Ika Fry vs Ika Ten: Japanese Fried Squid Snacks

Traditionally, we Japanese like snack foods made with squid. Especially there are many variations of dried squid snacks in Japan, which include these 3 varieties.

Meanwhile, when it comes to Japanese fried squid snacks, “Ika Fry (イカフライ)” and “Ika Ten (イカ天)” are not only widely enjoyed in Japan, but also fairly well recognized in some overseas countries.

By the way, the word included in these names, “Ika (イカ)” means squid or cuttlefish in Japanese.

The Difference: Ika Fry (Furai) vs Ika Ten

Ika Fry and Ika Ten are very similar snack foods, or partly the same thing as I wrote before. Actually, I didn’t know the specific difference between them, so today I did some research about it online.

From the result, this time I will share how Ika Fry is different from Ika Ten.

Ika Fry (イカフライ)

Ika Ring

First off, Ika Fry (Furai) is the generic term for foods made by deep-frying squid coated in batter. Hence, Ika Fry includes “Ika Ring (イカリング)”, “Ika Ball (イカボール)”, and “Ika Ten (イカ天)”.

Ika Ring is a deep-fried round squid body slice also known as fried calamari, while Ika Ball is a deep-fried ground squid meatball.

As for the batter, or the coating, there are 2 types, one using breadcrumbs like that of “Katsu (カツ)“, while the other is made without using breadcrumbs like that of “Karaage (唐揚げ)“.

Ika Ten (イカ天)

Ika Ten

Ika Ten is squid’s Tempura as the latter word “Ten (天)” stands for Tempura. Specifically, there are 3 types of Ika Ten in Japan.

One is literally squid Tempura made by deep-frying squid coated in the batter of wheat flour and hen’s egg.

Another refers to deep-fried “Kamaboko (蒲鉾)” paste consisting of chopped squid meat and fish paste.

And the last refers to a processed food called “Ika Ten” that is produced by deep-frying “Surume (するめ)” squid coated in batter.

(Reference Pages: Wikipedia イカフライ, イカ天 )


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.

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