Lemon Ikaten: Hiroshima’s Addicting Squid Crackers

As you may know, “Otsumami (おつまみ)” is the Japanese word for finger foods and nibbles eaten with alcoholic drinks.

And the representative example includes Edamame, cold tofu or Hiyayakko, Chiitara or Cheese Tara, and Kaki no Tane.

In addition to these treats, there is one more Otsumami snack that shouldn’t be forgotten, which is called “Ikaten (イカ天)”.

What is Ikaten?

Ikaten Deep-fried Squid Snack

The name Ikaten is a compound word composed of 2 words, “Ika (イカ)” meaning “squid” or “cuttlefish” in Japanese, and “ten (天)”, short for “Tempura (天ぷら)“.

Ikaten, also known as “Ika Fry (イカフライ)“, is a Japanese cracker made from dried squid called “Surume (スルメ)” coated in batter and deep-fried in oil.

It is a classic Japanese snack that has been a long-time favorite Otsumami in Japan.

Hiroshima Prefecture is a large producer of Ikaten, where the squid fries are commonly used in “Hiroshimayaki (広島焼き)” or the Hiroshima-style “Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き)” pancake.

Setouchi Lemon Ikaten from Maruka Foods

Setouchi Lemon Ikaten

When it comes to products, a snack from Hiroshima named “Setouchi Lemon Ikaten (瀬戸内レモン イカ天)” became a topic of conversation a few years ago.

The product was released by the Hiroshima-based food company “Maruka Foods (まるか食品)” in 2013 and immediately became a big hit.

In fact, it is said that the maker sold a million of them in one year after it went on the market.

Setouchi Lemon Ikaten Squid Crackers

Incidentally, Setouchi Lemon is a variety of lemon Hiroshima boasts whose cultivation was introduced in the Setouchi region in 1898.

The unique combination of the prefecture’s two specialties, Ikaten and Setouchi lemon, made this snack an addictive popular Otsumami loved throughout the country.

Featuring a pleasant crispy bite and a refreshing taste from Setouchi Lemon, these fries are lightly salted, savory, but not oily at all.

This Ikaten has a smaller size than other ones. It is easy to eat, making it popular among women.


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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