Ika no Kunsei (Ikakun): Shredded Smoked Squid Snack
As I wrote several times before, Japan has a large variety of snack foods made from squid, which include these dried squid snacks, and this Dagashi treat.
In addition to the items above, there is one more variety that you should know, which I actually bought the other day at a 7 Eleven convenience store near my house.
Ikakun or Ika no Kunsei Snacks
The Japanese squid snack I picked up this time is the one shown above “Ikakun (イカ燻)”, also known as “Ika no Kunsei (イカの燻製)”. It is a good-old squid snack that has long been loved in Japan.
In its name, the term “Kunsei (燻製)” stands for the cooking method of smoking, while the word “Ika (イカ)” means “squid” in Japanese. So “Ika no Kunsei”, which is abbreviated to “Ikakun”, is a smoked squid snack.
Based on the claim on the packaging, these squid shreds are smoked using the wood chips of Prunus. With a pleasant, chewy bite, these are tender compared to the quintessential Japanese squid snack Surume.
The more you chew on the snack, the more the flavor and umami come out. The taste is slightly vinegary but not that salty with a moderate sweetness.
I love to eat these smoked squid slices with beer. In fact, Ikakun or Ika no Kunsei is widely enjoyed in Japan as an “Otusmami (おつまみ)” or an accompaniment snack for alcoholic drinks.
Ikakun is a common type of Otsumami, so it is available in supermarkets and convenience stores around the country.
Ingredients and Nutrition Facts
Lastly, according to the label on the back of the package, the main ingredients in this Ika no Kunsei are squid, sugar, reduced sugar syrup, salt, brewed vinegar, dextrin, seafood extract, kombu seaweed extract, and yeast extract.
By the way, the calories per bag (25 grams) are 53 kcal, and this Japanese treat contains 1.5 g salt equivalents in total.