Kurozukuri: Toyama’s Food Delicacy Black Squid Shiokara

Have you ever heard of “Shiokara (塩辛)”, a famous Japanese delicacy food? As I wrote about it in my past article, Shiokara is made by fermenting salted seafood such as fish, shellfish or squid guts.

There are a variety of Shiokara products in Japan. Among those, Squid Shiokara, or “Ika no Shiokara (イカの塩辛)” is most common. As for the regional 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 ShiokaraImage : shoku-toyama.jp

The Toyama’s delicacy is called “Kuro-Zukuri (黒作り)” which is made by combining Ika no Shiokara with squid’s ink. Hence, the black color of the food comes from the ink of squid. By the way, “Kuro (黒)” means black in Japanese, while “Zukuri (作り)” is a Japanese word for making.

Regular Ika no Shiokara Aka-Zukuri

In contrast, normal Ika no Shiokara is sometimes called “Aka-Zukuri (赤作り)”. This is because it has a reddish 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 Edo period, about 300 years ago. Therefore, the specialty of Toyama is a traditional food and actually also known as one of “Japan’s 3 Best Food Delicacies (新三大珍味)“.

Since Kuro-Zukuri has lots of umami from squid’s ink, it goes really well with pasta and pairs 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 a souvenir of Toyama.

Kurozukuri Black Ika no Shiokara

(Reference Page : Wikipedia 黒作り )


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.

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