Squid three kinds いか塩辛、明太、柚子胡椒

Japanese Food

We like octopus and squid. So when we went to our Japanese grocery store, we got two kinds of  pre-made packages of “ika shiokara” イカ塩辛 (thinly sliced raw squid marinated or fermented in its inards  – mostly liver-  and salt. My wife refers to this as “squid and guts”),  and squid in spicy cod roe or “Ika mentai” イカ明太. Both came from Hakodate 函館, Japan’s squid capital. Both packages touted  “direct from the manufacturer” and  “O-sashimi shokkan”おさしみ食感 (texture of raw squid). We also got frozen squid sashimi which was cut into similar thin strips (called “Ika So-men イカソーメン,  somen is a thin Japanese noodle).

Although, the package of “Ika somen” came with packets of soy sauce and wasabi, I decided to make a sauce from “Yuzu kosho” 柚子胡椒 and soy sauce. My plan was that I would make the third squid item. Yuzu kosho is a spicy paste made of Japanese “togarashi” pepper (usually green but could be red pepper), Japanese Yuzu citrus zest and salt. I used the kind that comes in a tube. Since this was a newly opened tube, more yuzu kosho than I intended came out and the mixture was one part yuzu kosho and 2 parts soy sauce. I dressed the “Ika somen” in this mixture and served all three in our newly-acquired three-well dishes. These multi-compartment dishes make it possible to serve 3 small food items compactly instead of in individual containers–greatly reducing the number of dishes to clean.

From left to right; squid “shiokara”, squid “mentai” and squid “Yuzu kosho”. All great with sake. “Shiokara” is not too salty and slightly sweet. “Mentai” is a bit spicy but the squid texture is exactly like raw squid. “Yuzu kosho” has a nice yuzu citrus flavor with some heat and went well with the two others.

This type of snack is made for sake. We had our tried-and-tested house sake “Mu” daiginjo 無大吟醸 served in Izakaya style.

Just a bit of squid and sake really went well. We like to enjoy squid sashimi this way more so than the usual wasabi and soy sauce.

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