The Japanese love this strong umami coming out of its creepy features. These are sushi toppings that show their presence in your mouth.
There are over 450 types of Ika (squid) in the world and over 100 types just in the seawaters around Japan. Ika is essential to Japanese cuisine and is found in many recipes for home cooking. It is a representative of ingredients for common people that is both affordable and delicious. There are also many different types of Ika used as sushi toppings, and certain Ika are used during certain seasons, each with a unique flavor.
Tako (octopus) is a popular sushi topping at every sushi restaurant. However, preparing Tako from its raw state is very labor intensive. Some restaurants boil it, while others use “Sakura-ni.” Elaborate efforts are made at the restaurant in order to prepare a topping that can be bitten through and emit a delicious fragrance. Needless to say, when prepared raw, it is thoroughly kneaded by hand. It may be struck with the crest or wooden pestle of a kitchen knife, or boiled with roasted green tea, incorporating techniques from Kansai dishes. When Tako is prepared as Sakura-ni*, it is classified as Nimono.
*”Sakura-ni” refers to stewing octopus in sake, mirin and soy sauce to soften it, turning it into a shape that resembles cherry blossom (sakura) petals.
Japanese terms will be italicized on sushi ingredients page.
Amerikaoo akaika－Jumbo flying squid (Dosidicus gigas (Orbigny, 1835))
Aori ika－Bigfin reef squid
Be ika－Beka squid (Loliolus (Nipponololig) beka (Sasaki,1929))
Hotaru ika－Firefly squid
Hi ika (Jindow ika)－Japanese squid (Loliolus (Nipponololigo) japonica (Hoyle, 1885))
Iidako－Ocellated octopus (Octopus ocellatus Gray, 1849)
Kaminari ika (Mongou ika)－Ocellated cuttlefish
Kensaki ika (Shiroika)－Swordtip squid (Uroteuthis （Photololigo） edulis （Hoyle,1885）)
Kobusime (Kubusime)－Gaint cuttlefish、Broadclub cuttlefish
Mizudako－North-pacific giant octpus
Shin ika－Baby cuttlefish
Sode ika (Aka ika)－Rhomboid squid、Diamond squid (Thysanoteuthis rhombus Troschel, 1857)
Sumi ika (Kou ika)－Cuttlefish
Surume ika－Japanese common squid
Yari ika－Spear squid
Yoroppa kou ika－European common cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis (Linnaeus, 1758))
We hope this information will be helpful.
Revision date: March 24, 2023
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