3 Dried Squid Snacks that Represent Japan

“Surume (するめ)”, also known as “Atarime (あたりめ)”, is a dried squid snack widely enjoyed in Japan as an accompaniment for alcoholic drinks or “Otsumami (おつまみ)”. There is a variety of such dried squid snacks in Japan, which include “Noshi-ika (のしいか)” and “Saki-ika (さきいか)”.

3 Common Types of Japanese Dried Squid Snacks

Actually, Surume, Noshi-ika, and Saki-ika are common types of dried squid snacks in Japan, and the word “ika (いか)” means squid or cuttlefish in Japanese, but what kinds of Japanese dried squid snacks are they? Today, I will explain it.

Surume (スルメ)

Surume (Atarime) Squid

Surume Squid Strips and Mayonnaise

First off, Surume is a traditional Japanese snack food made typically from the squid species called “Surume Ika (スルメイカ)” that has been gutted and dried under the sun. Hence, the dried squid has almost the same shape as the original. After toasting or grilling and shredding the dried whole squid into thin strips by hand, we Japanese eat the Surume shreds typically dipping in a sauce of mayonnaise and Shichimi Togarashi.

Noshi-ika (のしいか)

Noshi-Ika

Salty Sweet Seasoned Noshiika

Noshiika is a Japanese snack food made by heating and flattening out a dried squid with iron rollers. Thus, it is soft and very thin in thickness as compared to the Surume squid. As for the variety, Noshi-ika comes in 2 types; one is unseasoned, while the other is salty-sweet, sweetened with sugar, starch syrup, and honey. By the way, there is a Dagashi snack called Noshiika Taro, but it is made not from squid but from fish paste.

Saki-ika (さきいか)

Saki-ika

Sakiika with Mayonnaise

In the name, “Saki (さき)” or “Saku (裂く)” is the Japanese word for “shred”, so Saki-ika is a dried shredded squid snack. As with the Surume squid, Saki-ika is widely enjoyed in Japan as an accompaniment for alcoholic beverages or Otsumami. Originally, it is made from grilled Surume, but in recent years many Saki-ika products are produced from raw squid.

The original type is often sold by the name of “Surume Sakiika (するめさきいか)”, while the latter is often referred to as “Soft Sakiika (ソフトさきいか)” as its texture is soft and tender compared to the former. Like Noshi-ika, Saki-ika is available in 2 types; one is seasoned mainly with salt and sugar, while the other is unseasoned so they can be eaten in the same manner as the Surume squid, dipping in mayo with the 7 spice blend Shichimi Togarashi.

Tomo

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. Bob says:

    Thank you for this post. Ten years ago, my wife and I traveled Bōsō Hantō by train, stopping many places. We were walking on one beach eating dried cuttlefish on a stick. I assume this was surume-ika. Or is there adifferent name for this snack?

    • Tomo says:

      Hello, Bob
      Thank you for the comment!
      The seafood you ate ten years ago was probably “Yaki Ika (焼きイカ)”, or grilled whole squid, which is often served on a stick, while Surume (snack name) is usually broiled first, cut into thin strips with hands, and eaten with mayonnaise. But it seems that Yaki Ika is often made with Surume Ika (squid name)!

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