Noshiika Taro: A Classic “Dagashi” Snack Sheet from Kado
“Noshiika (のしいか)”, together with Surume and Sakiika, is one of the classic Japanese snack foods made from squid, and often served with alcoholic drinks as an “Otsumami (おつまみ)“. It is a thin sheet of squid meat that is made by heating dried squid and flattening out the softened one with iron rollers.
Noshiika literally means stretched squid as “Noshi (のし)” or “Nosu (のす)” is a verb for “stretch out”, while “Ika (いか)” means “squid” or “cuttlefish” in Japanese. It is typically seasoned with sugar, starch syrup, and honey, and has a gentle sweetness in addition to being tender.
Noshiika is a standard Otsumami snack loved by all generations in Japan. But the Noshiika I introduce here is a “Dagashi (駄菓子)” snack from “Kado (菓道)” known to those in the know, which actually isn’t made from squid.
By the way, Dagashi is a Japanese word for cheap and relatively small Japanese snacks and candies whose price ranges from 10 (about 0.1 USD) to about 100 yen (about 1 USD), which are mainly marketed towards children.
Kado Noshiika Taro
What I want you to know here, Noshiika Taro is a long-selling Dagashi snack sold for a few tens of yen in Japan and produced by Kado, a Japanese Dagashi manufacturer known for producing Umaibo, and “Taro (太郎)” in the name is a common Japanese boy’s name.
Unlike the classic Otsumami Noshiika, this classic Dagashi Noshiika is made from white fish meat, wheat flour and squid powder, and coated with a liquid seasoning made from sugar, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, honey, and spices, which is quite wet.
As you can easily guess from the above, the Noshiika Taro is a soft, sweet-sour snack sheet which is more on the sweet side. In Japan, there are a lot of Dagashi snacks made from fish paste like this, and Noshiika Taro is especially similar to the classic Dagashi also from Kado called Sudakosan Taro, both of which are available in many supermarkets around the country.