Tag Archives: 烏賊

Cuttlefish/Squid Species 6: “Japanese lesser” Varieties


The Japan Blog List

Please check Shizuoka Gourmet Blog for all the gastronomy in Shizuoka Prefecture!

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Inedible Lesser Variety!: Giant Squid

Here is the last article on this series called “The Jacques Cousteau” upon suggestion by Jaded Fork and forBread + Butter, and Elin who don’t mind being on a long haul! LOL

By “Japanese lesser” I mean species both more difficult to find on markets, more local and not as appreciated as the former five varieties.
Howeve these should looked over as they are still good enough for the finnicky Japanese and appreciated as rarities!

BOZU IKA
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EZOHARI IKA
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HAKUTENKOU IKA
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HIMEKOU IKA
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KAMINARI IKA
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KO IKA
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SHINDO IKA
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SHIRIYAKE IKA
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SODE IKA
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SUJI IKA
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USUBENI IKA
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If you have any questions, don’t hesitate!

Cuttlefish/Squid Species 5: Hotaru Ika/Firefly Squid-Sparkling Enope Squid


The Japan Blog List

Please check Shizuoka Gourmet Blog for all the gastronomy in Shizuoka Prefecture!

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Here we go again with this series called “The Jacques Cousteau” upon suggestion by Jaded Fork and forBread + Butter, and Elin who don’t mind being on a long haul! LOL

Sparkling Enope Squid is a name difficult to remember and the translation of the Japanese name, Hotaru Ika/蛍烏賊 or Firefly Squid, certainly holds a better sound and is more adapted to reality.
It is also known as Matsui Ika in Toyama Prefecture.

The Sparkling Enope Squid is found in the Western Pacific ocean at depths of 600 to 1200 feet and exhibits bioluminescence. Each tentacle has an organ called a photophore, which produces light. By flashing these lights, the Sparkling Enope Squid can attract small fish to feed upon.

The Sparkling Enope Squid is the only species of cephalopod in which evidence of color vision has been found. While most cephalopods have only one visual pigment, firefly squid have three, along with a double-layered retina. These adaptations for color vision may have evolved to enable firefly squid to distinguish between ambient light and bioluminescence.

The Sparkling Enope Squid measures about 3 inches long at maturity and dies after one year of life.
The Sparkling Enope Squid can also light up its whole body to attract a mate. The mating season of the Sparkling Enope Squid lasts from March to June.

The fishing season lasts from Spring to Summer. The annual catch varies between 4,500 and 6,500 tonnes.

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They are very popular boiled as a snack or cooked in soy sauce and sake. You can of course cook them in wine or tomato sauce, European-style.

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They are very much much appreciated raw and whole as sashimi or lightly boiled as sushi on nigiri!

Cuttlefish/Squid Species 4: Surume Ika/Japanese Common Squid-Pacific Flying Squid


The Japan Blog List

Please check Shizuoka Gourmet Blog for all the gastronomy in Shizuoka Prefecture!

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Here we go again with this series called “The Jacques Cousteau” upon suggestion by Jaded Fork and forBread + Butter, and Elin who don’t mind being on a long haul! LOL

Surume Ika or Japanese Common Squid/Pacific Flying Squid is also called by regional names of Ma Ika, Matsu Ika or Kanzegi.

It caught off the shores of Northern Japan and south of Kyushu Island.
Catches tend to vary widely.
The Japanese squid can live anywhere from 5° to 27°C, and tend to inhabit the upper layers of the ocean. They are short lived, only surviving about a year.
The fishing season for the Japanese flying squid is all year round, but the largest and most popular seasons are from January to March, and again from June to September. Gear used to catch the Japanese flying squid is mainly line and hook, lift nets, and gill nets, the most popular method being hook and line used in jigging.
Most of it is turned into various pickled or dried cuttle fish/squid products.
It is also much appreciated broiled or simmered.

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It is quite popular as a simple sushi nigiri,

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or slightly boiled with “tare” sauce.

Cuttlefish/Squid Species 3: Aori Ika/Bigfin Reef Squid


The Japan Blog List

Please check Shizuoka Gourmet Blog for all the gastronomy in Shizuoka Prefecture!

