Ika no Shiokara: All About the Japanese Food Delicacy

There are a variety of food delicacies in Japan as well as in other countries and some Japanese delicacies feature an unpleasant smell and a weird appearance, yet have a good taste.

Examples of such Japanese foods include the Japan’s top 5 stinkiest foods I introduced before, and additionally that also applies to “Ika no Shiokara (イカの塩辛)”.

Ika no Shiokara (イカの塩辛 : Squid Shiokara)

Ika no Shiokara is one of the food delicacies that represent Japan. “Shiokara (塩辛)” is a traditional Japanese food which is made by salting and fermenting seafood, such as fresh raw fish slices, fish guts, and squid bits.

As the word, “Ika (イカ)” means “squid” in Japanese, Ika no Shiokara is the Shiokara made of squid. In other words, it consists of small pieces of salted fermented squid, which is typically sold in small glass jars. 

The Japanese processed seafood especially is characterized by its bizarre appearance. As a matter of fact, if you first see the Japanese food, you might wonder if it is edible, because Ika no Shiokara looks kind of like mud and is what is disgusting to look at.

A jar of Ika no Shiokara

Today, I purchased one in a supermarket near my house for this blog article.

Ika no Shiokara

If a Japanese person serve you this gross-looking food with viscous paste, you can eat it, keeping up appearances?

Squid Shiokara

In addition to the bad appearance, its peculiar smell may also make you feel disgusted.

How to Eat Squid Shiokara

Despite that, Ika no Shiokara actually has plenty of umami ingredients and body taste of squid, and tastes pretty good, though it is quite salty and strong in taste.

Ika no Shiokara on plain white rice

Therefore, Ika no Shiokara goes well with plain foods. Especially, the squid Shiokara is the best match with steamed plain rice. Besides, since the Japanese delicacy is pretty salty and full of umami, it can also be used in pasta and vegetable salads.

Ika no Shiokara Ochazuke

Some Japanese, including me, like to make Ochazuke with Ika no Shiokara. “Ochazuke (お茶漬け)” is a common Japanese rice bowl dish consisting of plain white rice topped with a main ingredient which is entirely soaked in hot green tea. In the video, the topping is the squid Shiokara.


Ika no Shiokara ingredients

According to the description on the yellow label, the main ingredients of the Ika no Shiokara I bought this time are squid (Surume Ika), salt, Mirin sweet cooking rice wine, fermented seasonings, amino acid, glycerol, sorbet, alcohol, and sweeteners.

Where to Buy Ika no Shiokara

Ika no Shiokara is a traditional Japanese food that has been widely eaten in Japan for centuries, so it is available in supermarkets and grocery stores around the country.


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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: