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 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 what I introduce here, Ika Mirin (いかみりん), is among such treats.
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 from potato starch seasoned with soy sauce and mirin.
The Ika Mirin cracker has long been a favorite in Japan, now widely enjoyed as an afternoon snack with green tea.
So today, several 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 contains its actual meat and typically has its embossment on the surface.
Featuring a gentle, sweet taste from mirin, Ika Mirin Senbei is pleasantly 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 used 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, Shrimp, Squid, Vegetable oil/fat, Salt, Sesame, Aosa seaweed, Protein hydrolysate, Mackerel flakes, Scallop extract powder, Red chili pepper, Modified starch, Seasoning (including Amino acid), Colors (Paprika pigment, Monascus), Emulsifier, Sweetener (Stevia), Swelling agent (Partially including Shrimp, Wheat, Squid, Sesame, Mackerel, Soybean, and Pork)|
Where to Buy & Price
Ika Mirin Senbei is a casual snack available at many supermarkets and convenience stores in Japan and only costs 100 yen or so per bag (50 grams).