Vegetarian Takoyaki

Want to experience takoyaki without hurting any octopuses? Here is a Japan Fans recipe for vegetarian takoyaki (including a vegetarian dashi).

A Japan Fans recipe for vegetarian takoyaki. Japan Fans, Japanese Arts & Culture from the Centre of Utrecht. Japans Cultureel Centrum Utrecht
Takoyaki advertisement, picture by Christian Ladewig

Takoyaki (たこ焼き) is a popular street food in Japan. It looks like a ball-shaped snack and is often filled with octopus and various vegetables. But, if you’re looking for a vegetarian version of this delicious dish, this recipe is perfect for you. It’s made with a batter of all-purpose flour, veggie dashi or vegetable broth, eggs or egg substitute and a variety of vegetables such as finely chopped cabbage, green onion, and tempura bits or crumbled tofu. The takoyaki balls are then cooked in a takoyaki pan or a non-stick skillet, and served with takoyaki sauce, mayonnaise, and green laver. This recipe is a great way to enjoy the flavors of takoyaki without the use of meat.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup veggie dashi or vegetable broth
  • 2 eggs (or egg substitute)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cabbage
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped tempura bits or crumbled tofu
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Oil for frying
  • Takoyaki sauce, mayonnaise, and green laver for serving


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, dashi or vegetable broth, eggs, cabbage, green onion, tempura bits or crumbled tofu, soy sauce, sugar, and salt. Mix well until smooth.
  2. Heat a takoyaki pan or a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
  3. Pour the batter into the takoyaki pan, filling each mould about 3/4 full.
  4. Use a chopstick or skewer to press a small hole in the center of each takoyaki ball, and fill it with a small amount of the tempura bits or crumbled tofu.
  5. Cook the takoyaki for 2-3 minutes, or until the bottom is golden brown. Use the skewers or chopsticks to flip the takoyaki and cook the other side for another 2-3 minutes.
  6. Once the takoyaki are golden brown and cooked through, remove them from the pan and place them on a plate.
  7. Serve the takoyaki with takoyaki sauce, mayonnaise and sprinkle with green laver.

We hope you enjoy this recipe for Japanese-style Vegetarian Takoyaki! If you tried it, don’t forget to share your results in our Japan Fans Facebook group.

A Japan Fans recipe for vegetarian takoyaki. Japan Fans, Japanese Arts & Culture from the Centre of Utrecht. Japans Cultureel Centrum Utrecht
A beautiful octopus, picture by Serena Repice Lentini

Vegetarian Dashi

If you like to make your own veggie dashi, here is a simple & quick recipe for this traditional Japanese soup stock that is commonly used in many dishes:


  • 4 cups of water
  • 1/4 cup dried kombu (kelp)
  • 1/4 cup dried mushrooms


  1. Soak the kombu in 4 cups of cold water for at least 30 minutes, or up to 4 hours.
  2. Heat the kombu and water in a pot over medium heat, making sure not to bring it to a boil.
  3. Once the liquid is hot, remove the kombu with tongs or a slotted spoon, and discard it.
  4. Turn the heat to medium-high and add the dried mushrooms to the pot.
  5. Bring the liquid to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes.
  6. Remove the pot from heat and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
  7. Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth, making sure to press on the mushrooms to extract as much flavor as possible.

The vegetarian dashi is now ready to use – for example in the Vegetarian Takoyaki! You can store your dashi in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to a month.

When we realise our dream of opening a Japanese Art & Culture Centre in Utrecht, we will host many cooking & baking workshops and courses there as well!