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Bellevue Beat | "Takoyaki for Kiera... Takoyaki for Kiera"

Bellevue Beat

We dropped by Uwajimaya yesterday to grab some bites to bring home for the NFL's AFC Divisional matchup between the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos. While waiting in line to order the chinese roast pork and roast duck, we heard someone called out "Takoyaki for Kiera... Takoyaki for Kiera". A minute went by and the loud call continued "Takoyaki for Kiera... Takoyaki for Kiera". Another minute went by another call went out.

Curious, we followed the "Takoyaki" calling after picking up our orders and discovered the beckoning came from a small deli area toward the front of the store just before the check-out stands. There we found someone standing and leaning over a double griddle pan with a small screwdriver-like metal stick in each hand. With great dexterity and finesse, he wields the two sticks at dizzying, ninja-like speed cutting, poking, turning and slicing into the freshly poured batter on the griddle pan. Within minutes, we saw "Takoyaki" dumpling balls, all 24 of them in 4 by 6 formation, rise from the batter.

Takoyaki Bellevue | Takoyaki Bellevue | Takoyaki Bellevue |
Takoyaki Bellevue | Takoyaki Bellevue | Takoyaki Bellevue |

"Takoyaki" translates to fried octopus and was first made popular by a street vendor in Osaka, Japan around 1935.  As you can see it's a round dumpling the size of a mini donut hole, whose main ingredient is cooked octopus. Beside the cooked octopus, every other ingredient is generally varied amongst the different takoyaki vendors. In all, we counted some 10 ingredients in a Bellevue Takoyaki dumpling:

  • Takoyaki batter
  • Tako (cooked octopus)
  • Tenkasu (tempura bits)
  • Sakura ebi (dried shrimp)
  • Pickled red ginger
  • Aonori (dried seaweed)
  • Fresh green onion
  • Katsuobushi (flakes of dried, smoked bonito fish)
  • Takoyaki sauce
  • Japanese mayo

So Bellevue, if you love takoyaki or just wanted to try it, you know where to go! But don't get in your car and rush to Uwajimyaya just yet. The takoyaki deli is only available every other weekend at Bellevue Uwajimaya. For more information and exact opening days, visit Tako Kyuuban.

Well, we don't know if Kiera ever heard her name called and picked up her takoyaki orders. We ended up ordering 2 cartons, each with 6 dumplings for $3.99. Yum!

Published: January 15, 2012
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