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When Making Takoyaki, Why Do Some People Cut The Tip of The Octopus Tentacles?

Updated: Aug 27, 2023

When making Takoyaki, you may have wondered why some people cut the tip of the octopus tentacles. This practice is based on a myth many Japanese believed in—the belief that the direction of the octopus tentacles contained poison. However, it's important to note that this is just a myth and not based on factual information.

In reality, there is no poison in the tip of the octopus tentacles. This myth has been passed down through generations, and some people continue to adhere to it by cutting off the end, while others do not. Growing up in Japan, I heard this myth from my mother and friends, and like many others, I believed it without questioning it. However, I later learned that it was simply a misconception.

One theory behind the origin of this myth is that the suction cups on the tentacles of an octopus can attract bacteria, and some individuals mistakenly associate these bacteria with poison. This misunderstanding may have contributed to the development of the myth.

Rest assured, when you cook octopus, the heat effectively kills any bacteria present. The presence of bacteria in the suction cups is one of the reasons why octopus used for sushi or sashimi is typically cooked before consumption.

Understanding the truth behind this myth can help dispel any unnecessary concerns or misconceptions when preparing Takoyaki or enjoying octopus dishes. Remember, there is no need to cut the tip of the octopus tentacles as there is no poison to worry about.


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