How to Make Octopus Spaghetti (Without Really Using Octopus)

This third episode of Bear in a Box focuses on a well-loved sea creature—the octopus! Widely known in sushi stalls as Tako, this eight-legged critter has been transformed into a popular Japanese plushie and has become quite the kawaii icon.

This spaghetti bento recipe, though, doesn’t make use of actual tako, but instead, uses our favorite little red hotdogs to mimic it down to the tentacles, and is laid on a bed of spaghetti with marinara sauce. Compared to our former Bear in a Box bento tutorials, I personally think this is the easiest to execute—or maybe it’s the nostalgia attached to hotdogs and spaghetti! Either way, we feel this is something you’ll definitely enjoy preparing and devouring right after.

Tako Spaghetti Bento Box

Ingredients: Marinara Pasta

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 3 tomatoes
  • fresh basil
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of pepper
  • olive oil
  • pasta of your choice

Ingredients: Tako Hotdogs

  • 2-3 mini hotdogs
  • kewpie
  • black sesame seeds
  • sliced cheese
  • butter

Procedure: Marinara Pasta

  1. Prepare pasta as indicated on the box. Set aside.
  2. Lightly grease pan with olive oil and saute garlic and onions in oil.
  3. Add tomatoes and saute until soft.
  4. Season with salt and pepper. Add fresh basil.
  5. Remove from heat and set aside.

Procedure: Tako Hotdogs

  1. Diagonally slice a mini hotdog in half. Make incisions from the slice halfway across the hotdog to create its tentacles.
  2. Butter a pan and fry the hotdogs.
  3. Remove the hotdogs from the pan. With a toothpick, make small dots for its eyes with kewpie. This will help the black sesame seeds stick to the hotdog.
  4. Cut small triangles with the sliced cheese. Stick them onto each hotdog to make the octopi beaks. (You can add a bit of kewpie to help them stick.)


  1. Fit your pasta into a container.
  2. Spread the marinara sauce over the pasta.
  3. Garnish with the Tako Hotdogs and fresh basil.

Have you made your own bento box yet? Join our #MujiForABento Instagram contest and get a chance to win PHP 5,000 worth of MUJI Gift Certificates! Click on the link for more details.


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One Response

  1. Boiling the hotdog is better.. Makes the tentacles curl and and skin will have more “pop”.

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