Octodogs (aka takodogs)


The infamous “Octodog,” or Takodog (literally octopus dogs) if you prefer an engrish version, is a staple in a lot of Japanese kids’ bento boxes. They are dead easy to make in the simplest form, but like most things Japanese you can go a little crazy using specialized cutters and adding touches such as black sesame seed eyes. I opt for the simple version as my kids are past the point when the extras mean anything to them.

Recipe: Octodogs

  • 1 Gluten free hot dog


  1. Cut hot dog into three equal sections
  2. Using a sharp paring knife make three 1/2″ slits in a pie shape at each exposed hot dog end
  3. Boil cut pieces in a small pot (better) of water for a minute, or microwave (faster) on high for about 40 seconds
  4. Transfer cooked hot dogs to a piece of paper towel to drain, dry and cool
  5. Use as required

Notes: It really doesn’t any easier. It’s almost embarrassing to provide a recipe, but I had to look it it up when I first started.

As an aside, I was first shown a version of these by a friend during a fishing trip. He made deeper slits on either end of a whole hot dog (about a third of the length deep), skewered them in the middle, roasted them over an open fire until the legs curled, and called them squid-dogs. They tasted really good and made a great campfire treat for the kids.