Japan, despite being a relatively small country, is abundant with marine resources. Seafood plays a large role in the Japanese diet, and it is a common staple dish both at home and at different food establishments.
Squid is one common seafood ingredient in Japan, with a variety of ways it can be served. Not everyone is able to consume the 8-legged creature, but if you get a chance to taste this nutritious seafood you shouldn’t miss out. Here are 3 ika (Japanese for squid) dishes that you should definitely try out when you’re in Japan!
Ika yaki, or simply grilled squid, is a popular way to eat squid Japan. Many other countries around the world prepare squid in a similar style, but in Japan, the most common flavor of ika yaki is a mildly sweet and salty taste that comes from the sauce that is used when grilling, which makes it taste a bit different from the squid you have tasted elsewhere.
Ika geso age, or fried squid tentacles, is a popular dish that is often served at izakayas (Japanese style pubs). It is similar to its Mediterranean calamari counterpart, except that it just uses the squid’s tentacles, and is breaded lighter. Ika geso age goes very well with a cold glass of beer.
Ika sashimi is often served at sushi restaurants. When squid is served fresh, it has a translucent body and when it is made into ika sashimi it will become crunchy with a mild sweetness to its flavor. Ika sashimi is very different from sashimi made with fish because of its slippery and crunchy texture. Because of that, it may actually take some time before one can get used to eating squid sashimi, and this is especially the case for those who are not used to raw dishes to begin with.
Have you ever had a taste of one or all of these dishes made with squid? Trying out something new in a different country is always a good experience, whether you’re living in Japan or are just here on vacation. Make sure you take a chance and have a taste of these slightly adventurous dishes!