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.
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.
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.
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.