【Nigiri sushi: Ika (Squid)】
What is Kisslip cuttlefish (Kaminari ika)?
The official name of Mongou ika is Kaminari ika, but the squid is commonly called Mongo, including sushi restaurants. Mongou ika lives in sandy mud at depths of 60~100m in the Central and Southern regions, the East China Sea, the Philippines, Thailand, etc. Its length is about 40cm.
Compared to cuttlefish, catches are smaller. The catch is high in early summer, but the meat is not as thick because of the spawning season, and the real season is in autumn. At this time of year, it is still small, tender, and sweet, making it a perfect sushi fish.
The name is said to come from the fact that it is often caught in areas where thunder is heard. Or it is said that it came to be called Kaminari ika because the season of thunder is in season. The other name, Mongou ika, means "cuttlefish with crests" because of the numerous eye-like patterns on its back.
In the past, it was caught in large numbers in bottom trawl fisheries in the East China Sea. In addition, European common cuttlefish caught in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans are sometimes sold under the name Mongou ika in the market. Its scientific name is Sepia (Acanthosepion) lycidas Gray, 1849.
What does Kisslip cuttlefish (Kaminari ika) sushi taste like?
Kisslip cuttlefish (Kaminari ika) is not a familiar sushi item in the Kanto region, but in western Japan it is one of the major and high-end sushi toppings.
As it grows, its sweetness and flavor become stronger. The taste is soft and sweet for its thickness, with an elegant aftertaste. Its thick meat also makes it possible to add Kazari boucho, which allows the chef to play with it in a good way.
If you are worried about the texture, you can start with a number of thin slits and alternate them at different angles to make them softer and easier to eat. The time it takes to savor umami also depends on which part of the tongue it stays on. The sushi topping can be served with a wide variety of garnishes, such as lemon, salt, and white sesame seeds.
Also called Ocellated cuttlefish
Golden cuttlefish (Sumi ika)
List of Squid (Ika) and Octopus (Tako)
Seto Inland Sea Kyushu