Surume: How to Cook Japanese Dried Whole Squid

It is getting hotter day by day here in Japan. The season for beer has finally come! And this night I actually enjoyed a chilled beer with snacks.

By the way, have you ever heard of “Otsumami (おつまみ)”? It is the Japanese word for finger foods and nibbles eaten as accompaniments for alcoholic drinks, and when you think of such Japanese snack foods, what comes to your mind first?

Edamame (枝豆)?

Edamame with Beer

It seems that the green soybeans, Edamame is fairly well recognized in some countries.

Although roasted, salted Edamame, with the shell removed, is popular in the United States, we usually have boiled, salted ones with the shell intact and only enjoy the beans inside.

Edamame is a standard Otsumami snack to us Japanese, and in fact, many people living in Japan will think of the salted green soybeans as one of the best matches for beer.

Surume (スルメ) 

Surume Dried Whole Squid

To get back to the main subject, with a chilled canned beer, this night I enjoyed a traditional Japanese dried squid snack called “Surume (スルメ)”, which is actually widely consumed in many Asian countries including Japan.

The Asian snack food, Surume, also known as “Atarime (アタリメ)“, is made of squid that has been gutted and dried in the sun, and typical species prepared include “Yari Ika (ヤリイカ: spear squid)”, “Kensaki Ika (ケンサキイカ: sword tip squid)”, and “Surume Ika (スルメイカ: Japanese flying squid)”.


Surume Ika in the oven

How to prepare it? I actually cooked Surume today, so for those who are curious about the dried whole squid, this time let me share how it is cooked and eaten. First of all, here is a basic preparation method of Surume.

broiled surume squid is curled up nicely

First, toast the dried unseasoned whole squid Surume for some minutes in the toaster oven until it is nicely curled up.

Serve the broiled Surume squid on a plate and cut it in strips

 Then, take out and transfer the cooked squid to a large plate, and tear the whole squid into thin strips using both hands.

How to Eat

sauce consisting of mayonnaise,soy sauce and Shichimi Togarashi

Next, prepare a dipping sauce. I like a dip of mayonnaise, soy sauce, and Shichimi Togarashi (or Ichimi Togarashi), so combine them.

Surume with Canned Beer

Dip a shred of Surume into the savory sauce and enjoy with a chilled beer!

(Reference Page: Wikipedia スルメ )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

2 Responses

  1. Cherry says:

    I just bought some frozen surume ika. Do I just thaw it and toast in the oven toaster? For how Long approx?

    • Tomo says:

      Thank you for the comment.
      I guess probably what you bought isn’t dried surume ika. What I wrote in this article is about dried ones. If what you bought is frozen fresh surume ika, I’m sorry, but the method I introduced in this article doesn’t work.

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