Tako-san タコさん Octopus

A dear friend, of Japanese origin, showed me how to make this. It’s a delicious main meal idea for a kids party, an after school get together or for a family tea time meal. It uses Frankfurter sausages in an unusual way. She told me that they call this ‘octopus’ in Japan, so I’ve always known this dish as Takosan.

delicious main meal idea for kids party

Delicious main meal idea for kids

How to make:


1 onion

Garlic – one or two cloves

1 tbs tomato paste

1 tin of tomatoes, any kind

1 vegetable or chicken stock cube

2 – 3 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped (the sauce will be blended later)

Vegetables, green of any kind, roughly chopped


Herta Frankfurters. Hessy’s are a gluten free alternative but I haven’t tried them out to see if they work, I know some tinned ones don’t.


Method – add your own madness.

1.  Chop the onions loosely, and fry in a little olive oil in a medium to large pan, until cooked. Chop the garlic a little and add to the onion, cook for a minute.

Add the tomato paste, stir and then add the tin of tomatoes.

Put the stock cube into the empty tin of tomatoes. Half fill with recently boiled hot water. Stir until stock cube has dissolved and carefully as the tin will be hot, add to the pan.

Add the chopped carrots, and any other vegetables to almost fill the pan. I usually use broccoli and one other.

Cook for at least 20 minutes until all the vegetables are soft.

Tomato sauce for takosan meal

2. Whizz until smooth with a hand blender  – be careful not to let it splash as the sauce will be very hot.

Cutting the hotdogs

3. Once the sauce has been cooking for 10 – 15 minutes, start to cook enough pasta for those you are cooking for. Place in a large pan, cover with water and simmer.

While that’s cooking, cut the hot dogs into thirds, then cut each one lengthwise about 2/3rds in, turn slightly and do it again. I usually only manage three cuts but they’re more like an octopus if you can do it four times.

4. Once they’re all cut, heat a pan with a little oil and add a few of the ‘octopus’ at a time.

As they cook the magic happens. I love this part. Cook them in batches turning regularly so that they don’t stick.

Once they’re golden brown, pop the cooked hotdogs into a bowl lined with paper towel.

5. When the pasta is cooked and add enough of the tomato sauce to cover the pasta thoroughly. I find there’s usually more than enough sauce to freeze for another occasion.

Put the pasta into pasta bowls and add the Takosan sausages on top – no more than 5 or 6 each, oddly they can get sickly if you eat too many.

Then, dig in – delicious!