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Ika no shiokara

Shiokara (塩辛) lit.'salty-spicy',[1] is a food in Japanese cuisine made from various marine animals that consists of small pieces of meat in a brown viscous paste of the animal's heavily salted, fermented viscera.[2]

The raw viscera are mixed with about 10% salt, 30% malted rice, packed in a closed container, and fermented for up to a month. Shiokara is sold in glass or plastic containers.

The flavor is similar in saltiness and fishiness to that of European cured anchovies, but with a different texture. One of the best-known chinmi ("rare tastes"),[3] it is quite strong and is considered something of an acquired taste even for the native Japanese palate.

It was a valuable protein in post-war Japan because food was scarce and it did not require refrigeration. It continued to be eaten as a condiment for rice and in bars.[1]

One method of enjoying it is to consume the serving in one gulp and to follow it with a shot of straight whisky. Some bars in Japan specialize in shiokara.

Some types of shiokara[edit]

Ika no shiokara with chopsticks

Some shiokara types have special names:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Audrey Anderson. "Ocean Shock: Warming waters send squid out of reach in land of sushi". Reuters. Retrieved 2021-09-19.
  2. ^ Swinnerton, Robbie (2015-02-17). "Surugaya Kahei: a little shiokara goes a long way". The Japan Times. Retrieved 2021-09-19.
  3. ^ "Squid profits squeezed as Japan's catch hits record lows". The Japan Times. 2019-01-15. Retrieved 2021-09-19.