What is Ocellated Octopus (Iidako) sushi?

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There are five types of octopus mainly used for food in Japan: Madako, Mizudako, Iidako, Yanagidako, and Tenagadako.

What is Ocellated Octopus (Iidako)?

Ocellated Octopus (Iidako) is distributed south of southern Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu to the Korean Peninsula and the coast of mainland China. It inhabits sandy muddy bottoms of inner bays at depths of 10 to 20 meters. Its entire body is covered with small warts, and it has black streaks on its back and a golden annular crest on its interbrachial membrane. The length of the body is about 20 cm, and the season is from winter to spring. Its scientific name is Octopus ocellatus Gray, 1849.

In winter, the eggs are packed with a diameter of about 6 mm, which look like grains of rice (Ii means rice), hence the Japanese name. Because these eggs are rich and delicious, the female is highly prized. Famous production areas include the Seto Inland Sea, Mikawa Bay, and Tokyo Bay.

What does Ocellated Octopus (Iidako) sushi taste like?

Fish with eggs are called “Ko (Ko means egg)-mochi,” but in the case of Iidako, it is called “Ii -mochi. Select fish with a taut body and brown color remaining on the body. Be careful, as it spoils quickly. Boil small ones before making Nigiri sushi and then applying them with Nitsume. The key is to pull it out early so that it does not become overcooked and hard.

The crispy texture of the meat combined with the chewy texture of the roe makes a perfect match for the sweet Nitsume. You can also eat it with soy sauce, putting wasabi between the shari (vinegared rice) and the topping. But to be honest, carpaccio and garlic saute are definitely tastier.


We hope this information will be helpful.

Revision date: April 10, 2023

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