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Here we go with this series called “The Jacques Cousteau” upon suggestion by Jaded Fork and forBread + Butter, and Elin who don’t mind being on a long haul! LOL

Aori Ika or Bigfin Reef Squid is another extremely popular cuttle fish but in many othere countries.
In French languedoc and Roussillon they call them “piste” and eat them raw marinated in lemon juice, olive oil and spices on top of freshly toasted bread.

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America Aori Ika/Caribbean Reef Squid

Of course they come by various regional names in Japan: Mo Ika, Bashoo Ika, Kutsu Ika, Misu Ika, Shiroi Ika.
They are fairly large as they can attain 40~45 cm length for a weight up to 6 kg.

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Their season is from Summer to early Autumn (just in time for this article!). They are mainly caught in Central and South Japan along the Southern shores.
The catch has never been big (mainly by trawling nets), making them a choice morsel.
They are considered the best cuttlefish as far as sashimi is concerned.
The Japanese often catch them as a hobby to process and sell at local markets.

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As sushi, especially as nigiri, they are simply top-class!

Cuttlefish/Squid Species 2: Kensaki Ika


The Japan Blog List

Please check Shizuoka Gourmet Blog for all the gastronomy in Shizuoka Prefecture!

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I decided to dedicate this series called “The Jacques Cousteau” upon suggestion by Jaded Fork and forBread + Butter, and Elin who don’t mind being on a long haul! LOL

“Kensaki Ika/ケンサキ烏賊 goes by the Latin name of Loligo (Photololigo) edulis Hoyle,1885, but that complicated name does not prevent this particular squid to be extremely popular in Japan!

It is of course known under other local names: Ak Ika/Red Squid, especially in Shizuoka, Budo Ika/Grapes Squid, Shiro Ika, Gotou Ika.

They will soon appear in the markets in Summer.
They are mainly caught by line.
They are more and more available live, so great specimens can be easily bought.

They are a very versatile kind of squid as they can be appreciated as sashimi, sushi, simmered, boiled, broiled, dried, and especially as tempura!

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As for me, it is a bit of a dilemna as I like them both as sushi nigiri and sashimi!

Cuttlefish/Squid Species 1: Yari Ika


The Japan Blog List

Please check Shizuoka Gourmet Blog for all the gastronomy in Shizuoka Prefecture!

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Cuttlefish or squids are eaten almost all the world as they seem to inhabit the whole planet! They are the favourite food of many big fish such as tuna, whales and birds. Although humans contribute to dwindling stocks, they will never consume the same amount as its natural predators.

The Japanese call them Ika/烏賊, roughly meaning crow shellfish/cephalopods.

This is the start of a long series. I do hope you like them, otherwise you are in for a long haul!LOL

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Yari Ika/槍烏賊, or Spear Squid, are also known under the names of sasika, Sayaika, Shyakuhachi, Tsutsuika or Sayanaga.
In Japan they are mainly caught in Winter and Spring off the shores of Aomori, Hokkaido, Ibaragi, Mie, Aichi and Yamaguchi Prefectures.
Females are slightly more rounded thanthe males.
They are either caught with nets or lines.
Their flesh is comparatively thin, but soft and sweet. They are among the most popular in Japan.
The best specimens are the ones caught by line. Buy them live whenever possible.

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They can of course be cooked, or eaten as sashimi, but I reckon sushi nigiri is best.
The best sushi restaurants will serve two of them with two different dip soy sauces.

Sashimi Set: Cuttlefish/Ika


The Japan Blog List

Please check Shizuoka Gourmet Blog for all the gastronomy in Shizuoka Prefecture!

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Not a great picture, I must admit. But I was in hurry and had no time to arrange it on a plate before my wife jumped on it!
This is a Sashimi Set I bought at Parche Supermarket inside Shizuoka JR Station yesterday evening for less than 10 US$.
There was enough for 2~4 people. It includes all the edible parts of one “yari-ika”:
From top to bottom, left to right:
Tail “fins” slightly boiled, slightly grilled main body “cone”, main body “cone” raw.
Cuttlefish strips rolled with seaweed raw, “ika somen”/ main body cone cut in long thin strips raw, tentacles/”geso” raw.