Kurozukuri : Toyama’s Food Delicacy Black Squid Shiokara

Have you ever eaten or heard of “Shiokara (塩辛)”? It is famous as a Japanese delicacy food.

As I wrote about it in my past article, Shiokara is made by fermenting salted seafood such as squid guts, flesh of fish or shellfishes.

There are a variety of Shiokara products in Japan. Among those, Squid Shiokara, or “Ika no Shiokara (イカの塩辛)” is the most common type.

As for the local products, there is a unique Ika no Shiokara known as a specialty of Toyama Prefecture.

Kuro-Zukuri (黒作り)

Toyama Kuro-Zukuri Ika no Shiokara

Image : shoku-toyama.jp

The Toyama’s food delicacy is called “Kuro-Zukuri (黒作り)”. It is made by combining Ika no Shiokara with squid’s ink.

Hence, its black color comes from the ink of squid. Actually, the Japanese word “Kuro (黒)” included in the food name literally means black.

Regular Ika no Shiokara Aka-Zukuri

In contrast, regular Ika no Shiokara is sometimes called “Aka-Zukuri (赤作り)”. This is probable because it is reddish in color. As you can guess, the Japanese word, “Aka (赤)” means red.

It is said that the origin of Kuro-Zukuri dates back to the Japan’s Edo period, about 300 years ago. Therefore, the Toyama’s delicacy is a traditional food and actually known as one of “the Japan’s 3 Best Food Delicacies (新三大珍味)“.

Since Kuro-Zukuri has lots of umami that come from squid’s ink, the Toyama’s food delicacy works really well with pasta and goes perfectly with Sake rice wine.

If you have a plan to visit Toyama Prefecture, I want you to try the black Ika no Shiokara at least once. It is also recommended as one of the souvenirs of Toyama.

Kuro-Zukuri Black-Colored Ika no Shiokara

(Reference page : Wikipedia 黒作り )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. I want to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures and trivia.

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