pancake balls

chocolate chip and blueberry filled
takoyaki grill
jenna step by step
flipping over
they're more filling than you'd think

Yes. They are pancakes, and yes they are perfectly formed balls. With either chocolate chips or blueberries in the middle. The secret to these little bites of heaven is a Japanese contraption called a takoyaki grill. Traditionally, "takoyaki" is a savory Japanese dough ball with green onions and octopus inside (note the little octopus on the grill!). Well, we've made the traditional kind (more on that later) but I couldn't resist sharing the pancake version first.

Basically, you grease each mold, add batter (and filling), and slowly rotate the balls with a pick. Each time you slightly turn the batter over, it slowly creates a complete circle and whatever you put in the middle becomes entirely enclosed. And melted, in the case of chocolate chips.

Jenna imported these babies all the way from Japan, but I just found them available on Amazon as well. The Amazon ones are a little different, because you'll need to use your stove to keep the grill hot, while Jenna's are electric so we can use them in the middle of our dining table. It's optimal for an eat-as-you-make-breakfast kind of morning.

Next time? I'm going to try these with pumpkin.

PS- For all of you who were wondering, on Sunday Jenna used the pad thai recipe from the NY Times, except she used pre-made sauce (tamarind paste is hard to find).