Ika Mirin Age: A Classic Japanese Squid Cracker
“Shoyu (醤油: soy sauce)” and “Mirin (味醂: sweet cooking rice wine)” are seasonings that represent Japan and they are often used together not only in dishes but also for snacks.
In fact, good and old Japanese snacks tend to be flavored using soy sauce and mirin together, and if I give a representative example of such classic treats, the first thing that comes to my mind is “Ika Mirin (いかみりん)”.
Ika Mirin (いかみりん)
Ika Mirin, also known as “Ika Mirin Age (いかみりん揚)” or “Ika Mirin Senbei (いかみりんせんべい)”, is a classic Japanese squid cracker made using potato starch, seasoned mainly with soy sauce and mirin or sweet cooking rice wine.
Ika Mirin has been loved through generations in Japan and now is widely enjoyed as an afternoon snack with green tea.
So today, a number of food companies are producing and selling it by the name of Ika Mirin, or Ika Mirin Age, or Ika Mirin Senbei, but I’m not sure who first made it.
As you may know, “Ika (いか)” means squid in Japanese, so the cracker actually contains its meat and typically has its embossment on the surface.
Featuring the gentle sweet taste of mirin, Ika Mirin Senbei is nicely crispy. Unlike ordinary Senbei, the soy sauce seasoning for these crackers isn’t overpowering, almost hidden under the intensity of mirin.
Lastly, let’s see the specific ingredients in the Ika Mirin Age, Based on the label on the back of the package, the snack consists of potato starch, soy sauce, sugar, dextrin, mirin, starch syrup, fermented seasoning, bonito extract, pork extract, shrimps, squid, vegetable oil, salt, sesame, Aosa seaweed, protein hydrolysate, dried mackerel, powdered scallop extract, and red chili pepper.
Where to Buy and Price
Ika Mirin Senbei is a casual snack that can be bought in many supermarkets and convenience stores around the country and only costs 100 yen (about 1 USD) or so per bag (50 grams).