Ika no Shiokara : All about the Japanese food delicacy

As with other countries, there are a variety of food delicacies unique to Japan. Some Japanese delicacies are characterized by their unpleasant smells and bizarre appearances.

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

Ika no 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 sliced squid.

Since the Japanese word, “Ika (イカ)” means “squid”, Ika no Shiokara is the Shiokara made of squid, in other words, it is salted fermented squid.

The processed seafood especially features having a bizarre appearance. If you see the Japanese delicacy for the first time, you might wonder if it is edible, because Ika no Shiokara looks kind of like mud.

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 bizarre food, do you think you can eat it?

Squid Shiokara

In addition to the bad looks, its peculiar smell might also make you feel unpleasant.

How to eat Ika no Shiokara

Instead, Ika no Shiokara actually has plenty of umami ingredients and body taste of squid. Hence, the Japanese food delicacy is tasty and relatively easy to eat, though it is quite salty.

Ika no Shiokara on plain white rice

Therefore, Ika no Shiokara matches well with plain foods. Especially, steamed plain white rice and the Shiokara are the most common combination to us Japanese. Since it is salty and full of umami, the squid Shiokara can also be used in pasta and salads.

Ika no Shiokara Ochazuke

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

The Ingredients

Ika no Shiokara ingredients

According to the ingredient list on the label, the Ika no Shiokara I bought contains squid (Surume Ika), salt, Mirin sweet cooking rice wine, fermented seasonings, amino acid, glycerol, sorbet, spir, and sweeteners.

Where to buy Ika no Shiokara

Ika no Shiokara is a processed seafood very familiar to us Japanese. The food delicacy is available at almost any supermarket in Japan.


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. I want to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures and trivia.

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