not readily available, and this pan is better than nothing. It doesn't take much, just a pan with round indents in it heavy enough to rest on the range while the balls are flipped over using long toothpicks. It isn't really designed to work with electric ranges, as they are pretty rare in Japan, but it does the trick. I don't recommend using the included steel pick, as it will scratch your pan and conduct heat while doing the flipping.