3 Types of Japanese dried squid snacks (Surume, Noshi-ika, Saki-ika)
Surume (するめ) is the quintessential Japanese squid snack.It is the dried squid widely enjoyed in Japan as a finger food for alcoholic drinks, or “Otsumami (おつまみ)“.
In addition to the name “Surume”, the Japanese dried squid snack has another name “Atarime (あたりめ)”.I wrote about Surume and Atarime in my past article, so if you are curious about the difference between them, read this post please.
Apart from Surume and Atarime, there are another 2 major types of dried squid snacks in Japan.They are Noshi-ika (のしいか) and Saki-ika (さきいか).
The difference between Surume, Noshi-ika, and Saki-ika
As you can guess, the Japanese word included in these food names, “Ika (いか)” means squid or cuttlefish.However, what is the difference between Surume (Atarime), Noshi-ika, and Saki-ika?
As you may already know, Surume is the Japanese snack food made by drying the squid whose internal organs are removed as unneeded things after the body is cut open.Hence, the dried squid has almost the same shape as the original one.
After broiling and cutting into strips with hands, we Japanese typically eat the Surume, dipping it into the sauce made with mayonnaise and soy sauce.
Noshi-ika (のしいか) is the Japanese finger food made by flattening the dried squid that is heated and softened with iron rollers.Thus, this Japanese dried squid snack is very thin in thickness.Therefore, as compared to Surume, it is soft in texture.
Speaking of the variety, there are 2 types of Noshi-ika, the unseasoned one and the sweet one mainly seasoned with salt, sugar, starch syrup, and honey, like the one in the above photo.
Since the Japanese term included in the food name, “Saki (裂き)” means to be shredded, Saki-ika (Amazon.com) refers to the shredded dried squid known as nibbles for alcoholic drinks.
Originally, this Japanese dried squid snack is made from broiled Surume, but nowadays many Japanese Saki-ika products are made using raw squid.As compared to the former, the latter is generally soft in texture.
In Japan, many of the original Saki-ika products are sold by the name of “Surume Saki-ika (するめさきいか)”.On the other hand, many of those produced with raw squid have the name of “Soft Saki-ika (ソフトさきいか)”.
Some Japanese Saki-ika products are seasoned with salt, sugar and so on, while others are unseasoned so that they can be eaten in the same way as Surume, dipping in mayonnaise or the mixture of mayo and soy sauce.